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Bottom line on health insurance changes for pre medicare
Old 03-12-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
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Bottom line on health insurance changes for pre medicare

I've been in a cave wrt the whole "healthcare debate", so know very little about how this effects the RE decision. My uninformed impression would be that if there was a huge pool of people of all ages and levels of health forced to be in one group, then that group might look like a group of individuals who work at megacorp, and so the benefits and costs of that forced group would be similar to the benefits and costs of those at megacorp. Did that turn out to be true?

I figure it must not have turned out that way because I would have heard about people leaving the workforce in droves, since so many people seem to be hanging on just for the health care policy offered by their employer.

If there's already a thread (a newer one that cuts out all the speculation of the early days), I'd like to catch up.

--Dale--
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:31 PM   #2
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I know several who have made plans to retire now that they have access to insurance. The difference is you have to pay for it instead of the employer. So if want your employer to continue paying for it, then you keep working.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
I've been in a cave wrt the whole "healthcare debate", so know very little about how this effects the RE decision. My uninformed impression would be that if there was a huge pool of people of all ages and levels of health forced to be in one group, then that group might look like a group of individuals who work at megacorp, and so the benefits and costs of that forced group would be similar to the benefits and costs of those at megacorp. Did that turn out to be true?

I figure it must not have turned out that way because I would have heard about people leaving the workforce in droves, since so many people seem to be hanging on just for the health care policy offered by their employer.

If there's already a thread (a newer one that cuts out all the speculation of the early days), I'd like to catch up.

--Dale--
What holds me back, and I suspect many more, from ER is mainly heath care. I suspect there will be a drop in the unemployment rate next year, and a spike in ER. People are waiting to see how it sorts it's self out. ER should be the growth industry of 2014.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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been in a cave huh? disingenuous much?
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:13 PM   #5
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Plenty of threads. No solid cost info yet until the exchanges start.

My understanding is that different age groups will have different costs, so preretirees may pay more than a full workplace cost. Or not...

The primary benefit will be that anyone can get HI at that rate.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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The premium cost for the plans on the exchanges are specifically stated in the health care law if your income is low enough. All limits are based on your income for the year as a multiple of the poverty line using your MAGI, and the costs are limited up to 400% of it.

For example, if your MAGI is 300% to 400% of the poverty line (which is about 15k for a couple with no kids, so 45-60k in income) your premium costs are limited to 9% of your MAGI. I think there are different buckets for income that lower the 9% to either 7% or 5%.

Example: You and your wife retire and your MAGI is 50k. You pay $4500 for the premiums. I am not sure what additional out of pocket costs can be.

The resolution of this credit is all done on your tax forms, so in the example you might have to pay $12000 up front for coverage, but when you file taxes you will receive a $7500 credit back.


My percentages and numbers are probably a little off, but this is the gist of it.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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I live in Massachusetts and looking at the choices for those going with the subsidized options I would not want any of them if I actually thought I might have to use it!

A lot of the better specialists do not accept the insurance and although your primary physician might keep you if you are already established (that is what my group does) you might have a difficult time finding a new doctor that meets your needs.

Even if you pay all the premium yourself the cheaper plans have the same issue.

Maybe it will be different in other states but I would take a good look before deciding on a plan
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:14 PM   #8
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I live in Massachusetts and looking at the choices for those going with the subsidized options I would not want any of them if I actually thought I might have to use it!

A lot of the better specialists do not accept the insurance and although your primary physician might keep you if you are already established (that is what my group does) you might have a difficult time finding a new doctor that meets your needs.

Even if you pay all the premium yourself the cheaper plans have the same issue.

Maybe it will be different in other states but I would take a good look before deciding on a plan
Interesting. For those that do not live in Mass. can you provide a URL and zip code to use so that we can see what the choice are in detail and what other insurance Mass. citizens are buying that is better?

Along the lines of your comment I had a related experience a few years ago. When I was with Mega Corp there were several Doc in the area that would not accept our employee insurance from BC/BS as the reimbursement was to low they said. We just found another doc who would and since it was the largest employer in the county the docs not accepting our insurance go hungry pretty fast and decided to take our insurance after all.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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I live in Mass as well. My Dr has already dropped several insurance providers and listed a few others he will not accept "after Dec 2013".

As I've posted on another thread, it should make for an interesting fourth quarter as it starts to dawn on people that a family making $65K must now go out and buy $12K worth of insurance.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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I live in Mass as well. My Dr has already dropped several insurance providers and listed a few others he will not accept "after Dec 2013".

As I've posted on another thread, it should make for an interesting fourth quarter as it starts to dawn on people that a family making $65K must now go out and buy $12K worth of insurance.
Interesting. Which insurers is he dropping and which are already gone?
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:09 PM   #11
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Interesting. For those that do not live in Mass. can you provide a URL and zip code to use so that we can see what the choice are in detail and what other insurance Mass. citizens are buying that is better?

Along the lines of your comment I had a related experience a few years ago. When I was with Mega Corp there were several Doc in the area that would not accept our employee insurance from BC/BS as the reimbursement was to low they said. We just found another doc who would and since it was the largest employer in the county the docs not accepting our insurance go hungry pretty fast and decided to take our insurance after all.
mahealthconnector.org. 02492
I don't know if it will be obvious how different the cheaper plans are if you don't know the environment. I am a physician and I have dealt with the problem of getting a specialist for a patient with Some of the cheaper plans. I also tried a search for specialists that I would want if I were ill and confirmed it would be a problem

All I can tell you is I am budgeting for the blue cross silver low plan. I do not currently use my insurance other than for prevention and screenings but not knowing the future I do not want to face a life threatening illness with anyone other than the best specialist I can find. It is individual choice of course but to me this is worth spending the money
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:00 PM   #12
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been in a cave huh? disingenuous much?
Hyperpole, maybe. But not lying...I don't waste my time on the play-by-play. I get more news off of Facebook than anywhere, and even there, I try to skip it. Instead I have a few trusted friends that enjoy paying attention to things, and I like boards like this to learn from smart folks.

So I really didn't know anything about the topic, but now I have an idea about it: we won't really know till next year, and it's likely to cost more than what my employer and I together are paying today if I want the same coverage.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:11 PM   #13
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So I really didn't know anything about the topic, but now I have an idea about it: we won't really know till next year, and it's likely to cost more than what my employer and I together are paying today if I want the same coverage.
We won't know what a policy will cost until October, but you might get a good idea by getting a cost estimate from the Massachusetts exchange now. https://www.mahealthconnector.org/portal/site/connector
Here's a FAQ on the PPACA Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act You can also find lots of useful info at the Kaiser Foundation The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation - Health Policy, Media Resources, Public Health Education & South Africa - Kaiser Family Foundation
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:43 PM   #14
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mahealthconnector.org. 02492
I don't know if it will be obvious how different the cheaper plans are if you don't know the environment. I am a physician and I have dealt with the problem of getting a specialist for a patient with Some of the cheaper plans. I also tried a search for specialists that I would want if I were ill and confirmed it would be a problem

All I can tell you is I am budgeting for the blue cross silver low plan. I do not currently use my insurance other than for prevention and screenings but not knowing the future I do not want to face a life threatening illness with anyone other than the best specialist I can find. It is individual choice of course but to me this is worth spending the money

nikki, i went with HNE essential 2000which you askedme-a silver other plan-

i also go to a giant practice in western mass-
riverbend- which takes everything and my doctor takes it
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:58 AM   #15
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Hi Gerry
I am at the other end of the state and that is not available. Glad to hear it meets your needs though!
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #16
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Interesting. Which insurers is he dropping and which are already gone?
Last time I was at the office there was a sign with a list of providers and the notification. I didn't pay much attention once I realized that my current provider (BCBS) wasn't on the list.

IIRC he was dropping the lower cost insurers. Seem to remember "Mass Health" (I think this is our local 'exchange') but can't swear to it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:35 PM   #17
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We won't know what a policy will cost until October, but you might get a good idea by getting a cost estimate from the Massachusetts exchange now. https://www.mahealthconnector.org/portal/site/connector
I could only get it to work for myself, not for a family.

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Thanks for that link. Toughed it out through the whole thing. Even though there was a lot of speculation in it (even pre-election), still valuable. I'm not liking that there will be yet another set of knobs to twiddle on the income side to optimize this. Nice to hear some folks pulled the trigger already, using COBRA to bridge over. I'm trying to think of a good cover story to use in order to find out about COBRA pricing at megacorp (don't want to tip my hand).

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Didn't go to this link yet. Like any complicated topic that I'm just learning about, I keep thinking "I'll just hire an expert when the time comes". Then, when the time does come, I've obsessed enough and read enough to know what the expert would recommend, and go it alone, hehe. But this one might require me to "call the man".

--Dale--
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:43 PM   #18
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I could only get it to work for myself, not for a family.
Try again .. I had no difficulty getting either an individual or a family quote.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:25 PM   #19
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Plenty of threads. No solid cost info yet until the exchanges start.

My understanding is that different age groups will have different costs, so preretirees may pay more than a full workplace cost. Or not...

The primary benefit will be that anyone can get HI at that rate.
Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace (i.e. Federal "Exchange") begins in October. Get Ready to Enroll | HealthCare.gov

We fall into that "old enough to RE, not old enough to get Medicare" band. At the moment we're covered by COBRA for as long as my former employer offers healthcare coverage to its employees. It's $800/month for the 2 of us. Prescription coverage is included in that.

I'm going to follow the Obamacare rollout to see if I can find a better option. I signed up for updates at the main website.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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We fall into that "old enough to RE, not old enough to get Medicare" band. At the moment we're covered by COBRA for as long as my former employer offers healthcare coverage to its employees. It's $800/month for the 2 of us. Prescription coverage is included in that.

I'm going to follow the Obamacare rollout to see if I can find a better option. I signed up for updates at the main website.
I thought COBRA coverage is usually 18 months with a possibility of extending it for another 18 months. Your former employer is generous to continue giving healthcare coverage to its former employers and spouse for an indefinite period. Check with your former employer before choosing an option.

I myself got COBRA for 18 months and an additional 9 months until Medicare kicks in.
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