How to Choose the Best Health Insurance for Retirees
Choosing the best health insurance for retirees depends on your eligibility.
Here are some choices for health insurance once you retire:
- Sign up for Medicare at age 65.
- Stay on a former employer’s health plan if it offers that option.
- Get added to your spouse’s health insurance plan, if possible.
Here are some other health insurance options for retirees:
Buy an Affordable Care Act plan
The ACA marketplace at Healthcare.gov lets you compare plans available in your area. Entering your location, household income and size allows the ACA website to provide options that include cost estimates.
Check Medicaid eligibility
Medicaid is the federal/state health insurance program for low-income Americans. Eligibility varies by state, but if you qualify for Medicaid, you may find a low-income health plan that offers protections similar to employer health plan.
Short-term health insurance
Insurers offer short-term health insurance in most states. These low-cost plans provide limited benefits and are seen as a stop-gap until you can get standard health insurance, but they may work if you only want safety net coverage and understand short-term plans’ limitations.
Look for catastrophic health insurance if you’re eligible, as a last resort
Catastrophic health insurance is only available to people under 30 and those with severe financial problems, such as homelessness and bankruptcy. These plans have high deductibles and low premiums, so you pay little for coverage but pick up all of the costs for health care services until you reach the deductible.