The Norman Transcript

Features

June 3, 2014

Health insurance options for early retirees

NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior,

At age 63, I will be retiring in a few months and need to find some health insurance coverage for my wife and me until Medicare kicks in. Is Obamacare my only option?

About to Retire

 

Dear About,

There are actually several places early (pre-Medicare) retirees can go to find health insurance coverage — Obamacare isn’t the only game in town. Here are your options depending on your income and health care needs.

Government

marketplaces

If your yearly income falls below the 400 percent poverty level, the Obamacare insurance marketplace is probably your best option for getting health coverage because of the federal tax credits they offer, which will reduce the amount you’ll have to pay for a policy.

To qualify for the tax credits, your household’s modified adjusted gross income for 2013 must have been under $45,960 for an individual, or $62,040 for a couple. If your income will drop below the 400 percent poverty level in 2014 or 2015 because of your retirement, it may still make sense to buy coverage through the Obamacare marketplace, even if you don’t qualify for the tax credits based on last year’s income.

To help you see how much you can save, see the subsidy calculator on the Kaiser Family Foundation website at kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator. 

To shop for marketplace plans in your state, visit Healthcare.gov or call their toll-free helpline at 800-318-2596.

 

Outside

the marketplace

If you aren’t eligible for the government subsidy, or you want additional policy options to what Obamacare offers, you can also buy health coverage outside the government marketplaces directly through insurance companies, brokers or agents. This option is not available if you live in Washington, D.C., or Vermont. 

These policies do not offer the federal tax credits, but they are required to offer the same menu of essential benefits as Obamacare policies do, and they can’t deny you coverage or charge extra for pre-existing health conditions. You might even find slightly lower premiums on outside policies, assuming that you don’t qualify for the tax credits.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Just say no to 12-year-old’s Mohawk

    A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was 12 years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that big a deal?” she said....

    August 1, 2014

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam set

    Norman residents will serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Andrew’s Park, 201 W. Daws St. A pop-up store also will distribute donations of new and gently used books, clothing, shoes, ...

    August 1, 2014

  • CCFI announces play therapy course

    Center for Children and Families will present the course Fundamentals of Non-Directive Play Therapy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at Sarkeys Foundation, 520 E. Main St....

    August 1, 2014

  • Recent weather has been surprising

    Earlier this July, a dense cold front slipped into the central section of the Southwest — including Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and bordering states — dropping daytime temperature highs into the upper 60s and 70s, which I believe is an ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Are you a puppet or a prince?

    Names have power. This cautionary statement is frequently found in fantasy novels populated by magical beings. The implication being that you should choose your friends and enemies wisely....

    August 1, 2014

  • Crafter’s emporium planned Saturday

    Members of the Opal District Crafter’s Emporium, plus other local artists, will have an art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman. It will be hosted concurrently with the ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Williams book signing event set

    Jared Williams, a resident of Moore, will sign copies of his book “Cerebral” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 2300 W. Main St. Norman....

    July 31, 2014

  • Home dedication set Sunday

    Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will host a dedication of the Ruvalcaba family home from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 618 E. Apache St. Those attending are asked to bring a pantry item to help the family begin life in their new home. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Two territorial littermate cats are asserting social dominance

    Dear Dr. Fox: When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014