Under 65 Health Insurance

Health insurance before Medicare can help bridge the gap in coverage once you have retired and before you reach age 65. While you may previously have received health insurance coverage from an employer, this may be the first time you are having to look for health insurance for yourself. The process can seem confusing or a tad overwhelming, so we are here to help you through.

Your options before you reach Medicare age include COBRA, Medicaid, short term health insurance, coverage through a part time job, or individual and family health insurance.

COBRA Coverage

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows employees to keep the coverage they had through their employer for 18 months after leaving the company. This is a great option if you are 18 months or less away from reaching age 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare insurance.


Medicaid is a solution for people with low income and limited resources to find affordable health insurance coverage. To qualify for coverage, you would need to meet income and resource limits. If you qualify, this would likely be the cheapest option for you. One downside of this plan is that many doctors do not accept the low compensation from Medicaid, so you may need to switch health care providers under this plan.

Short Term Health Insurance

If you are between jobs or have only a short amount of time before you are accepted into Medicare, a short term health insurance plan may be for you. These plans come with less comprehensive coverage but a lower sticker price than most marketplace health insurance plans.

Individual or Family Health Insurance

When you are looking for health insurance, you will be able to sign up for either individual or family health insurance plans. These are the comprehensive coverage plans that will compare to what you received through your employer. You can sign up for a health insurance plan during the annual open enrollment period each year, which usually is between November 15 and December 15. When you retire, you will likely be eligible for a special enrollment period, which allows you to apply right away at any point in the year.

Health Insurance Marketplace

The place to look for health insurance is the Health Insurance Marketplace, found at HealthCare.gov. Run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, there you can also apply and find out your eligibility for Medicaid and savings programs.

Health Insurance Options and Savings

The type of insurance you purchase before you age into Medicare is going to be similar to what you had when you were covered by your employer. You can compare plans based on their coverage and benefits along with their costs. These measures will vary between plans. Try searching for a plan with coverage in your area or a plan that allows you to keep your same doctor. Different types of plans will have more restrictive networks of providers, and seeing providers within the plan’s network is a good way to save money. 

For more on under 65 health insurance, contact The Coleman Agency.

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