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Old 03-17-2009, 12:03 PM   #21
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The cost of these plans was roughly $800 per month. Does this seem correct or am I totally off base?
You need to as them what the % increases have been by year for the past 4 -5 years and project that forward.

Also, what is the deductable?
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:49 PM   #22
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Cut and dried - keep the health benefits no matter what it takes. If you have to change health insurance companies now, with an already diagnosed condition, the "pre-existing condition" clauses will be your Waterloo.
I also think that the 64 year old co-worker will be very understanding if he knows the facts. Other posters have adequately covered the age/SS/Medicare and "jungle out there" issues.
Good luck with your situation.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:01 PM   #23
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I am either incorrect or naive regarding HIPAA.
Yes, I belive you are - and potentially making a tragic mistake.

Here is how I understand your situation:

Once you are unemployed you should have the option of getting coverage under your employer's plan under COBRA for 36 mos (most other states are 18 mo, but CA is different ). THEN you will be up a creek without a paddle.

You will find after COBRA ends that few if any insurer will cover you - and if you do find one willing to offer coverage (at whatever price) they will exclude ALL preexisting conditions - forever - without exception. That will leave you with only the California high risk pool option, assuming you can get it (running out of $). Per the LA Times arcticle I linked earlier in the thread, the cap on coverage is $75k per year. If you have other medical problems or your CLL flares up you could exceed that limit in one week.

Bottom line, as almost every one has said, you need to stay employed and stay insured...
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:10 PM   #24
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I edited my incorrect previous post ("HIPAA is about patient privacy, not health insurance coverage").
Here is the govt site for HIPAA Privacy matters. Sorry for the mistake.
Health Information Privacy
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:25 PM   #25
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Your Health Plan And HIPAA ... Making The Law Work For You

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The doctor's staff may have handed you a "HIPAA privacy notice" advising you of protections for your personal health information. But HIPAA covers a lot more than privacy.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:05 PM   #26
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Thanks everyone, I decided to take the position and keep my insurance. There is a lot more due diligence required on my part. I did not realize that prior to initiating this thread. Thanks again for all you help!
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:08 PM   #27
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Thanks everyone, I decided to take the position and keep my insurance.
Congratulations on a wise choice and thanks for letting us know which way you decided to go.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:39 PM   #28
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Thanks everyone, I decided to take the position and keep my insurance.!
Whew! Congratulations.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:15 PM   #29
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Also, maybe the other guy wanted to retire now anyways and just needed something to push him over the edge.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:56 PM   #30
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Hope all goes well with you. Drop by every now and then to let us know how your doing.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:51 PM   #31
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This thread is just another thing I love about the people who frequent this place. Thanks to all who pitched in.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:04 PM   #32
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But most states limit HIPAA coverage to 18 months -- that's the real issue. What would you do thereafter until you reached age 65? HIPAA is 'stop gap" coverage at best.
In Washington if you have been covered by a group plan for some period of time that I cannot remember, and have exhausted your Cobra benefits, HIPPA decrees that you can buy individual insurance without needing to answer the health questionnaire. You can keep this for as long as you pay the premiums, until you are Medicare eligible.

I think something similar to this is likely what OP is describing.

Ha
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:10 PM   #33
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In Washington if you have been covered by a group plan for some period of time that I cannot remember, and have exhausted your Cobra benefits, HIPPA decrees that you can buy individual insurance without needing to answer the health questionnaire. You can keep this for as long as you pay the premiums, until you are Medicare eligible.
That's a new one to me, Ha. Got a link? I'd like to learn more.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:40 PM   #34
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Rich, I agree with HA. This is the information I also found when researching this topic earlier. I previously got into trouble posting a link but if you google "California hipaa health plans" you will find a lot of vendors. Open a page and you can view the requirements as well as monthly rates. The rates for a 50 year old in LA county is between $650 and $700.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:41 PM   #35
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This is very odd. When I was still w*rking in network security I attended a conference. One of the seminars was on HIPAA, and ne'er a word was spoken about HIPAA health plans and portability, although that word is in the title. It was all about privacy and accountability. I'm going to have to google for a while and see what's going on.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:14 PM   #36
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I agree with the majority here. You need to stay employed, due to your medical condition. This will buy you some time, and you can still retire early later if you get tired of work. Your 64 yr. old colleague will be taken care of by Medicare, and if you have saved him in the past, you should not feel bad.

Best wishes to you.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:22 PM   #37
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Here's what I've found so far, on the last faq entry on this site - Frequently Asked Questions about Portability of Health Coverage and HIPAA.


How does HIPAA apply when changing from group health coverage to an individual insurance policy?
HIPAA also protects those who are otherwise unable to get group health insurance.

The law guarantees access to individual insurance policies and state high-risk pools for eligible individuals. They must meet all of the following criteria:
  • Had coverage for at least 18 months, most recently in a group health plan, without a significant break;
  • Lost group coverage but not because of fraud or nonpayment of premiums;
  • Are not eligible for COBRA coverage; or if COBRA coverage was offered under Federal or state law, elected and exhausted it; and
  • Are not eligible for coverage under another group health plan, Medicare, or Medicaid; or have any other health insurance coverage.
The opportunity to buy an individual policy is the same whether a person quits a job, was fired, or was laid off.

I haven't heard of the law being used this way. I'm a little dubious by the use of the word eligible all through the law. I'll be doing more reading. If anybody else has more real world info about this I'd be interested in hearing it.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:58 PM   #38
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This is a decision of huge importance and you need time to do some serious research on health coverage in your state. No way would I be willing take any chance of losing coverage with the medical condition you describe. You can easily paint yourself into a corner and not realize it until it is too late.

Unless you can get your employer to delay the deadline on your decision to allow you to thoroughly research your health insurance options, stay employed.
I cannot constrain myself long enough to read the rest of the posts. DO NOT RUSH THIS DECISION! How many other people do you see rushing to take early retirement right now? Very, very, very few! If you are being rushed, then you are almost definitely on the losing end of this, quite perhaps without even knowing it! That's a risk you should not take.

You must take your time, and if "taking your time" means years, then so be it!
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:15 AM   #39
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I haven't heard of the law being used this way. I'm a little dubious by the use of the word eligible all through the law. I'll be doing more reading. If anybody else has more real world info about this I'd be interested in hearing it.
You can't really get any more real world than this-I did it, just as Planning to Fire detailed. This is a first person report. It either happened or old Ha is a damn liar.

As far as links are concerned, after I signed the contract I deleted whatever links or research I had done.

I have posted about this many times before- in fact almost every time this question has arisen.

It may no longer be possible, it almost certainly would vary from state to state, one may have to have nice eyes- I really don't know.

But I did it just this way, in the great state of Washington, about 4 years ago.

Ha
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:02 AM   #40
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Ha, I am so glad to read your recent post.

My late night research indicated I could obtain health coverage until 65. I am planning on relocating to Florida after leaving Mega corp which added another level of uncertainty. As indicated prior, I decided to take the job which allows for more $ cushion and time to plan.

I was able to convince our HR group to increase my friends severance and call it an early retirement which gave them more options to make a better deal. Unfortunately, the team is on their way to break the news to him this morning. I am going to meet with him tomorrow so he can brief me on the status of his projects.

On good thing to come out of this very stressful week is I started to participate with this great group of people who have either reached ER or striving to get there. I guess I will go back as my name indicates and continue to plan to fire. I hope to participate more as time allows.
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