Health coverage for retirees
If you’re retired and need health coverage, you can use the Marketplace to buy an insurance plan.
If you have retiree health coverage, you have different choices to consider.
If you retire before age 65 without health coverage
If you retire before you’re 65 and lose your job-based health plan when you do, you can use the Health Insurance Marketplace® to buy a plan.
Losing health coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can enroll in a health plan even if it’s outside the annual
If you want to enroll because you lost your job-based coverage, see our Special Enrollment Period page for more information.
When you fill out a Marketplace application, you'll find out if you qualify for a private plan with premium tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs. This will depend on your income and household size.
You’ll also find out if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through the Medicaid program in your state.
If you have retiree health benefits
If you have retiree coverage and want to buy a Marketplace plan instead, you can. But:
You can’t get premium tax credits and other savings based on your income. This is true only if you’re actually enrolled in retiree coverage. If you’re eligible for but not enrolled in retiree coverage, you may qualify for premium tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs based on your household size and income.
If you voluntarily drop your retiree coverage, you won ’t qualify for a
More answers: Coverage for retirees without Medicare
Yes. You can get a Marketplace plan to cover you before your Medicare begins. You can then cancel the Marketplace plan once your Medicare coverage starts.
You may be able to buy insurance in the Marketplace and get lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs based in your household size and income.
- If you have retiree insurance, see “If you have retiree health benefits”.
- If you don’t have retiree insurance or Medicare, you have the same insurance choices and responsibilities as anyone else who’s self-employed.
Yes. Losing job-based coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can enroll in a health plan outside of
Generally, yes. Learn more about reporting income from retirement savings funds from the IRS (PDF). See pages 24 and 25.
- If your COBRA coverage runs out outside Special Enrollment Period. This means you can enroll in a Marketplace plan outside the annual Open Enrollment Period.
- But you can’t choose to drop your COBRA coverage outside Open Enrollment and enroll in a Marketplace plan instead. The Special Enrollment Period applies only if your COBRA coverage runs out.
- During the annual Open Enrollment Period, you can drop your COBRA coverage even if it’s not running out and replace it with a Marketplace plan.
Learn more about switching to Marketplace coverage from COBRA.