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January 9, 2015
Time to Call it a Career?
 
Whether it's due to retirement or other reasons, sometimes people need to leave their careers on hold without another one to take its place.

What happens now? Perhaps your savings is okay, but what about health insurance? 

The decision to leave the workforce should be taken seriously, with considerations including health insurance given deep thought. As the article Retiring early? Here's what to know about your health insurance options shows...
 
Health Benefits Do Matter
When you leave your company, you're also leaving your health insurance. Yes, there are other ways to maintain a health plan, but often insurance within your company is your best option. When you have insurance with your company, they are paying a big chunk of the plan. Because they've gotten a group deal for the employees, it's more cost effective than an individual plan. You may want to think twice about leaving if you don't have a backup insurance plan.

But what are some of the backup plans?

Among the ideas:
 
You can get on your spouse's insurance
If you have a working spouse, your best bet is probably to get on his or her insurance plan. This can probably be done during an open enrollment period, or you may be able to go ahead and do it without waiting for open enrollment since the cause is retirement. Who knows? His or her plan may be better than your original one, and you've got an easy solution.
 
COBRA
COBRA is a law that allows those leaving jobs to continue insurance from an employer and is often used when people are switching jobs, whether voluntarily or after being let go. COBRA can be very pricey, though, and you'll end up paying a lot in out-of-pocket premiums. However, if you need it, you need it, and it's a good option out there. It is better than going without.
 
Medicare and Medigap
If you over 65, you can enroll in Medicare, which will help with a lot of your healthcare costs. However, it won't cover everything, and probably won't be as much as you got when you were working. There is Medigap, which you can add on, and this can cover some of the expenses not touched by Medicare.
 
Remember, health insurance covers a lot of what you need, and unfortunately, the older you get, the more healthcare you'll be dealing with, from doctor's appointments to procedures and treatment and from screenings and tests to prescriptions.

The cost of these things can become exorbitant, so even if you are paying a lot for health insurance, you'll probably be coming out better than if you didn't have it. Insurance on prescriptions alone can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, per year.

For some, the prospect of providing their own health insurance is enough to keep them employed long past retirement age.

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Heather Legg is an Atlanta-based independent writer who covers career and business topics, including social media, small business, personal finance, and brick and mortar business degrees and getting an online degree in business


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