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5 Ways to Get Help with Healthcare During Retirement

Navigating healthcare options during retirement can be daunting, prompting many to delay their retirement just to maintain coverage. Whether you're considering retirement between ages 60-64 and seeking insurance pre-Medicare, or stepping into retirement at 65 and exploring Medicare options, it's essential to determine the right plan tailored to your needs. While a quick Google search may seem like the easiest route, many find themselves overwhelmed by the intricate details and nuances of these insurance systems. This can lead to confusion and misaligned expectations. At Local Medicare Specialists, our goal is to simplify this process. Today, we’ll give you five strategies to secure expert guidance in choosing the best healthcare path for your retirement.

man with head down, holding up sign that says "help" with healthcare during retirement

1. Bridging the Gap Before Medicare Kicks In 

One of the primary concerns for those considering early retirement is the challenge of transitioning from employer-based health coverage to Medicare. Numerous solutions cater to this specific need. A good starting point is the Federally Facilitated Marketplace's certified agent finder. While marketplace plans might not always be the ideal choice, partnering with an agent skilled in presenting them is crucial. For a well-rounded perspective, we at Local Medicare Specialists recommend consulting with at least two such agents to weigh and compare their proposed solutions.

2. Fee-Based Consultations 

It's a valid concern for many that commission-based consultants might be biased toward particular plans due to their compensation structures. While in our experience this is rarely the case, we recognize and respect these concerns. Luckily, there are consultants who operate on a fee-based model, foregoing commissions. Furthermore, many traditionally commission-based agents are flexible and can switch to a fee-based approach if that aligns better with your preferences. This allows you to tap into the expertise of established agents while ensuring objective, unbiased guidance. At Local Medicare Specialists, we emphasize transparency and trust in all our consultations.

3. Direct Insights from Medicare 

Over the years, the tool provided by has evolved to become a valuable resource, especially when selecting a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. However, for those looking into Medigap plans, its use might be a tad limited. If you're not in the market for a Medicare Advantage plan, it would be best to talk to a local insurance agent to guide you toward the Medigap plan that best fits your needs.

4. Work with an Independent Agent

While turning to Google can be helpful when searching for an agent, it also poses the risk of your details being trapped in a lead-generating system, leading to numerous agents reaching out to you, which will be overwhelming and frustrating. Instead, consider using Google to identify a local, independent agent and then reach out to them directly. 

It's advisable to chat with two or three agents, be it virtually or face-to-face. At Local Medicare Specialists, we emphasize the importance of ensuring your chosen agent has completed the AHIP (an annual certification for Medicare agents) and holds a valid life and health insurance license in your state.

5. State Health Insurance Programs 

Many states have partnered with nonprofit organizations to offer residents annual consultations for their Part D prescription drug plan and other insurance options. These entities provide unbiased guidance, ensuring there's no undue influence in steering your choices. However, a word of caution from us at Local Medicare Specialists: such organizations might experience frequent staff changes, potentially affecting the consistency of expertise. Additionally, due to high demand, especially during the Annual Election Period, they might be overwhelmed. So, while their advice is valuable, it's essential to be aware of these potential challenges.

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We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area which are United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Centene, Devoted, and Scan. Please contact, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.

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