Skip to Content
Older couple dancing at party symbolizing that they are enjoying retirement.
Retirement Planning

Healthcare in retirement

If you are ready to retire but know you will not have healthcare benefits once entering retirement, research your retirement healthcare options such as COBRA, private exchange or Medicare.

Many employers are doing away providing health benefits for their employees who retire. So if you're thinking about retiring early, you may need to come up with a plan to cover your health care expenses.

If this is the case, you'll have two options: to secure coverage through a private health insurance plan, or to opt for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, more commonly referred to as COBRA. Either way, funding your own health care benefits can be costly if you don't plan for them in advance.

With COBRA, you can actually extend your health insurance coverage for 18 months after you leave your job. And although the application can be relatively easy to apply for, the premium for this type of continuation coverage often comes with a very high price tag. A more affordable choice may be to find and pay for a private plan. However, it's in your best interest to do some shopping to compare coverage, rates, deductibles and coinsurance before deciding on a policy.

Up until now, we've been talking about health care options for retiring early. If you decide to wait and retire at age 65, then you'll have a third option for Medicare coverage. Now, you'll still have premium payments to make, but waiting can be a less costly option than individual insurance (especially if you're in poor health) compared to a private healthcare plan or COBRA.

For more information on budgeting for retirement and how to retire early, visit the Protective Learning Center.



Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

A group of millennials eating and laughing together as they discuss their retirement savings plans.

Retirement directions for millennials

Learn more
A senior couple enjoys lunch with their daughter.

Top 5 retirement concerns you can't afford to ignore

Learn more
African American woman in a conference room, studying something on her laptop.

Retirement planning advice to avoid

Learn more

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.