Skip to main content

Author: HummingbirdinsAdmin

Early Retirement Considerations

When you are still younger than 65, when you become eligible for Medicare benefits, that is considered early retirement. Men typically retire at an average age of 64, while women generally retire at around 62 years of age. Retiring before the usual retirement age of 65 can be thrilling and provide you with something to look forward to. However, whether you want to travel, try new activities, or simply start a new chapter in your life, you’ll need a strategy for early retirement. Knowing what’s possible as you approach retirement age is essential, so let’s talk about the specifics to consider.

Considerations for Early Retirement

While there is evidence that working longer makes you healthier and happier, there is also evidence that suggests the opposite. The National Bureau of Economic Research has determined that “retirement enhances both health and life satisfaction,” in part due to the number of persons compelled to retire due to health problems.

The biggest problem, though, is ensuring that you have enough assets to provide a sufficient level of money coming in that will last for the rest of your life so that you’re prepared to live comfortably without a wage. In the United States, the average lifetime is just under 79 years. If you retire at 55, you’ll need to put up at least 24 years’ worth of salary, and if you live to be 79, you’ll need an even larger nest egg.

What Happens with Your Social Security When You Opt for Early Retirement?

While you’ll be eligible for Social Security at the age of 62, you won’t be eligible for your maximum monthly benefit amount for another few years—for those born between 1943 and 1954, it’ll be at the age of 66. If you claim your benefits by the age of 62, you will only receive about 75% of the full amount, which has been modified to account for the fact that you will be receiving checks for a longer length of time. If you collect your benefit early, your spousal benefits may be reduced as well. Spousal benefits are lowered to 35 percent of your entire retirement amount if you wait until you’re at least 66, compared to 50 percent if you wait until you’re at least 66. Waiting until age 70 for Social Security can help you get the most out of the system you’ve paid into during your working years if and when that’s possible.

The Impact on Medicare of Early Retirement

Medicare coverage begins on the first day of the month following your 65th birthday. If you retire before this age, you’ll need to look into alternative health insurance choices, such as checking to see if your previous insurance plan will keep you in the active workforce as a retiree (a typically rare yet lucrative benefit these days). COBRA, Health-Share, or joining your spouse’s plan if they are still working are other alternatives. Until your Medicare coverage begins, weigh your health insurance alternatives to discover which one is best for you.

How Do Your Savings Affect Your Chances of Early Retirement?

Early retirement may be more feasible than you think if you have enough resources. Why? Many individuals believe that their retirement funds are locked up until they reach the age of 59 1/2, but most 401k plans have a special rule that enables penalty-free withdrawals from the age of 55 to 59 12–but only if you retire after your 55th birthday. If you still have money in a 401k plan from a previous company, and you weren’t at least 55 when you left, you’ll have to wait until you’re 5912 to take withdrawals without penalty. Additionally, if you have prior 401(k)s rolled into your current 401(k) before you retire from your present work, you will enjoy penalty-free access to these funds when you retire.

It’s critical to diversify your retirement savings as you prepare for retirement. Most people focus on increasing their 401k contributions but don’t forget about taxable and Roth (where possible) savings. Investing in several account kinds (pre-tax, taxable, and post-tax) can help you retire before you reach the age of 59.5. If you can be selective about the account types you remove from in retirement, it will also provide flexibility and maybe tax savings.

Suggestions for Your Next Steps

Many people look forward to the day when they can finally retire from their jobs. Still, worrying about money all of the time isn’t the best way to spend your golden years.
Thorough knowledge of where you are currently with your finances is a good place to start when determining whether or not you can consider early retirement.
Discuss your retirement strategy with a fiduciary financial advisor.

7 Reasons Why Individual Health Insurance Is A Better Option

There are many different types of health insurance coverage on the market. If you’re new to the world of health insurance, it can be difficult to choose just one plan. Choosing the right coverage for yourself in this situation can be a difficult undertaking.

Remember that there are five types of health insurance plans: 1. individual health insurance 2. family health insurance 3. group health insurance 4. group health insurance 5. group health insurance 6. group health insurance 7. group health insurance 8. group health insurance 2. floater plans for families 3. health insurance for a group 4. insurance against catastrophic illness 5. plans for senior citizens. In this post, we’ll look at why getting an individual health insurance plan is a good idea. Take a look at this first:

Individual health insurance policies are what they sound like.
An Individual Health Insurance plan, as the name implies, provides financial assistance in the event of a single person’s medical emergency. These plans are extremely comprehensive and can be purchased to cover each individual based on the plan’s entry age. Individual health insurance plans can be customized to meet one’s specific needs. He or she does not have to consider the coverage as a group.

Individual health insurance plans are preferred for a variety of reasons.
Based on the insurance company’s terms and conditions, these policies may provide the following benefits:

Customized Plans

A policyholder can choose the level of coverage that best suits his or her medical needs. This may also be determined by the policyholder’s budget. A comprehensive plan can be chosen and customized with the inclusion of extra coverages (add-ons).

Dedicated Sum Insured

Each health insurance coverage has a maximum amount that can be paid out. In a group policy, this sum covered may have to be shared with other plan members. An individual health insurance plan, on the other hand, devotes the whole sum insured to covering only the policyholder.

Self-Contained Strategy

When an employee leaves a company, certain group health insurance policies, such as employee health insurance plans, cease to exist. With an individual health insurance plan, this is not the case. This strategy is unaffected by events such as losing a job or losing a family member. They provide continuous coverage till the expiration date.


Individual health insurance plans are less expensive than group health insurance coverage. This is because the cost of a Family Floater plan, for example, is determined by the number of people insured by the policy. In this case, the cost of medical insurance is limited to the coverage and services provided by the insurance company. Dedicated coverage is less expensive.

Get a Free Health Exam

Under an individual health insurance plan, an insurance company may provide a free health checkup. When it comes to keeping track of one’s health, this is a smart practice. The insurance company will also ensure that you have appropriate coverage and may advise more coverage if necessary.

Free Lookup for a Limited Time

This is the moment to review the policy’s coverage, exclusions, conditions, and other details and decide whether or not to continue with the coverage. During this time, you can also terminate your coverage and receive a refund. Most firms that provide individual health insurance also provide a free lookup period.


Some health insurance providers may provide the option of portability with their plans. Health insurance portability refers to the ability to change insurance companies without losing coverage benefits.

Compare health insurance quotes.
Purchasing health insurance has become a simple chore in recent years. The internet has made this possible. You can find suitable health insurance quotes directly on an insurer’s website or through health insurance aggregators by going online and searching for them. Simply provide basic information such as your age, smoking status, pre-existing ailments (if any), and the website will produce a quotation for you. You can then alter your quote by changing items like coverages, add-ons, and so on.

Cheat Sheet for Medicare

Here’s what you need to know about three key Medicare topics: a handy checklist of dos and don’ts to remember before starting the program; a fast rundown of the optimum times to enroll, based on your unique circumstances; and a mini-directory of organizations that can assist you with Medicare difficulties.

A few crucial Medicare dos and don’ts Medicare is a vital program for millions of elderly and disabled Americans, yet many are unaware of how it operates due to a lack of reliable information.

Medicare is a complicated program, but there are a few crucial features you should be aware of right away:

Give yourself plenty of time to learn everything there is to know about Medicare. It’s a system that has a lot of options and deadlines. Being well-informed is the greatest approach to prevent traps and costly blunders.

When it’s time to sign up, don’t expect to be notified. Unless you’re currently receiving Social Security retirement or disability payments, you’ll need to apply for Medicare — but you won’t be notified when or how to do so.

Don’t forget to enroll when the time comes. You must know your unique deadline for enrolling in order to avoid permanent late charges and maybe a delay in coverage. It’s either during your first enrollment period around age 65 or during a special enrollment period if you or your spouse continue to work for a company that offers health insurance after age 65.

If you haven’t yet been at that position long enough to qualify, don’t be discouraged. On your current or former spouse’s work, you may be eligible for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) without having to pay any premiums. You may also be eligible to pay premiums to join Part A. However, regardless of how long you worked (or if you never did), you can get Part B (doctor’s services, medical equipment, and outpatient care coverage) and Part D (prescription drug coverage) by paying the required premiums — as long as you’re a citizen of the United States or a green-card holder who has lived here in America for at least five years before applying.

Keep in mind that Medicare is not a free service. If you don’t qualify for a low-income program or have supplementary insurance from another source, you may have to pay premiums for coverage and co-payments for most services.

Don’t assume that Medicare will cover all of your expenses. It covers many medical services, prescription medications, and medical equipment (including pricey procedures like organ transplants). However, there are several areas where coverage is lacking, such as routine vision, hearing, and dental treatment. Furthermore, Medicare does not pay the non-medical costs of long-term care in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Medicare will not cover your dependents. Except for individuals who qualify due to disability, no one under the age of 65 can get Medicare. There is no family coverage under Medicare.
If you require assistance, seek it. You may be eligible for low-income programs that pay your premiums or cover your prescription drugs at a reduced cost. Regardless of your income, you can obtain free personal assistance — in English or another language — in sorting through your Medicare alternatives and selecting the one that best meets your needs.

SEP (Special Enrollment Period): If you’re over 65, have group health insurance via the current employer of you or a spouse, and the employer has 20 or more employees, you’re eligible for a SEP. It’s possible that you may be able to postpone enrolling in Medicare until after you reach 65. The SEP lasts for the duration of your coverage and for an additional eight months after it ends or until your employment terminates, whichever happens first. If you stop working at the end of February, for example, you can enroll in Medicare without risking late penalties until your SEP ends on October 31 — but to prevent a coverage gap, you should enroll in February so that your Medicare benefits begin March 1. (However, if you work for a small business with fewer than 20 workers, your employer may force you to enroll in Medicare at the age of 65 in order to keep your health insurance.) To learn more about this, contact your employer.)

Automatic enrollment: If you begin receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement payments at age 65 or later, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B without having to apply. If you want to postpone Part B enrollment because you qualify for a SEP, as mentioned in the preceding General enrollment period (GEP), you can decline: If you did not sign up for Medicare during your I EP or SEP, this GEP permits you to do so now. Each year, it lasts three months, from January 1 to March 31. If you enroll during a GEP, your Medicare coverage won’t start until July 1 of the following year. You could also face late fines, which will be added to your Part B premiums for the rest of your life.

What if you live in another country? Medical care in other nations is almost usually less expensive than in the United States, so paying out of pocket may not put you out of business. In some cases, the national health program of the country you’re visiting may be able to help you.

However, purchasing health insurance on the free market can be complex and costly. One alternative is to join the Association of Americans Resident Overseas, a non-profit group that has long battled Congress to make Medicare available to Americans living abroad. Members of AARO have access to a wide range of private health insurance plans that may be used in a number of countries. (However, you may be allowed to sign up for Medicare while residing abroad.)


Six Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

It is critical to get health insurance to safeguard both your health and your wallet. If you are unable to obtain insurance through your work, Medicaid, or Medicare, you may need to look for a suitable plan among California’s individual health insurance plans.

When choosing an individual health insurance plan, keep the following these things in mind.

Keep Track of any Enrollment Deadlines That Apply to You.

In general, you are unable to enroll in a standard individual health insurance plan at any time. Rather, you must enroll during specific enrollment periods.

It’s critical to be aware of the enrollment period dates if you wish to sign up for health insurance. Save the date, so you don’t forget to sign up before the deadline for enrollment. If you don’t, you may have to wait months before you can enroll again. If during that time an unexpected health issue arises, you could end up financially responsible for those medical expenses out of pocket!

Do Extensive Research into all Your Options.

It’s critical to conduct your homework in order to get the ideal plan for your needs. There are numerous health insurance policies from which to pick.

You must investigate what is covered under each plan in order to thoroughly research health insurance policies. You should also look at the plan’s specifics, like as deductibles, co-pays, and health-care institution restrictions.

When selecting an individual health insurance plan, there are numerous details to consider. This means you shouldn’t make any snap decisions before conducting thorough investigation.

Calculate how Much you Spend or save by Comparing prices.

Premiums for health insurance might be a major monthly outlay. You should think about how much you can afford to pay each month for your health insurance payments. Make a financial plan. You don’t want to have your coverage canceled for nonpayment. If you suffer an injury or require medical attention, you will be without coverage. Many times medical staff has to consider what you can pay for, when determining the course of treatment. Medical coverage helps you get the best treatments, putting you on the fast track to a complete recovery.

When comparing health insurance choices, cost should not be the only factor to consider. However, it’s critical to pick the plan that will provide you with the greatest value while remaining affordable longterm.

Think about your Healthcare Requirements.

Some people require a higher level of health insurance coverage than others. If you’re young and healthy, you might be able to get by with less coverage than someone who is older and more likely to have health issues now and in the future.

You should also think about any chronic illnesses you may have. If you have a chronic illness, such as diabetes, make sure the plan you choose covers the care and meds you’ll need to manage your condition.

Educate yourself about the types of health insurance that are available, and the different types of health insurance plans. These plans differ in terms of how the network of health-care providers covered by the plan is set up.

Health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and exclusive provider organizations are examples of plans and networks (EPOs). Before you sign up for a health insurance plan, it’s critical to understand how these networks work.

Consult Agents or Experts if you have any Questions.

Health insurance is difficult to understand. You’ll almost certainly have questions regarding the plan’s specifics. More so if you’re signing up for the first time on an individual health insurance plan.

Don’t sign up for a plan until you’ve spoken with a representative from the health insurance provider in question and have all of your questions answered.

Health insurance can provide you with peace of mind by ensuring that you will be able to pay for your medical expenses. Examine your alternatives and get the coverage you require right away.


2021 ACA Special Enrollment Period in response to the COVID-19 Emergency

Second Chance for Health Insurance in 2021 as ACA Marketplace Reopens with Special Enrollment Period

The new SEP begins Feb. 15th, as millions of people have lost their jobs and insurance in the pandemic

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) national emergency has presented unprecedented challenges for the American public. Millions of Americans are facing uncertainty and millions of Americans are experiencing new health problems during the pandemic. Due to the exceptional circumstances and rapidly changing Public Health Emergency (PHE) impacting millions of people throughout the US every day, many Americans remain uninsured or underinsured and still need affordable health coverage. In accordance with the Executive Order issued on 1/28/2021 by President Biden, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that the COVID-19 emergency presents exceptional circumstances for consumers in accessing health insurance and will provide a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families to apply and enroll in the coverage they need. This SEP will be available to consumers in the 36 states served by Marketplaces that use the platform, and CMS will conduct outreach activities to encourage those who are eligible to enroll in health coverage. CMS strongly encourages states operating their own Marketplace platforms to make a similar enrollment opportunity available to consumers in their states.

Starting on February 15, 2021 and continuing through May 15, 2021, Marketplaces using the platform will open up to make a SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. These consumers will newly be able to access the SEP through a variety of channels, including a network of over 50,000 agents and brokers who are registered with the Marketplace and ready to assist consumers with their application for coverage.

Some consumers may already be eligible for other existing SEPs, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – they can visit now to find out if they can enroll even before this new SEP. Starting February 15, consumers seeking to take advantage of this SEP can find out if they are eligible by visiting, and are no longer limited to calling the Marketplace call center to access this SEP. Consumers who are eligible and enroll under this SEP will be able to select a plan with coverage that starts prospectively the first of the month after plan selection. Consumers will have 30 days after they submit their application to choose a plan. Current enrollees will be able to change to any available plan in their area without restriction to the same level of coverage as their current plan. In order to use this SEP, current enrollees will need to step through their application and make any changes if needed to their current information and submit their application in order to receive an updated eligibility result that provides the SEP before continuing on to enrollment. This SEP opportunity will not involve any new application questions, or require consumers or enrollment partners to provide any new information not otherwise required to determine eligibility and enroll in coverage. In addition, consumers won’t need to provide any documentation of a qualifying event (e.g., loss of a job or birth of a child), which is typically required for SEP eligibility.

As always, consumers found eligible for Medicaid or CHIP will be transferred to their state Medicaid and CHIP agencies for enrollment in those programs.

For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace or, contact your local agents at Hummingbird Insurance today!

What Does the Texas Ruling Against Obamacare Mean?

By Daniel Murphy

After the December 14th ruling by a federal judge against the legality of ACA healthcaremany people are wondering whether or not they will continue to have coverage. Catchy headlines ran on news media for weeks implying all sorts of possible scenarios. Between the media war and political noise, the average person hasn’t been able to piece together exactly what to expect. Here at the office it’s been one of the most common questions for the past two weeks; “Is Obamacare still going to be around for 2019?” So as professionals in the industry, here are our thoughts down at Hummingbird.


This entire event needs to be put in it’s actual context. The supreme court did not strike down Obamacare – a federal judge in Texas did. Though this has powerful implications, especially in a judiciary system where establishing precedent is important for future laws, it can not bring everything to a grinding halt all by itself. There is almost always an appeal process. The ruling in Texas is important, but it will take many months ifnot several years to see precisely how it is going to pan out.


For some added perspective, consider that this is actually the seventieth time that the ACA has been challenged in court and/or sued by an assembly of politicians. The Supreme Court itself has even examined it once before and upheld the entire structure as legal and constitutional. There is a lot of political attention and validation in certain groups for the mere effort to bring down the Affordable Care Act. This results in many symbolic attacks against the law for the sake of bolstering one’s constituency and increasing funding for political campaigns. More often than notthese lawsuits are just tigers without teeth.


A majority of people want to continue to see some sort of inclusive healthcare for our country, and this is true on both sides. Laws often get empowered or diminished in a democratic system whose hallmark is a revolving door of different parties, people, and plans. Different ideologies hold power throughout any given era. Often times, however, the core laws are upheld. The ACA, I think at least, has become a core law in the United States. That doesn’t mean it won’t be transformed or even renamed as time goes on, but it does mean that some form of government-supported healthcare that accepts most pre-existing conditions is here to stay. Even President Donald Trump has voiced his support for a healthcare structure that provides this sort of coverage.


The Texas decision may indeed climb its way to the supreme court. A newly confirmed Republican on the seat there is a valid concern for people afraid that the Supreme Court may overturn its own earlier ruling. No matter what the outcome this is going to be a long and cumbersome process. Even if the law were repealed in totality tomorrow, there would still be at least a year involved in actually dismantling it. That means that for 2019, at least, no one should need to worry too much about their coverage. The future is harder to predict, but I’m comfortable betting that some form of inclusive healthcare will continue to exist at the federal level indefinitely, hopefully as a reliable pillar of U.S. law.

What if I don’t know what my income will be next year?

When you apply for the premium tax credit, you will be asked to estimate your expected income for the upcoming year. Often a good place to start is to consider what your income is this year, or what income you reported on your tax return last year. However, if your circumstances have changed since then, for example, if you recently lost your job, you should make your best estimate of what your income will be next year. The health insurance Marketplace will compare your income estimates against records at the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration and other sources. If your estimate and official records don’t match, or aren’t sufficiently close, but you meet all other eligibility requirements, you might be asked to provide documentation to support your income projections.

In general, if the income amount shown on that official record is more than 25% or $6,000 (whichever is greater) higher than the amount you put on your application, you might receive a data match inconsistency notice from the Marketplace and you’ll need to provide more documentation.

If you don’t have that documentation handy, the Marketplace will provide subsidies for up to 90 days while you gather and submit your documentation for verification. It is very important that you provide any documentation requested by the Marketplace in a timely manner; if you don’t your subsidies might be reduced or terminated.

Keep in mind that if you estimate your income incorrectly and end up claiming more help than you are eligible for, you may have to pay back some or all of the premium tax credit you received. If you over-estimate your income and end up claiming less help than you are entitled to, the difference will be refunded to you when you file your income taxes the following year.

I’m raising my grandchild and claim her as a dependent. If I apply for Marketplace subsidies, will we be considered a household of two?

Yes, you will be considered as a household of two for both Medicaid and premium tax credits. However, your grandchild will be considered as her own household for Medicaid and CHIP and your income will not count in determining her eligibility for these programs. Assuming she does not have her own income she will likely be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP and not eligible for premium tax credits for coverage in the Marketplace. You could of course purchase coverage for her in the Marketplace but you would not be eligible for a premium tax credit to help pay for her plan.  Whether you could include her on your policy would depend on what insurers offer in your Marketplace.

I understand eligibility for premium tax credits is based on our household income. Who counts as being in my household?

A household, for purposes of determining eligibility for premium tax credits, includes any individuals whom you list on the federal tax form. That includes yourself, your spouse, and dependents. Dependents include children who meet certain requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or resident of the U.S, Mexico or Canada
  • Live with you for more than half the year
  • Under age 19 at the end of the year (or under age 24 if a full-time student); a child is considered to live with the taxpayer while he or she is temporarily away from home due to education, illness, business, vacation or military service.
  • Doesn’t provide more than 50% of his or her own support

Other adults who can count as dependents include relatives, in-laws or full-time members of your household who:

  • Are a U.S. citizen or resident of the U.S, Mexico or Canada
  • Receive more than 50% of their support from you
  • Are related to you or live in your home all year
  • Make less than $4,150 (in 2018), generally excluding Social Security

A household can include individuals even if they are ineligible for tax credits (for example, individuals who are not lawfully present). Your household size can change during a year due to family changes, including the birth or adoption of a child, a child moving out of the house, and divorce or legal separation. When such changes take place you should report them to the Marketplace as they may affect your eligibility for subsidies. Family changes also can trigger a special enrollment opportunity when you can change health plans, even outside of the regular Open Enrollment period.

Note that the definition of household for determining eligibility for premium tax credits sometimes differs from the definition of household for determining Medicaid eligibility. Ask your Marketplace for more information about who should be counted in your household.

My spouse and I have a teenage daughter who has a part-time job. Do we count her income as part of our household income when we apply for Marketplace subsidies?

The answer depends on whether she earned enough income to be required to file a federal income tax return on her own. Generally, kids who qualify as tax dependents aren’t required to file a federal income tax return or pay taxes on their income if they earned less than a threshold amount ($12,000 in 2018.) If your daughter earned less than that, you would not count her income as part of your household income.