Losing your group health insurance

by Jerrold Bartholomew

Many seniors receive group health insurance coverage from their spouse’s retirement plan. What many seniors don’t realize is that losing one’s spouse can also mean losing that group health insurance coverage. For seniors on a fixed income, the additional health insurance premium can be an unpleasant surprise. This article from AARP explains that there are several options when group health coverage is lost. First, check into COBRA coverage. It might be possible to extend the less expensive group policy that was available under your spouse’s employer. Second, your rights under HIPAA may allow you to continue coverage from one group policy to the next. Third, it may be that you belong to an organization of some kind that will allow you to get group coverage, such as a local chamber of commerce. If all else fails, you may need to get individual coverage. Be sure to check all of your options and to speak with an insurance agent that you trust.

The loss of group coverage for health insurance could have a significant impact on your cash-flow and monthly budgeting in retirement. Your estate plan should take into account the possible need for individual health coverage in the future and the anticipated costs of meeting that need.

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