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Old 11-12-2005, 07:43 AM   #1
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Thanks

Hi everyone. I've been a frequent lurker for nearly a year now and just wanted to thank everyone for providing such a great resource. A few years ago, I would never have believed FIRE by 40 would be possible. Now I think it really is possible and it's such a great feeling to know we may have that freedom.

I'm 34. My DW is 33. I didn't finish school until 27 (with $60,000 in loans). We've since paid off the loans and now have about $350,000 in retirement savings (taxable and tax deferred). We're saving about $70,000 a year. We have a home with about 400,000 in equity and a mortgage of $190,000. I've estimated our annual retirement expenses at about $28,000 with no mortgage, much lower taxes but much higher health care costs.

The biggest challenge we'll face is health insurance. (I almost chose the username HighRisk rather than SaveSome). Thanks to this board, I've discovered quite a bit of information. I suspect we'll need to move to a state with a high risk pool for me. So far, it looks like Colorado and Utah are two states with high risk pools we've looked at closely as they also have good fly fishing! I noticed recently, however, that BCBS is no longer administering Utah's pool which calls into question the stability of these pools. If anyone has actual experience with these pools, I'd really like to hear about it.

Thanks again everyone.







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Re: Thanks
Old 11-12-2005, 02:03 PM   #2
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Re: Thanks

If you havent already, I would do a search of Martha's past posts on health insurance.
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Re: Thanks
Old 11-14-2005, 07:15 AM   #3
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Re: Thanks

Have you looked at the resource, www.healthinsuranceinfo.net for the state by state guides on what is available for health insurance, including risk pools?

I also like this site for information on different state risk pools: http://www.selfemployedcountry.org/riskpools.html

Make sure that when you do retire, you take advantage of rights under HIPAA and get on a new insurance plan within the time lines provided by HIPAA. This can serve to eliminate pre-existing condition waiting periods.
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Re: Thanks
Old 11-14-2005, 07:44 AM   #4
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Re: Thanks

Thank you for the information. I have checked out in some detail the Cover Colorado and HIPUtah high risk pools (as well as Oregon's). With my heightened concern about health coverage in ER, I guess I just wondered if there might be issues/pitfalls others have experienced that aren't evident from the written materials. Maybe I'm probably just overreacting.
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Re: Thanks
Old 11-14-2005, 08:20 AM   #5
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Some things to watch out for:

*Often states have participating providers and if you get treated outside that network you might have to pay a greater portion of the covered amount, plus if the provider charges more than the plan allows, you might have to pay the idfference and it doesnt count towards your deductible or break points. If you plan to do a lot of traveling or plan to be a snowbird, this can be an issue.

* Some states have residency requirements of 6 or 12 months, but often they don't apply if you are HIPAA eligible.

* Some states have enrollment caps on their risk pools

* Look at whether you can live with annual limits on coverage and lifetime limits. Lifetime limits seem to range from $250,000 to $2,000,000

* most risk pools don't offer family plans--each person has to get their own coverage

* pharmaceuticals may have different coverage limits or copays

* Copays usually don't apply to deductibles

* smokers and other nicotine users often have to pay more

* mental health coverage is often limited

* as I mentioned before, you likely will have a preexisting condition waiting period unless you are HIPAA eligible

* look to see how they figure out how much to charge in premiums. Are they tied to a percentage of cost in the open market? Costs usually range from 125% to 200% of open market costs. How often does the cost change?




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