Our Plan for Health Insurance in Early Retirement

Wow, it’s getting real. I have less than 30 days of full time work left before entering the next phase of our early retirement plan!

The general sentiment in our house is one of excitement. However, I would be lying if I said that there were also not moments of fear and doubt.

One item has created more fear and doubt than any other. There is tremendous uncertainty in our health care system and our personal health, which makes planning very difficult.

I wrote a post for Can I Retire Yet? outlining how we are planning to tackle this challenge in a way that gets us over our fears, while not over exposing ourselves to excessive risks. Click here to read the full article.

How are you tackling the challenges that come with planning around the unpredictability of our health care system and our personal health? Share your thoughts below.

11 comments on Our Plan for Health Insurance in Early Retirement

  1. This is one of the primary reasons I am still working for someone else… Fortunately I am healthy… and I am very physically active on a daily basis. I am wondering how to best manage that when the time comes to stop working full time. My portfolio is a somewhat comfortable $950K, but there are a lot of unknowns.. I just keep pluggin along and enjoying things where I can..

    Chiming in because I’d like to hear what others have to say about their approach and thoughts to health insurance in early retirement.

    1. Agree with your approach of doing what we can (diet, exercise, stress reduction, etc) to maintain and improve our health, but at the end of the day there are many factors we can not control completely (environment, genetics, etc). That is part of the uncertainty, and IMO calls for great flexibility.

  2. Our plan is to stay abreast of what is on the exchange. Yep, it’ll change, sure it could all go private and back to pre-ACA days, and if that’s the case, we’ll adjust accordingly, just not sure exactly how yet. Mrs. SSC plans to teach for the first few years into our ER, so I’ll use her insurance until she quits. Since we have 2 more years until I lose my insurance, we figure something will get figured out in 4 more years right? I mean there’s a presidential election in 3 more years, and if those monkeys haven’t figured out anything by 2019, whomever gets elected will most likely make fixing/replacing/updating ACA a ‘yuge part of their platform, lol. They just might actually follow thru with it. Currently, though, we’re at a wait and see approach.

    1. It is definitely frustrating for anyone in our situation, as this is the risk most likely to destroy our finances, and also the one that we have the least control over. I don’t see this being a situation that is going to ever be fixed politicially until we start talking about the actual problems (why costs keep increasing at such a great rate, for sub-par results), rather than the current political back and forth around who will pay for this broken system.

  3. This is the most difficult issue for those seeking the RE portion of FIRE. Thanks, Chris, for an in depth look at the thought process of someone going into early retirement.

    1. Hi Bre,

      We researched HSM to understand how they work as an alternative to insurance and just looked at a few to see what prices roughly were. We are looking at this as a back up option for down the road. This is because about three years ago, my wife was recruited for what has turned out to be as close to a dream job as she could have. This made the idea of a traditional retirement much less appealing to her, as she actually loves her work and we have the bonus of being able to get our health care through her job (at least for now).

      Have you actually used Medi-Share? If so, I am always interested in hearing from people as to how it has worked for them compared to traditional insurance.

      1. I did, I was a traveling OT for three years and health insurance wasn’t covered by my travel company. I don’t have a lot of health issues so I opted for a high deductible- I paid $130/ month (for just me). And everything was out of pocket up to $5000- after that I was 100% covered. I thankfully only needed to use medi-share a few times. Every time I did though, the medical facilities worked with medi-share and I often got a discount on services.

        They offer other plans also- a travel PT opted to pay ~$80/ month and pay out of pocket the first $10,000. And there were more the other way also- I think there was one where you pay $250/month and only pay $500 out of pocket.

        It was perfect for me in that season.

        Congrats to your wife on the dream job!! 🙂

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