How to Navigate ACA Health Insurance Costs in Retirement

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed the landscape of health insurance for many Americans. While the ACA provides subsidies to help low- and middle-income families afford health insurance, those who are not eligible for subsidies may face high premiums. This can be a particular concern for those who are approaching retirement and are no longer eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance.

If you are in your 50s and are planning to retire soon, it is important to understand your health insurance options and how the ACA may affect your costs.

Options for ACA Health Insurance in Retirement

If you are not eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance, you can purchase health insurance through the ACA Marketplace. The ACA Marketplace is a government-run website where you can compare and purchase health insurance plans from private insurers.

Premiums for ACA health insurance plans vary depending on your age, location, and income. If your income is below a certain level, you may be eligible for subsidies to help you afford health insurance.

However, if your income is too high, you will not be eligible for subsidies. This means that you will have to pay the full cost of your health insurance premiums.

Costs of ACA Health Insurance in Retirement

The cost of ACA health insurance premiums can vary significantly. In some cases, premiums can be as high as $800 per month. In addition, you will also have to pay a deductible and out-of-pocket costs.

A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket before your health insurance plan starts to cover your costs. Out-of-pocket costs are the costs you pay for your health care services after you have met your deductible.

ACA health insurance plans must cover a set of essential health benefits. These benefits include doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs. However, the level of coverage for these benefits can vary from plan to plan.

It is important to compare the different plans available in your area and choose a plan that provides the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

How to Reduce the Cost of ACA Health Insurance in Retirement

There are several steps you can take to reduce the cost of ACA health insurance in retirement.

Shop around and compare plans from different insurers. Prices for ACA health insurance plans can vary significantly from insurer to insurer. By shopping around, you can find a plan that fits your needs and budget.
Choose a plan with a higher deductible. Plans with higher deductibles typically have lower premiums. However, it is important to make sure that you can afford to pay the deductible if you need to.
Contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, including deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. You can contribute up to $3,650 to an HSA in 2023 ($7,300 if you are 55 or older).
Consider moving to a state with lower health insurance costs. The cost of ACA health insurance premiums can vary significantly from state to state. By moving to a state with lower health insurance costs, you can save money on your premiums.


The ACA has made it possible for more Americans to get health insurance. However, the cost of ACA health insurance can be high for those who are not eligible for subsidies. By understanding your options and taking steps to reduce costs, you can make sure that you have affordable health insurance in retirement.

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