If you’re planning to retire before age 65, or are already retired and finding it challenging to maintain affordable health insurance coverage, you’ve got options.

The ACA has made it much easier to keep health insurance coverage during retirement, especially for people who were previously having difficulty with pre-existing medical conditions or limited finances.

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for Medicare or financial help to pay for private insurance.

If you’re planning to retire before age 66, you should talk with your employer about Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act  options if they offer them. COBRA allows you to continue to use your employer’s health insurance for a specific period View the blog of time. Alternatively, you can shop for marketplace policies, such as those offered by Anthem. However, marketplace plans are generally more expensive for seniors than those offered by their employers, and costs can vary based on the plan tier you choose.

Typically, premiums are higher for retirees because they’re considered older and at a greater risk of costly health care. Some of these plans also carry higher deductibles than those for younger individuals, which can increase your upfront out-of-pocket costs. It’s important to carefully consider your needs and financial resources when selecting a plan, but remember that even the most expensive ACA plans have affordable options for seniors.

You can explore your healthcare options through the New York State of Health Marketplace, where you can compare a variety of plans and insurers to find the best one for you. During the open enrollment period each fall, you can review your plan options and make changes. It’s important to do this annually, as your income might change and affect your eligibility for subsidies.

Many retirees are also eligible for supplemental Medicare Advantage or Part D insurance, which can cover things like prescription drugs, dental care and eyeglasses. These plans can be significantly more cost-effective than the traditional Medicare Part A and B. However, you must be careful not to lose your Medicare Part A and B benefits if you switch to these supplemental plans.

An experienced health insurance agent can help you navigate your options by asking about your existing doctors and medications and evaluating your budget. They can help you decide which supplemental Medicare plan options are the most cost-effective for your unique situation. You can also get help from your local SHIP, which provides volunteers to explain your options and assist with the enrollment process. It’s also important to note that if you drop your retiree health insurance and shop for a marketplace plan, you forfeit any premium tax credits or subsidies you might be eligible for, so it’s best to do this only if necessary.