Cheaper Health Insurance Before Medicare? Ep # 194 

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By Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® and Benjamin Brandt CFP®. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Are you one of the many that are being held back from early retirement by the exorbitant cost of health insurance? If so, you won't want to miss this episode. This week’s retirement headline comes from Carolyn McClanahan at AdvisorPerspectives.com and it outlines the enhanced health insurance subsidies that stem from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

You’ll want to stick around for the listener questions segment if you are a fan of retirement podcasts. I have a treat for you all as I crowdsource the answer to John’s question about asset location. Listen in to hear 4 different answers from voices that you may recognize.

Outline of This Episode
  • [2:12] Could the American Rescue Plan be the answer to your health care before Medicare question?
  • [5:05] What do you need to do to act?
  • [8:49] An asset location question from John
  • [10:01] Peter Lazaroff’s answer
  • [12:02] Roger Whitney’s answer
  • [15:45] Taylor Schulte answer
  • [18:44] Chad Smith’s answer
Could the ARP be the answer to your health care before Medicare question?

The number one issue that holds back potential retirees from retiring early is how to find affordable health care before Medicare. If this sounds like you, then the American Rescue Plan may have the solution that you have been waiting for. Carolyn McClanahan's article is geared toward financial advisors, but we’ll take a look at it and see if the ARP could help you solve this common problem.

How can the ARP help lower the cost of health insurance?

With the ARP, you may now be eligible for enhanced health insurance subsidies. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies have been limited to those with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of less than 400% of the poverty level. However, the ARP has lifted these levels with a credit that is based on the cost of the second-cheapest silver plan available in any person’s given area. Unlike the previous credit under the ACA, it isn’t suddenly wiped out when someone’s income jumps over the income limit. Instead, it is phased out gradually.

What do you need to do to qualify?

To qualify, you must purchase your health insurance via www.healthcare.gov. The open enrollment period lasts through August 15, and the tax credits apply only for the months a person is using a plan from the ACA. Therefore, the sooner you apply, the more savings you will receive.

Additionally, anyone who has received even one week of unemployment benefits in 2021 and is without access to affordable insurance through a family member will qualify for a silver plan at no premium cost. They also will qualify for cost-sharing subsidies to help lower their deductible.

You can utilize the calculators at www.healthcare.gov or the Kaiser Family Foundation to determine your tax credit amount. States that have opted out of the healthcare marketplace may operate differently, so you’ll want to work with a local health insurance agent to help you navigate the process.

The ARP also offers COBRA subsidies

If you lose employer-based coverage due to job loss or reduction in hours, the ARP provides COBRA premium subsidies from April 1 to September 30, 2021. After that, you can continue coverage at full cost. It is important for you to weigh whether you should accept this benefit or choose an exchange-based plan. Will take advantage of the benefits offered in the ARP to retire early?

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