If you retire from your career, don't take your health insurance benefits for granted, especially where the company made provisions in the past for retirees. In fact, retiree medical benefits are on the chopping block everywhere. Because as we age, our healthcare needs increase. And more claims mean higher rates for group health plans.
Even active employees are being reclassified as independent contractors and losing their health insurance status.
In 2005, only 33% of companies of 200 or more workers offer retiree health insurance, that's down from 66% in 1988. As you get older, health insurance premiums also rise.
Want to retire before age 65, when you qualify for Medicare?
If you are lucky enough to still have a job, delay retirement and stay with the same company. You could still be downsized but you'll at least have benefits until that time.
Try to enroll in the younger spouse's health plan.
If you belong to a professional group or chamber of commerce, they may offer health insurance.
Consider a high deductible plan, which for many is the only economical option. they often cover routine checkups and wellness visits. Shop around by getting health insurance quotes at the top in the zip code box.
Change jobs instead of retiring. This is harder to do now that more workers are competing for the same jobs. Especially younger workers who are willing to work for less and don't need health insurance like the older crowd.
Self insure, which basically means using clinics and paying with cash. Retirees may need anywhere $250,000 or more to pay their own health care expenses.
Start eating healthier, working out and losing weight. Stop drinking and smoking if you do those now.
Put money into an HSA or a save cash to cover health-care costs.
With some planning, your retirement can still be golden, even if the economy is not.