|By Diane Stafford, The Kansas City Star|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Insurance providers and financial planners expect the Affordable Care Act to encourage a flood of workplace departures from the 50-to-65 age group, which accounts for about 43 million members of the U.S. labor force.
That's because those not yet eligible for
Obamacare will allow anyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions, to buy health insurance. It's also expected to lower premium costs for the boomer age group, perhaps by hundreds of dollars a month compared with comparable coverage they would buy on their own, assuming they could get it.
"Boomers win in two ways: Their insurance will be more affordable, and they can get it," said
"Don't ask me to tell you who they are, because they don't want their bosses to know they're considering retiring, but they're just waiting for the numbers," McMahon said. "They're waiting to see the prices before deciding to retire."
An employee's cost of coverage in an employer-sponsored health plan may still be the best deal. And premium costs alone won't be the thing that keeps someone on the job or gives a shove out the door. But brokers expect more cost shopping among older workers.
In states that are operating their own exchanges and already have revealed plans and pricing, premiums have been a pleasant surprise to many older comparison shoppers.
There will continue to be private, individual insurance options with insurers that aren't participating on new marketplaces. For many, 2014 premium costs remain to be determined.
But financial planners such as McMahon say potential retirees, who have been paying COBRA costs of, say,
And another potential benefit remains to be discovered: Retirees whose income drops to a certain level may be eligible for government subsidies to help cover the cost of buying insurance through the marketplaces.
The devil, of course, will be in the details. Whether older people continue to see an insurance price break in subsequent years will depend on having enough younger people buy insurance.
Last week's news headlined two more large companies --