Retirement Planning, Health Insurance and Life Insurance: What You Need to KnowOctober 4, 2016
When we think about retirement, many of us imagine finally putting our feet up or not having to set that alarm. Relaxing, enjoying our hobbies, and spending time with our families top the list of preferred activities. We don’t spend a lot of time daydreaming about the insurance coverage we’ll have when once we’re finished working. However, as you do your retirement planning, you should also consider the health insurance and life insurance options available to you.
Will Your Group Plan Coverage Extend to Your Retirement?
Retirement planning can be complex. There are often many considerations, including whether we’ll be able to maintain the health insurance we currently have from our employers. Speak to your employer early on in your retirement planning to confirm whether you’ll still have access to your current level of coverage.
Some employers stop providing coverage upon retirement, and some change the amount they will cover. For instance, if your company insurance plan currently includes dental or drug benefit supplements, will you still be able to access those benefits into retirement, or will you only have access to the basic level of coverage? If you do have access, will the costs increase?
Have you considered what will happen if you speak to your employer and determine that your coverage will change once you’re retired? If this does happen, all you need to do is put your own coverage in place. Below, we’ve outlined what to consider when researching your own health insurance and life insurance options once your days of working 9 to 5 are over.
Will You Need Health Insurance?
Some insurance providers, like Blue Cross, allow you to flip your Blue Cross group benefits plan into individual coverage when you are no longer covered by your employer’s plan. With a Conversion Personal Health Plan from Blue Cross, you won’t have to undergo a new medical examination, so you won’t need to worry about any pre-existing conditions that were already covered by your group plan. All you need to do is apply within 30 days of your group coverage ending.
If you’re unsure about your current plan extending into retirement and want to be proactive about your coverage, you can apply for an Assured Access plan to run alongside your current coverage. Once you’ve been medically qualified, you and your family will be able to convert your plan into an Elements plan when your employment situation changes—even if that happens before you retire. If you have Assured Access in place, you won’t need to medically qualify again for Elements coverage, and you’ll be able to access and customize the generous levels of health, prescription drug and dental benefits provided in this plan.
To apply for Assured Access, you need to:
- Be under 64
- Have been covered by your current group insurance for at least 12 months
- Pass a medical exam
What About Life Insurance?
All plans are different, but in many cases you will have the option to convert the life insurance you have now with your group plan to an individual plan. In fact, in many cases, you won’t even have to provide evidence of insurability. Just like with a health insurance plan, you’ll need to make the swap within 30 days of the end of your group policy. You will then be able to convert your plan into a similar plan offered by the insurance company.
Retirement Planning Doesn’t Have to be Hard
Don’t put off planning for your retirement until it’s too late! Get in touch with us today to find out what your best options are. We can also help you outline what you need to ask your employer to ensure you don’t have a lapse in your coverage. Don’t lose out on the health insurance you’ve been relying on or the life insurance plan you put in place to protect your loved ones—schedule a consultation today!