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Ready to jump ship
Old 02-28-2007, 09:24 AM   #1
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Ready to jump ship

I'm almost 59, wife 57. No kids. Both past health problems that are not serious but scare the insurance underwriters. I'm ready to hang it up but health care costs scare me. I can get COBRA for 18 mos. at $700 a month but after that, I'll be stuck in the state high risk pool, which means poor coverage at a high premium. I'm thinking until working until I'm 60.5 so that I can get coverage through age 62 and use SS to pay premiums thereafter. We wouldn't need to SS to live on so I'm not worried about the haircut I'll take by opting for early benefits. Involuntary servitude for 2 plus years is not appealing but better than the stress of worrying about health care costs. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on the subject to health care for people below 65. Thanks.
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 02-28-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozzie
I'm almost 59, wife 57. No kids. Both past health problems that are not serious but scare the insurance underwriters. I'm ready to hang it up but health care costs scare me. I can get COBRA for 18 mos. at $700 a month but after that, I'll be stuck in the state high risk pool, which means poor coverage at a high premium. I'm thinking until working until I'm 60.5 so that I can get coverage through age 62 and use SS to pay premiums thereafter. We wouldn't need to SS to live on so I'm not worried about the haircut I'll take by opting for early benefits. Involuntary servitude for 2 plus years is not appealing but better than the stress of worrying about health care costs. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on the subject to health care for people below 65. Thanks.
Gozzie, this is an often-discussed and complicated deal. If you want to get up to speed, click the search button at the top of the page and search for health insurance. You should get tons of threads.

Then, if you have specific questions, you'll get a more useful response generally speaking. Welcome to the board.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 02-28-2007, 10:14 AM   #3
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Re: Ready to jump ship

What state do you live in?

Have you worked with an agent? Are you sure you aren't insurable outside of the risk pool?

Have you considered a move to a more generous state in lieu of working a couple more years?

Tell us more, and welcome to the forum!

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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 02-28-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozzie
I'm ready to hang it up but health care costs scare me. I can get COBRA for 18 mos. at $700 a month but after that, I'll be stuck in the state high risk pool, which means poor coverage at a high premium.
Have you looked into a HIPAA guar. issue policy after COBRA?
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 02-28-2007, 10:42 AM   #5
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDoe
Have you looked into a HIPAA guar. issue policy after COBRA?
That is why I asked what state he lives in--some states have the risk pool be the HIPAA guaranteed issue policy, but some have other options.

To see what your options are, check your state's guide at www.healthinsuranceinfo.net.
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 02-28-2007, 10:59 AM   #6
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozzie
I'm thinking until working until I'm 60.5 so that I can get coverage through age 62 and use SS to pay premiums thereafter. We wouldn't need to SS to live on so I'm not worried about the haircut I'll take by opting for early benefits. Involuntary servitude for 2 plus years is not appealing but better than the stress of worrying about health care costs. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on the subject to health care for people below 65. Thanks.
You might also want to rethink when you start SS because depending on how your retirement is funded you may be able to produce more spendable income now if you delay SS til 70. There is an extensive thread on the topic over on the best of board. To give you an example of what I'm talking about see http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...6649#msg216649
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 03-06-2007, 06:48 AM   #7
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Gozzie, this is an often-discussed and complicated deal. If you want to get up to speed, click the search button at the top of the page and search for health insurance. You should get tons of threads.

Then, if you have specific questions, you'll get a more useful response generally speaking. Welcome to the board.
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 03-06-2007, 06:53 AM   #8
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Re: Ready to jump ship

I appreciate all your comments. I'm from Missouri. I am not familiar with the HIPPA policy that one individual mentioned. My retirement is funded by my wife's and my assets. Our only supplement will be Social Security. From what I read on another posting, it seemed to be the consensus that most people would benefit from taking SS as early as possible. But, I obviously have a lot to consider before picking up the gold watch. Thanks again.
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 03-06-2007, 07:06 AM   #9
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozzie
From what I read on another posting, it seemed to be the consensus that most people would benefit from taking SS as early as possible.
I'm not sure I would agree with their being a consensus on when to take SS. Too many variables and individual circumstances to apply any rule of thumb to this decision. If you didn't wade all the way through the when to take SS "thread from Hell' referenced above, I suggest you look at it again as well as use the search button to find some of the many other threads on the topic.

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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 03-06-2007, 09:08 AM   #10
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozzie
I appreciate all your comments. I'm from Missouri. I am not familiar with the HIPPA policy that one individual mentioned. My retirement is funded by my wife's and my assets. Our only supplement will be Social Security. From what I read on another posting, it seemed to be the consensus that most people would benefit from taking SS as early as possible. But, I obviously have a lot to consider before picking up the gold watch. Thanks again.
If you look at the insurance guide for Missouri at www.healthinsuranceinfo.net you will see that there are two possibilies for you if you are in fact unisurable. Because you are on COBRA, you should be HIPAA eligible. In Missouri, if you are HIPAA eligible insurance companies have to offer you a policy. I do not know if Missouri places any limites on the cost of these HIPAA eligible policies. If not, the rates could be unaffordable. The other option is the risk pool.

HIPAA is a federal law which requires states to provide some source of health insurance for people coming off of group plans. These are the HIPAA eligibility rules:

No matter where you live in the U.S., if you are federally eligible you are guaranteed the right to buy individual coverage of some kind with no pre-existing condition exclusion periods. To be federally eligible, you must meet all of the following:

You must have had 18 months of continuous creditable coverage, at least the last day of which was under a group health plan.

You also must have used up any COBRA or state continuation coverage for which you were eligible.

You must not be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or a group health plan.

You must not have health insurance. (Note, however, if you know your group coverage is about to end, you can apply for coverage for which you will be federally eligible.)

You must apply for health insurance for which you are federally eligible within 63 days of losing your prior coverage.

Federal eligibility ends when you enroll in an individual plan, because the last day of your continuous health coverage must have been in a group plan. You can become federally eligible again by maintaining continuous coverage and rejoining a group health plan.


The problem with HIPAA guarantees is that there is no rate regulation by the federal governmentand different states have different ways that they comply with HIPAA.
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 03-08-2007, 01:42 PM   #11
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Re: Ready to jump ship

I've heard that you can get health benefits if you work as little as 20 hours per week at StarBucks. Might not be a bad trade-off until Medicare kicks in.
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Re: Ready to jump ship
Old 03-08-2007, 02:59 PM   #12
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Re: Ready to jump ship

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaredtoQuit
I've heard that you can get health benefits if you work as little as 20 hours per week at StarBucks. Might not be a bad trade-off until Medicare kicks in.
As little as 20 hours a week? Sounds like torture.
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