The most challenged group of folks we find having trouble finding good reasonable health insurance coverage are the retirees who have not yet reached that magical age of 65, when Medicare is available. Followed closely by the individual business owner or individual who for whatever reason is not covered by Health Insurance.
Tricks for Getting Health Coverage
What follows are our favorite techniques for getting coverage before age 65. As you may know, health coverage is under the microscope and the industry is changing fast. We are not experts in the Health field, and these are not recommendations, however we have seen all of these techniques used with positive results.
- Stay on your significant others coverage as long as possible– If your significant other has group coverage and you retire before they are eligible for Medicare, check if your significant other can continue the coverage and be sure to see how long. Many times coverage can be continued for an extended time.
- Be a member of a select group – (Our favorite Trick) Many organizations offer group coverage. Generally the harder to get into the organization, the better the coverage. If you really rack your brain, almost all of us, at one time or another have been a member of an industry specific organization. Check your organization out, a renewal may save you a tremendous amount of money and garner greater coverage.
- Create a Group– (Another favorite trick) If you have 1099 income or are working at a small business, generally it only takes two folks to make a group. A group plan pulls you out of the individual pool and many times garners a better and more comprehensive coverage at a better price. Only a solo person? Hire someone that helps and may need coverage too and can help your business!
- Six month Cobra Extension– (New to our bag of tricks) While this technique does not give you permanent full coverage, it may get you far enough on the calendar/age clock to help. Many states have a six month, state supported continuance that adds another six months to your coverage. You need to call your former employer and ask for the extension, if available.
- Employer Qualified Long Term Benefits– In many cases, employees working longer than 10 years and over the age of 50-55 MAY be covered via a group long term health benefit-permanent plan. We have seen several cases where you must ask to get the benefit. Do not be afraid to ask. Also, many of these benefits are only available once, so be very careful in cancelling this coverage for another as you may NEVER have an option to get the coverage again!
- Military Members – USAA- Family members and close relatives may be available for coverage in certain instances.
By now you may have noticed we have not mentioned the basic coverage available to everyone. Generally we have found that these plans are not as comprehensive as the other options. The good news is they are available to all in most cases.
Going without coverage for even a day can open yourself to terrible expense in the worst case scenario!
Hopefully this article may help trigger thought of possible coverage should you be in need!
Have a Great Day!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth