Retirement on the horizon? 5 questions you should ask about health insurance

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Retirement equals lots of exciting plans for many people — as well as worry about transitions, finances and healthcare. What are the options for health insurance for retirees? These insights help you learn more as you start planning. Waking up on your own time clock. Hitting the gym after rush hour has passed. Meeting friends for lunch. If you're getting close to retirement, the good stuff is easy to understand. More complex: figuring out health insurance . Here's what to think about first. 1. When should I start exploring my options? You can enroll in Medicare three months before your 65th birthday month, but give yourself time to learn what the program offers, says Rebecca Kinney, acting director of the Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling for the Administration for Community Living with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Her advice: Dive in six months before your 65th birthday. You'll have a seven-month window to sign up, "but prices chan

Moving? Don't forget to make insurance changes too

Find out if you just transfer insurance to the new address or if you need new coverage.

We all know how stressful moving can be — there's a massive list of tasks. So it's no surprise that making new insurance arrangements might not jump out as your first priority.

But do yourself a favor, don't wait. The process isn't as tough as it seems. Below are a few key questions to investigate about moving and transferring insurance. They don't cover everything, but they should get you going in the right direction.

Have you talked to your agent?

If you're happy with your insurance company, give your agent a call. Your agent should be able to tell you whether you'll need to find a new agent and how to transfer your policies to your new address.

If you want to find a State Farm agent in your new neighborhood, you can use the Find an Agent app to search by ZIP Code. You'll see a map of offices and a list of agent profiles, including contact info.

Can you transfer homeowners insurance?

Talking with an agent is the best way to find out what you'll need to do to get new insurance or transfer your insurance to your new address. Your agent will also help you understand insurance requirements in your new location.
If you're moving between states, keep in mind that insurance coverage varies across states. For example, in California, due to the high frequency of earthquakes, you need to take special precautions to make sure your home is safe and secure in case an earthquake occurs. That's probably not the case in Indiana!
Most state laws require you to have homeowners insurance before you even buy a home. If you're covered by State Farm, you should be able to get a prorated credit from your old homeowners policy when you're signing up for a new one in a new state.

Are your possessions covered while you're moving?

Depending on how you've chosen to move — hired movers, rental truck, a portable container, or DIY in the back of your old Honda — your property may or may not be covered between the time it leaves your home and arrives at its final destination. Some homeowner policies will cover your property everywhere, regardless of whether it's in your home or in a moving truck. Other policies won't cover anything once it's out your door. This is something many people don't think about, so definitely check your policy or call your agent.

If your own insurance policy won't cover your property, you can get coverage through your moving company. By federal law, moving companies have to offer supplemental insurance for your property that will cover a set percentage of replacement costs, but you'll need to increase that amount to get full coverage.

What about moving car insurance?

Different states also have different auto insurance laws, and if you're moving to a new state, you'll need a new auto insurance policy — plain and simple. There are a couple keys to staying covered when moving to another state.

Do not cancel your current auto insurance before moving and getting a new policy. Driving across state lines without auto insurance is not only illegal, but could be monetarily devastating if you're involved in an accident

Do not get new auto insurance until you've moved. The laws and policies in your new state might not match your current ones, and costs can change by state, specific location and commuting distance.

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