Costs for health insurance coverage vary depending if an individual is paying for single coverage or for coverage that includes a spouse or partner. Coverage can vary also on whether couples are married or in retirement. After obtaining coverage, couples may struggle to pay the monthly premiums for the policy.
Couples that are retired are likely to spend more on health insurance costs than couples that are currently working, as only one-third of retirees are able to maintain employer-provided health coverage. Couples that are retired may need to spend more out-of-pocket for certain types of expenses that can erode retirement savings at a fast pace. The average retired couple lacking health coverage needed $225,000 to cover the costs of medical care in retirement.
Many baby boomers are nearing the age at which many of them will begin to retire. Couples in this situation have various options available to reduce the costs paid for health care. One option is to plan for long-term care coverage by looking at various types of health plans such as a shared care plan. This type of plan uses a special rider to allow one spouse to receive benefits from the other. Costs for this type of policy are cheaper when individuals are younger and before a policy is needed.
Couples have many options available to maximize the benefits that are available with various health insurance plans. One good way to maximize benefits is to have a spouse added as a dependent on a health insurance policy. This will eliminate the need to obtain an additional health insurance policy if the other spouse lacks health benefits. Adding a spouse as a dependent can also eliminate some costs, especially if one spouse has a better health insurance package available.
Couples that are unmarried are going to have considerable higher health care costs than couples that are married. This is because individuals that are not married can have health insurance taxed as income. Non-married couples can pay up to $1,000 a month for one partner to receive the health insurance benefits of the other. An individual health insurance policy may be cheaper depending on the cost of coverage.
Domestic partnerships such as same-sex couples face many challenges with the cost of health insurance. One reason is that not many employers provide additional health benefits for domestic partnerships. This is beginning to change, but an individual policy may need to be purchased for a partner that does not have coverage available through an employer. This can add an additional $300 to $400 a month to the costs of insurance for a couple in a partnership.