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Old 06-03-2010, 10:42 AM   #21
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You might check with your current insurance and see about converting to an individual family plan with them. They might have a conversion plan without underwriting and an individual plan with underwriting. When I retired, I was pleasantly surprised to find the individual plan very affordable.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:36 PM   #22
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Insurance is the final piece of the puzzle for us as well, although we're still about 9 months out from ER.

I'm wondering if what I'm seeing is typical, though...I'd love to use COBRA for my wife and I, but the cost is insane compared to getting a new policy. Certainly a bit of an apples to oranges comparison, given the difference in co-pays, deductibles and coverage...but it's not even close.

We've three options at work that cost about the same, although only one of them is a COBRA option - the other two don't offer coverage where we're moving. For the two of us, our employer group plan is just under $1200/month. Looking at plans available to us via the ehealthinsurance site, there are numerous plans just over $300/month, with several that look pretty decent for under $500. Rates are quoted for age ~50 for both of us, no health issues.

Again, coverages/deductibles are certainly different - but is this a typical disparity between COBRA/group plans and individual? If we had health issues, COBRA might be needed...but I just can't see the wisdom of it for us.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:42 AM   #23
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after doing lots of web surfing and calling, it looks like we have settled on Cobra.

It is roughly equivalent in price to the individual policies but with much better coverage/deductibles etc.

I am so jealous of you guys in other states. Our Mass. health plans are very expensive.

We will stay on Cobra for the 18 months at which point we hope the rules governing the national health plan will be more clear.

With us being retired and having almost no income, we may qualify for some aid (even if it was never meant for people like us, but the government seems to only have a income test and not a means test for determining who will get health care aid).
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:03 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by wantingToGetOut View Post
after doing lots of web surfing and calling, it looks like we have settled on Cobra.

It is roughly equivalent in price to the individual policies but with much better coverage/deductibles etc.

I am so jealous of you guys in other states. Our Mass. health plans are very expensive.

We will stay on Cobra for the 18 months at which point we hope the rules governing the national health plan will be more clear.

With us being retired and having almost no income, we may qualify for some aid (even if it was never meant for people like us, but the government seems to only have a income test and not a means test for determining who will get health care aid).
If it makes you feel any better, COBRA for me alone will be $435 or so per month. It does include vision coverage & prescription coverage. I have pre-existing conditions so I am not going to bother to try for other insurance until this is 3 months from running out - I will have 17 months to pay for after COBRA, before Medicare starts. I will be 62 in a couple of weeks and will retire July 2 (which should get me July coverage at employee rates).

I'm not in MA. I hope the rules DO become clearer - but they may not go into effect before I turn 65. I heard 2014 a lot - I'll be 65 in 2013...

But I'm retiring!!!!!!!! Whoo hoo!

We self-insure - that may make the COBRA rate not so bad... but it isn't inexpensive.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:51 AM   #25
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If it makes you feel any better, COBRA for me alone will be $435 or so per month. It does include vision coverage & prescription coverage. I have pre-existing conditions so I am not going to bother to try for other insurance until this is 3 months from running out - I will have 17 months to pay for after COBRA, before Medicare starts. I will be 62 in a couple of weeks and will retire July 2 (which should get me July coverage at employee rates).

I'm not in MA. I hope the rules DO become clearer - but they may not go into effect before I turn 65. I heard 2014 a lot - I'll be 65 in 2013...

But I'm retiring!!!!!!!! Whoo hoo!

We self-insure - that may make the COBRA rate not so bad... but it isn't inexpensive.
Our Cobra is looking to be around $1100 a month but that is for me, wifey and daughter.

I keep hearing 2014 as well, but hopefully something can become more clear before then for the national health care. Even 2014 would be fine, as long as its well defined.

I wonder if the government will plug the obvious hole in terms of testing income AND means? While I am certain I will take advantage of any financial help the government gives, I can't help but think its wrong some how...
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by wantingToGetOut View Post
Our Cobra is looking to be around $1100 a month but that is for me, wifey and daughter.

I keep hearing 2014 as well, but hopefully something can become more clear before then for the national health care. Even 2014 would be fine, as long as its well defined.

I wonder if the government will plug the obvious hole in terms of testing income AND means? While I am certain I will take advantage of any financial help the government gives, I can't help but think its wrong some how...
wanting, we are also in MA and will need insurance as of Aug 1. The rates are very high and because the companies are appealing the state ruling on premiums, they won't even guarantee those.

Regarding the state's financial assistance, we just barely fail the income test, and so avoid the ethical dilemma about the lack of means testing... I hear you that it feels wrong. But then the stranglehold of the whole system -- insurance companies, medical industrial complex, etc. -- is also wrong. The whole subject makes me crazy!

Good luck with this, and otherwise congrats on your ER!
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:18 AM   #27
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wanting, we are also in MA and will need insurance as of Aug 1. The rates are very high and because the companies are appealing the state ruling on premiums, they won't even guarantee those.

Regarding the state's financial assistance, we just barely fail the income test, and so avoid the ethical dilemma about the lack of means testing... I hear you that it feels wrong. But then the stranglehold of the whole system -- insurance companies, medical industrial complex, etc. -- is also wrong. The whole subject makes me crazy!

Good luck with this, and otherwise congrats on your ER!
Thank you for the info and the kind words.

I looked into the states financial assistance and did not see any.

All I could find was that if your income is under 54k, you may qualify for cheaper insurance, but the insurance is not that great in comparison to the other plans.

Have you found other information about financial assistance if your income is low enough?
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:28 PM   #28
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No, I don't know of any other options. In fact, I hadn't even explored the plans for lower income since we didn't qualify. For spouse and me, family of 2, the threshold is $43K. So I guess we're supposed to buy insurance for $1000/month, give or take, pay the coinsurances and deductibles, and be thankful we can't be turned down for pre-existing conditions. Hmmph.
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