Options for Health Care Insurance during Retirement

Q&A with a Reader


Enjoying the newsletters.

My wife and I are planning to retire next spring and are in our mid-50s.

We are wondering what are the options for health care insurance? We constantly hear that healthcare will be the most expensive item in retirement. We want to have insurance, like we do now, but of course don’t want to pay thousands every month/year unnecessarily.

I believe we can do Cobra through my wife’s employer, for a year or so, but what after that? And that’s ridiculously expensive, there’s got to be something less expensive.  Then what after Cobra (if we go that way to start)?


Bill & Kim

Hi Bill and Kim,

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Health insurance in the States has been a conundrum for a long time. Different people deal with it in different ways – meaning –

* It depends on the state of your health (chronic disease, pre-existing conditions)

* What state in the US you live in (prices vary)

* If you tend to utilize complimentary medicines and practices (acupuncture, acupressure, exercise, meditation, yoga, herbs, visualization, preventative care, naturopathic, homeopathic, bioresonance, etc.)  before you go the Western style of care

* If you are open to medical tourism – this is a range from eye glasses, dental work, or full on surgeries. (Top 10 Q&A for Medical Tourism)

* If you choose a full plan or one with a large deductible

* If you get connected to doctors who take cash instead of insurance (Surgery Center of Oklahoma for instance)

* If you join a health ministry

* If you do things like purchase prescriptions out of pocket, use telemedicine or other ways to keep your health costs low.

These are all personal choices and there is no one-size-fits-all. There is no one “right” answer. It depends on your health, your approach to health care, your risk tolerance, and how you want to control your costs and customize your access to health care.

Below are several articles we have written, plus some web pages that you might want to take a look at for more information.

It’s also good to remember, that at your age of being in the mid-50s, you only have to get through the next 10 years or so, until you qualify for Medicare.

Going Naked

Buying Medical Care Versus Buying Medical Insurance

Cancer Treatment in Guatemala

Orthopedic Care in Guatemala

Also you can check out these websites, which oversee: Central America SurgeryCentral American Dental, and Central America Doctors.

I would also recommend our Medical Insurance Page for more information.

Let us know if you have further questions.

Best! and enjoy your upcoming retirement!

Akaisha and Billy

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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