If you are considering early retirement, but not eligible for Medicare, you may be hesitant to leave your job because of health insurance. If this is the case, you may want to consider your options through the individual Health Insurance Marketplace®, or Healthcare.gov.
The Open Enrollment Period for Marketplace plans takes place annually in the fall for the next calendar year. But even after Open Enrollment ends, coverage is available when you experience a Qualifying Life Event.
With a Qualifying Event, you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period if you lost your employer-based insurance, if you’ve retired, if you’re newly self-employed, or you expect to leave your job in the next 60 days.
Retiring alone doesn’t qualify you for the Special Enrollment Period, but losing health insurance does. If you lost health insurance when you retired, you have 60 days to enroll in a health plan outside Open Enrollment.
The loss of your coverage counts as a Qualifying Event even if you have the option to continue your coverage with COBRA. In fact, a plan through the Marketplace can be a lot more affordable than COBRA.
- If you decide not to take COBRA coverage, you can enroll in a Marketplace plan instead.
- If you’ve already started COBRA coverage, you may have other options.
If you have retiree health insurance, you can buy a Marketplace plan instead. However, you won’t be able to get premium tax credits and other savings in the Marketplace. If you voluntarily drop your retiree health coverage, you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Visit Healthcare.gov to learn more about health insurance options for retirees.
See if you qualify
There are other situations that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. To see if you qualify, and to find out if you can enroll in or change a plan, visit Healthcare.gov, then:
- Create an account or log into an existing account to apply and enroll.
- Preview plans and prices based on your income.
You may be asked to submit documents to confirm the loss of coverage.
We’re here for you.
Deciding which plan is best for you can be a big decision. We’re here to help you navigate by clearly explaining the coverage in terms you can understand. View plans at BCBSKS.com/cares or call us at 866-679-7824.