Obamacare: finding best option for near-retiree

Help! … on best ideas for a health insurance company for a healthy, non-working, near retirement person?

Living in Maine

Dear Living in Maine,

The first thing you need to know is that healthcare.gov — also called the “exchange” or “marketplace” — is the only place that you can get subsidies (government help) to buy your health insurance.  If your income is less than 400% of Federal Poverty ($45,960 for a household of one person), then you could get subsidies to help pay for your health insurance.

You can head there and find your way through the application and selection process.  It will give you plain language summaries of the plans, calculate your subsidy, and execute your enrollment.  Even if you do not qualify for a subsidy, you can use the website to look at your options.  Your options are the same whether you buy with subsidies or not.

Since you are nearing retirement, you might want to consider consulting a health insurance broker or financial planner.  Only a licensed health insurance broker can give you advice on which plan meets your needs, and help you maximize your opportunities.  You may have ways to manage your income so that your subsidies will be higher, for example.  Ask your friends for suggestions or find a broker on the National Association of Health Underwriters’ directory.

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.