Health Insurance and Your Retirement

Perhaps the greatest issue facing retirees is paying for healthcare services. Research suggests that out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare cost retirees an average of $215,000. This is not an insignificant sum considering the average retiree has saved less than $50,000. Knowing this emphasizes the importance of developing a well thought out retirement healthcare strategy. If you are like most people, you dream of retiring early for your travels in Europe. If this is you, one major obstacle will be maintaining healthcare coverage until government sponsored plans are available at age 65. For most people this means purchasing private insurance coverage if you can qualify and taking care of the health by getting other medicines or buy kratom and other supplements online. Once you turn age 65, you automatically qualify for Medicare coverage. Here’s a brief description of all of your options.

The Original Medicare Plan. This is a fee-for-service plan that covers many healthcare services and some drugs although too many drugs are unhealthy if you develop and addiction, so is useful to have a healthcare plan from sites like It allows you to use any physician or hospital that accepts Medicare. You will receive a red, white and blue Medicare identification card which you will present at the time of services. This program is divided into two parts, Part A which covers basic hospital, home care and hospice services and Part B which covers outpatient and doctor bills. Part A is free and Part B is optional and requires a monthly premium. If you plan to choose Part B coverage, be sure to do so when you turn age 65 as premiums rapidly increase the longer you wait. While many services are covered under the Original Medicare Plan Part A & B, there remain significant ‘gaps’ in the coverage including copayments, deductibles and coinsurance.   To address these gaps, the insurance industry developed a product called Medigap Insurance. Medigap Insurance is actually 12 separate standardized policies labeled A through L with varying deductibles and coverage. As you move up the alphabet, the coverage becomes more extensive and premiums cost more. You choose which plan is best for your situation. You cannot be denied Medigap Insurance if you enroll within six months of your start date for Medicare Part B and you are age 65 or older. Beyond this ‘open enrollment period’, you can be denied coverage. You and your spouse must enroll separately. Policies sold after January 1, 2006 don’t include prescription drugs so you will need to purchase Medicare Part D coverage.
Medicare Advantage Plans. Medicare Advantage Plans, also know as Medicare Part C, is an alternative to Original Medicare but covers more services and has less out-of-pocket costs.    Effectively, Medicare Advantage Plans combine Medicare Part A and B and eliminate the need for Medigap Insurance. The negative is that, in many cases, you will be required to use certain physicians, hospitals and services approved under the coverage including HMOs, PPOs, fee-for-service plans and Medicare Special Needs Plans.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. Also known as Medicare Part D, this is a stand-alone prescription drug insurance plan requiring a separate premium payment. A number of plans are available and which plan you choose should be based on the medications you take. To avoid paying a penalty, you should enroll when you first become eligible, which is the 3 months before and after you turn age 65. To do a comparison of the various plans, go to the Resource Center at and click on ‘Medicare Part D Drug Plans’.
For more general information about Medicare, go to