About 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 today. How many of themare prepared to pay for the health care they will need to enjoytheir retirements? ¶ “I don't think people are aware of the need toplan for health coverage in retirement,” says Colleen Callahan,owner of Colleen Callahan Insurance Services in Pleasant Hill,California. “Some are confused by what the employer or union mightoffer, and others get confused about what is available directlyfrom insurance companies. There also is a lack of understanding ofwhat is available to them before turning 65.”

Those who do understand their needs must get an early start onplanning, adds Craig Gussin of Auerbach & Gussin Insurance andFinancial Services Inc. in San Diego, who is also vice president ofpublic affairs for the California Association of HealthUnderwriters.

“You should think about your health insurance three or fourmonths before you plan to retire to determine whether the benefityou are losing is worth retiring now, or if you can reduce yourhours and still get benefits,” Gussin says. “For long-term care(LTC) insurance, the younger they are, the lower the cost will beto the consumer and the better chance they will have to qualify forit. I usually suggest that in their mid-50s most people shouldstart to look at LTC insurance.”

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