Life-Changing

This week, I want to talk about insurance and life-changing events.

What a lot of people do not consider when they’re going to have a life change event is how their health insurance is going to be affected.

What do I mean by this?

If you work for an employer, and you’re going to still be working for the same employer, but you’re going to move somewhere else, you’re probably not going to have a change in health insurance.

But if you’re planning on retiring before your Medicare age, or, if you’re moving from one state to another, (and sometimes even if you’re moving from zip code to zip code within a state), getting married, getting divorced, or having a baby — all those are life-changing events that could affect your health insurance. For people who have always had employer health insurance and are now retiring early, remember you are not eligible for Medicare until you are 65, and would have to find alternative health insurance plans.

I’m finding that lately, I’m talking to more and more people who don’t take the effects of these changes into consideration when they’re planning a life change event. And it’s super important to factor this in especially if you’re retiring early.

I’ve recently talked to three people, just this last week and a half who were retiring early and did not realize what their options were for health insurance outside of their employer. When planning for your retirement, it is also important to consider the costs to expect with healthcare. You need to consider whether you stick on a plan like COBRA, or whether you choose to go to the Marketplace (which can be expensive for early retirees moving from employer-based insurance plans) because some people do get a subsidy and others do not. If your income is changing drastically, it could be a win in terms of subsidies, but it might not. The key is being prepared.

The other big shocker in terms of people being unaware, is the life change of moving states. Health insurance is different from state to state. So in Texas, there are no PPO plans on the Marketplace, for example, and a lot of people are surprised by that because they’ve come from a state that had more options or had their own exchange. They’re often surprised when they find out how limited their choices are in Texas, compared to the state that they were in previously.

I’m licensed in many states, not all the states, but I can quote and look at plans in all the states to see what plan options are available, and at least give you that information. This allows you to factor it in when making your choice of moving to a different state or at least budgeting for whatever it is that’s going to happen.

If you have recently or know of a life-changing event that is coming, please feel free to reach out to me.

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Austin, Texas

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