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Thinking About Unretiring
Old 04-17-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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Thinking About Unretiring

Greetings from Ft. Worth (pronounced Foat Wuth by some). Moved here 2 years ago to be close to children/grandchildren. Great area and I'm glad to be here!

I'm a long time lurker and I've learned a lot from you. I'm thinking of going back to work full time just to have real health insurance. I lost mine when hubby took early retirement in 1999. Been patching plans together ever since and not old enough for Medicare (Medicaid? - whatever). I'm "only" 63.

I worked as a secretary because we had 2 kids in college full-time. So they were also teenage drivers at the same time and that cost a bundle too! But I'm glad I did it. I really wanted my kids to graduate from college and have a better life.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:13 PM   #2
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Refugee, I'm glad you decided to speak up!

It sounds like a damn shame, to have to go back to work just for the health insurance. What have you been doing for health insurance since your husband retired?

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Old 04-17-2008, 06:35 PM   #3
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Greetings Refugee,

Good luck with the unretiring. I guess if you have to go back to work now, it's a good thing you find yourself in Texas where the economy and employment picture are doing well. If there is anything I have learned from this board, it is that I should thank my lucky stars every day for having a health plan that followed me into retirement. My, admittedly not very well researched, plan if my insurance benefits ever disappear, is to go to work at Starbucks. Employees working 20 hours a week get access to health benefits (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision). Of course, with my caffeine addiction and their low pay, I might owe them money each payday.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
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Isn't a shame that one has to go back to work to be insured at price one can afford. Why are medical benefits tied to jobs?? I hope Hillary or Obama makes good on their promise of universal health care. Health care is a huge failure in the US. Why can't the american citizens be enrolled in the same health plan as our US Senators and Congressmen. They get it if they only serve one day in the government!
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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You might want to read this FAQ on obtaining health insurance, which covers situations where you are unisurable. You might be eligible for the Texas risk pool.

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...nce-30756.html
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:35 AM   #6
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Home Depot also offers bennies to those who work 20+ hrs/week.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:36 AM   #7
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Welcome Refuge.

The lack of affordable health care is a problem in the US.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:06 AM   #8
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Thank you for the welcomes and the information. My hubby's health insurance was supposed to follow us into retirement, but the company bailed after 6 months and said we were on our own.

We shopped around for insurance. The remarks about health care in the US are dead on.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:18 AM   #9
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Have you looked at the TX High Risk Pool for health coverage?
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:26 PM   #10
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I respectfully disagree with many of the views given in this thread. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Retiring early should be a carefully planned decision with income/savings set aside for insurance coverage for the years prior to medicare coverage.

Personally I think it is folly to expect a private employer to provide health insurance to early retirees. Right away the suggestion is to go running to the government for help. Let everyone else pay for your healthcare because you made a decision to retire early and now cannot afford to live with it.

If you truly cannot afford to stay retired then you need to unretire and use your God-given abilities and the opportunities this country offers. This country was founded on freedom of choice (retiring early), but that comes with personal responsibility.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:46 PM   #11
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Even the personally responsible can't always afford health insurance or even buy it.
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:35 PM   #12
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Even the personally responsible can't always afford health insurance or even buy it.
Once again I respectfully disagree with this notion.

Either additional income needs to be generated (a part time job) to offset what is preceived as high healthcare premiums or like auto insurance, shop around for catastrophic health coverage and make the deductable as high as you can live with. That usually makes for lower premiums.

I'm not trying to sound harsh on this issue. However, self-reliance and the freedom to choose is a much better solution to healthcare than the government could possibly provide.
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:25 PM   #13
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Sticks, not everyone can buy health insurance and not every job has health insurance. I know of plenty of situations where people fall through the cracks and end up uninsured or underinsured.

Fifty five year old laid off of job and is only able to find another job without benefits. Can't buy a plan on the individual market and can't afford state's HIPAA plan.

Twenty-two year old gets a new job, no insurance benefits for a year. Gets ill and has no way to pay for medical costs.

Small employer cuts health benefits for employees, some can buy on individual market, others cannot. Some can afford risk pool, others cannot.

Here is a better story:

My 30 year old secretary got a brain tumor. She could no longer work. We had a long term disability plan which paid her COBRA payments which went 29 months because she was disabled. At that point, she was eligible social security disability and medicare.

Of course, she relied on her employer for these benefits. Not everyone is so lucky. And there are not many 30 year olds who think that they might need disability insurance to pay COBRA premiums.

Self reliance and freedom to chose has brought us 46 million uninsured.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:26 PM   #14
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I'm not trying to sound harsh on this issue.
I'd say "Welcome to the board...", but it's way too late to make your proposed solution look like anything other than an undeserved (and unsympathetic) lecture... you did have a proposed solution to help out the OP, right?
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:34 PM   #15
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you did have a proposed solution to help out the OP, right?
Sounds like: "Get a job or drop dead in the gutter. Hey, its a free country!"
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:10 AM   #16
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Welcome to the board ! Sorry about your health care issues .
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Old 04-19-2008, 03:25 PM   #17
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Welcome to the board Refugee. I hope you are able to find a satisfactory solution to your healthcare expense problem.

Sticks, I agree with most of what you are saying even if it does come across as harsh. I read over and over again on this site that people should plan for the cost of healthcare in their retirement plans. ER is a choice and there are numerous comments that folks would look for PT employment or go back to work if their ER plans fell short.
I don't have a solution, but quite frankly I shutter at the thought of healthcare being managed by our goverment! A picture comes to mind of the DMV or the SS office - taking a number and then sitting & wondering and sitting & wondering and sitting & wondering some more about how much longer before you hear them call your number.
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:20 PM   #18
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I don't have a solution, but quite frankly I shutter at the thought of healthcare being managed by our goverment! A picture comes to mind of the DMV or the SS office - taking a number and then sitting & wondering and sitting & wondering and sitting & wondering some more about how much longer before you hear them call your number.
Agree. But there are many ways to keep a lot of the good of our current system, while making it more efficient and humane.

Likely could be done by nothing more radical than better national level regulation of health insurance companies.

France and Germany seems to have excellent systems that cover everyone, yet cost less than our current system.

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Old 04-19-2008, 08:07 PM   #19
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Welcome Refugee
Sorry to hear your DH's company bailed on their promise. This is, in my opinion, the difference between what is really going on and what Sticks is saying. If they promised it, they should honor that promise. In a situation where it was not promised, then the early retiree needs to plan with that in mind. All of that said, I agree with Ha that a lot more could be done with a little regulation.

Having just experienced a week long hospital stay, CT scans, endoscopy, etc, I can tell you from first hand experience that the US system is way out of whack compared to other countries. For example, in the US you would probably pay a couple thousand dollars for an endoscopy (just hearsay, I don't really know). The cost here was $150, of which the insured pays 30%. Now, I am in one of the most expensive cities in the world!

So, what is the reason for the differential? You may want to ask Rich-in-Tampa, but I think it is because of our tort laws, allowing people to get away with exorbitant sums of money on malpractice suits, thus requiring doctors to pay exorbitant sums of money for insurance...and passing those costs along to the consumer. I don't blame the doctors though. Here (my assignment city in Asia), the courts only allow for compensatory damages to be paid (for example, the courts will demand that the costs of re-doing a botched surgery are paid), but do not allow the plaintiff to demand penalty damage payments (forgot the word for this).

Anyway, our system in the US could be fixed and made affordable almost overnight by fixing things like this. There are many other areas similar to this as well, that need to be overhauled.

FWIW

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Old 04-19-2008, 08:19 PM   #20
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Refugee, I hope you can solve your problem in getting affordable health care. Welcome, from a newbie like you.

My 2 cents worth, I have been involved in healthcare for 35 years, and I strongly believe that we should have nationalized health care. Those 46 million souls that are uninsured should be able to be get health care, and be seen by healthcare providers, EVEN with a waiting period, rather than not be seen at all. Those who want to be seen instantly can pay up front to be seen by other healthcare providers who should be able to bill separately, aside from getting govt payments into their practices, if we did have nationalized healthcare. (Sounds like Universal Medicare, with supplemental insurance coverage for those who can afford it, right?)

Health care should be a right for every citizen, without having to beg to be included from business money types (insurance companies) for some health coverage.

(Now getting off my soapbox).
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