Navigating Health Insurance for Couples Retiring Together

Retiring is a significant life event that brings many changes, including the need for comprehensive health insurance coverage. Couples who are not married may face unique challenges in securing affordable and reliable healthcare after retirement. In this blog, we will explore the implications of retiring as a significant other and discuss strategies to address healthcare coverage.

The Challenges of Health Insurance for Unmarried Couples

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), unmarried couples cannot be covered under the same plan. This means that both partners will need to purchase individual health insurance plans. The cost of these plans can vary widely depending on factors such as age, income, and health status.

Options for Health Insurance Coverage

There are several options available for unmarried couples seeking health insurance coverage:

ACA Marketplace: The ACA Marketplace, also known as, offers a variety of health insurance plans from different providers. Individuals can compare plans based on cost, coverage, and provider networks. Income-based subsidies are available to help lower the cost of premiums.
Private Market: Couples can purchase individual health insurance plans directly from private insurance companies. These plans may offer more flexibility and coverage options than ACA plans, but they can also be more expensive.
Employer-Sponsored Coverage: If one partner is employed, they may be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance. This can be a cost-effective option if the coverage is comprehensive and the employer offers family coverage.

Financial Considerations

The cost of health insurance can be a significant financial burden, especially for couples who are not working. It is important to carefully consider the following factors:

Income: Couples should determine if they have enough income to cover the cost of two individual health insurance plans.
Assets: Couples with substantial assets may consider using savings or investments to help pay for health insurance premiums.
Tax Implications: Health insurance premiums can be tax-deductible for self-employed individuals and those who purchase plans through the ACA Marketplace.

Legal Considerations

Unmarried couples should consider the following legal implications related to health insurance:

Domestic Partnerships: Some states recognize domestic partnerships and allow couples to be covered under the same health insurance plan.
Power of Attorney: Couples may want to grant each other power of attorney to make health care decisions on their behalf in case of illness.
Estate Planning: It is important to have a comprehensive estate plan that addresses health care directives and end-of-life decisions.


Securing health insurance coverage for unmarried couples can be challenging, but it is essential for ensuring access to quality healthcare in retirement. By understanding the available options and carefully considering financial and legal implications, couples can make informed decisions that will protect their health and well-being. It is advisable to consult with a health insurance broker or financial advisor for personalized guidance and support.

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