Affordable health insurance for the self-employed and early retirees?

I intend to retire early, and thus one of the challenges my family will face is what to do about health insurance until we’re 65 and can enroll in medicare. We have one kid already, and thus will need care for ourselves as well as children. We’ll have too much money to qualify for a subsidized Affordable Care Act (ACA aka Obamacare) insurance plan, and as of 2020 catastrophic health insurance is at least $1,000 per month for a family, and offers crappy coverage and high deductibles on top of the tens of thousands in premiums we’d pay.

On the plus side, we have been saving a good chunk in an HSA, which I recommend everyone take advantage of while working, so we can at least use that for out-of-pocket expenses.

One of us could work at least part-time to get subsidized insurance benefits. Another intriguing option is Direct Primary Care, where you pay a monthly fee (say, $100 or so) per month for primary care doctor’s visits and basic services (which might cost extra). DPC avoids insurance altogether, making both your life and your doctor’s easier.

While a DCP would cover the basics like labs, check ups, vaccinations, and maybe even bone-setting, what about surgery or other low-probability but extremely expensive hazards? To handle that, take a look at ‘health sharing’, an insurance-like membership plan to will reimburse you for health expenses after a (large-ish) deductible. Think of it as simpler, cheaper catastrophic health insurance, which you get a discount on if you also belong to a DPC.

Until I do more of my own homework, I’ll let my favorite financial blogger Mr. Money Mustache explain the DPC + Health Sharing concept, complete with links to find providers of both that you can check out for your own needs.

Recommendations

Mr. Money Mustache recommends Sedera for health sharing. For Direct Primary Care, try this map to find a provider near you.

You can compare the pricing & services providing by this combo of plans to traditional private health insurance by getting a quote at ehealthinsurance.com, and also search healthcare.gov for the health insurance exchange options.

Author: Ward Williams

Personal finance blogger with an interest in saving, investing, and learning new skills and doing things for myself & others!

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