Today is an occasion for celebration! I made it!
When I told my employer that I planned to retire this summer, he moved my retirement date up to April 17th--yes he can do that legally; I checked with an attorney.
My plan had been to work until I became eligible for Medicare, so I would have no gap in health insurance coverage. When I was forcecd to retire early, I was left with no health insurance from April 17th until my Medicare eligibility date, or pay $550 monthly for coverage through COBRA, which is an extended health benefit through an employer.
Since I was already losing several weeks salary that I had planned on, paying for Cobra just wasn't a very practical option financially. I decided to chance it and go naked--that is sans health insurance. My husband was very concerned, and with reason; if I had any major health issue, we would have to foot the whole bill. But that was a risk I was willing to take.
Well, today is the day. I am officially old! You become Medicare-eligible on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. My birthday is August 20th--yes, I'm a true Leo--and today is August 1st. I can now get sick, have a stroke, break a bone, or whatever, and I have health insurance. (I enrolled in a medicare advantage plan back in July, but it did not go into effect until today.)
Not that I have any bone-breaking, stroke-suffering plans, but it sure is a relief to have coverage! Is it 5:00 yet? I think I deserve a drink!