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However, if you retire before age 62, there may be limited health insurance options. If your employer doesn’t extend health benefits to its retirees, you’ll have to find an alternative source of health insurance. Premiums for health insurance policies available on the marketplace will likely be costly because rates are based on age and health. 

What are the health insurance options for people who retire at 62?

Before you decide to retire at 62, you should examine your three main health insurance choices:

Use employer-sponsored health insurance

You can continue using employer-sponsored group health insurance in two ways. If your employer offers health insurance for early retirees, you may decide to enroll. If you go this route, know exactly what services are covered and for how long. Or you may decide to join your spouse’s employer-sponsored health plan. This option may be more cost-effective and often offers better coverage.

Purchase an individual health insurance policy

If you don’t have access to a group health plan, you can purchase individual health insurance, but be prepared for sticker shock. The premiums for individual policies are based on your age and your medical history. Insurers may consider you a bad risk and refuse to cover you or only agree if you sign a waiver that excludes coverage for pre-existing health conditions.

Elect coverage under COBRA

Another option as an early retiree is to purchase coverage under COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Under COBRA, if you work in a company with 20 or more employees and have group health insurance through that employer, you can continue your health benefits for 18 months after retirement. It won’t be cheap, but it may be cheaper than buying individual health insurance. 

Can I get Obamacare if I retire at 62?

If you retire at age 62, you may be eligible for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The ACA provides health insurance options for individuals who do not have access to employer-sponsored coverage. 

The ACA’s Open Enrollment Period typically occurs each year from November 1st to December 15th. If you retire outside of this period, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, which allows you to enroll in a Marketplace plan within a specific timeframe after experiencing a qualifying life event, such as retirement.

The bottom line

If you’re considering early retirement, understand the health insurance options. Since your employer won’t be paying a majority of your monthly premiums anymore, it’s important to find a plan that suits both your healthcare needs and your budget. You might be eligible for affordable health insurance through the ACA marketplace. Another possibility is being added to your spouse’s employer-sponsored plan.


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Shivani Gite
Contributing Writer


Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions.