How health insurance works if you retire younger than age 65
If you retire with at least 10 years of eligible service credit and you do not meet the Rule of 80 at the time of retirement, you will have access to health insurance under certain conditions.
Retired under age 65 directly from active employment
You become eligible for health insurance on the first of the month following your 65th birthday without evidence of insurability. You must elect health insurance before the first day of the calendar month following your 65th birthday. If your 65th birthday falls on the first day of a month, the effective date will still be the first of the following month.
Retired at or over age 65 from non-contributing status
You are subject to a health coverage waiting period (terminated employment prior to retirement). Evidence of insurability is not required. Your health coverage will begin on the first of the month following the 60th day of your retirement date. If the 60th day falls on the first day of a month, your coverage starts on that day.
If you retire before age 65, you may be eligible for up to 18 months of COBRA coverage. In addition, a retiree and his or her dependents are eligible for GBP Interim Insurance until age 65. Premiums for interim insurance are much higher than COBRA premiums, and retirees and dependents who are not yet eligible for Medicare might find alternatives on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. Interim rates (September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019) for HealthSelect of Texas are:
- Member Only - $1,743.28
- Member + Spouse - $3,748.08
- Member + Child - $3,085.60
- Member + Family - $5,090.40