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engineering group health plans
Old 12-29-2005, 06:18 PM   #1
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engineering group health plans

I'm considering joining the IEEE (Electrical Engineering society) because I think I qualify with my engineering bachelors degree and software engineering job. They offer decent if not spectacular group health insurance plans. Anyone have any experiences with them or other group plans?

I'm wondering if there is any advantage to joining now while I'm still employed or waiting until close to the time my CORBA expires in 18 months.
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-29-2005, 11:23 PM   #2
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Re: engineering group health plans

Thanks, I confirmed that 2 year enrollment requirement. I just enrolled in the ieee to make sure that option is available to me later on.
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 12:04 AM   #3
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Re: engineering group health plans

I found Cobra to MUCH more expensive than getting individual coverage with the same carrier I had while employed. You might check with your current health insurance carrier and price an individual policy or a conversion policy.

The conversion policy was an automatic policy, but was more expensive than the new indvidual policy I ended up getting.
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 12:43 AM   #4
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Re: engineering group health plans

Thanks for the IEEE info!

I, too, am an employed software engineer and planning to FIRE in less than 5 years, so I would like to learn more.

I went to the IEEE site and found references to cancer insurance, long term care insurance, accident insurance, travel health insurance, etc. but nothing about just plain old ordinary comprehensive health insurance. Do you have a link?

Also, can one maintain IEEE membership for a long period once outside of the industry after FIREing, and is it required for continued enrollment in the health insurance after you are already in the program? [I realize you may not have the answers, just wanted to post the question]

Thanks,
Kramer

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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 08:24 AM   #5
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Re: engineering group health plans

I just checked ASCE (Civil Engineers Society) and they have health insurance through Marsh Affinity Group Services (800-650-2723).

Here's the description:

Comprehensive Health-Care Plan Up to $1,000,000 with benefits for covered medical expenses, includes PPO option.


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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 01:13 PM   #6
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Re: engineering group health plans

The IEEE insurance is with Marsh Affinity Group Services - the same as ASCE. If anybody finds it to be a good bargain, please report back here.
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 01:26 PM   #7
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Re: engineering group health plans

I don't remember the details, but I did look into pricing of the IEEE group plan when I retired a few years ago. I got a better deal on an individual policy.
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 02:27 PM   #8
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Re: engineering group health plans

Note this post has been edited to correct the prices of the California plans; originally the numbers I reported were for <15 year olds! I corrected to use the prices for my age, 35.

The IEEE comprehensive plan price does not depend on your age.* It's $423/mo for 1k deductible, 3k max, 80% coverage.

The California MRMIP (pool)* Blue Cross plan for a 35 year old is $384 for no deductible, 85% coverage, 2.5k max.*

The California MRMIP (pool) Kaiser plan for a 35 year old is $292 for no deductible, 100% coverage, 2.5k max.

The devil is in the details of course so a real comparison will require drilling down into the individual coverages and copays.* * What is interesting is that the IEEE program price is not dependant on your age so the older you are the more it would make sense.

The more I delve into this the more clear it becomes that the only way to really find the best deal is, like car insurance, to get quotes from a variety of plans and then go over them with a fine toothed comb.
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 02:38 PM   #9
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Re: engineering group health plans

Thanks for the info and the link -- I see that the links are back today. Sounds pretty expensive.

I have not thought much about what an 80% coverage means for retirement. I have thought about budgeting the premiums and deductibles, but I don't know how much health care coverage actually costs to know how much the 20% will be if one were to really get sick, for instance, and then to average those costs over a period of time, say 10 years.

Kramer
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 02:55 PM   #10
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Re: engineering group health plans

Remember the maximums... i.e. if you get really sick the IEEE plan has a yearly max of 3k; you will stop paying the 20% after you reach that level. That makes the analysis simpler; you can assume worst case $3k per year for covered expenses. Of course there may be non-covered expenses as well since insurance doesn't cover everything, and that is the real hard part to plan around.
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 08:06 PM   #11
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Re: engineering group health plans

The IEEE plan looks interesting. According to the web site, they don't reject for pre-existing conditions and have a flat rate regardless of age. The plan is through Cigna. Anyone have experience with them ?
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Re: engineering group health plans
Old 12-30-2005, 08:27 PM   #12
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Re: engineering group health plans

As a 40 year member of IEEE (joined my freshman year of college), I plan on keeping my membership up in retirement primarily as a fall back for insurance if I need it.

They want members to continue into retirement and even give discounts if you are unemployed or over a certain age (don't remember off the top of my head what age). Anyway at some point the membership fee drops in half.

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