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Health Benefits Before Medicare
Old 11-11-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
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Health Benefits Before Medicare

My wife and I are currently covered by medical, dental, and vision plans through her employer (school system) and they seem to more than adequate, reasonable copays, deductibles, choose your own doctor, etc. Dental and vision are the top of the line but not bad.

In 2 years, she will be able to retire with 10 years of service and a very small monthly pension but she would also be able to continue to purchase her health plan at what the school system says is a very good rate for both of us. If we started today, the cost would be about $950 per month to continue the same coverage for medical, dental, and vision. This would increase annually but at the group rates.

She is 50 and I'm 53 so wondering if this is a good deal? The best part may be that the coverage is in place and wouldn't be subject to being increased because of our ages- we would continue to be part of the group plan so the value would be greater in later years I think? I think this also seems like a decent price since it covers medical, dental, and vision as well based on some limited research.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:31 PM   #2
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Did you mean MEDICARE rather than MEDICAID?
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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Did you mean MEDICARE rather than MEDICAID?

Yes, thanks for your help.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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My DW went to work for the local school dist in NY about 8 years ago. She left 2 years ago and was able to retain medical for both of us and we pay 10% of the total premium each year. No dental or glasses but the coverage is good. $18.00 co-pays and last year the total coverage cost us $1700.

Amazing that someone can work for 5 years at a school dist. and then that dist. continues to pay medical for life. Not only for that person but a family plan. That's about 16K a year for maybe 40 years out of tax payers pockets. Crazy deal if you ask me but I'm glad we have it.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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I think you are unlikely to find individual health insurance with coverage comparable to her current coverage at a better price. Group policies are golden. Be sure to thank all her healthy younger co-workers!

I'm planning on continuing coverage with my current employer, paying the full cost myself, to cover me from retirement to Medicare.

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Old 11-11-2008, 09:42 PM   #6
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If you have an option to continue the medical but drop the vision and dental, you might find that a better way to go. Vision and dental are not usually huge expenses. Medical is the problematic health insurance to find privately.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:56 PM   #7
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Amazing that someone can work for 5 years at a school dist. and then that dist. continues to pay medical for life. Not only for that person but a family plan. That's about 16K a year for maybe 40 years out of tax payers pockets. Crazy deal if you ask me but I'm glad we have it.
This seems to be the reason among others that many States are going under and looking to the Feds for a bailout. Too many promises (for votes) not enough money. Leave it to the next guy to pay.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:59 PM   #8
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I think it depends on the details of the plan. Deductibles, donut holes, generic scrips vs. formulary vs. brand name, chiropractor coverage, lab tests, preventative screenings, medical equipment, etc.

If it's a "full-featured" plan, I'd say that cost is reasonable. If it's a bare-bones plan with a high deductible, then it seems too high to me.

Other factor is part of the country...some areas cost more.

The plan I'm on at work is a high deductible plan. Deductible for wife/I is $5,600/year, and scrips don't count towards the deductible. It's coupled with a flexible spending account, and the premiums are rock-bottom because of the high deductible.

We do have the option of a lower deductible plan, but the premiums are much higher...about 4x what we pay.

Good luck!

Dave
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:09 PM   #9
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Medical is through Cigna and seems to have reasonable co-pays and deductibles, includes prescriptions. Dental is through Delta and both coverages are supposed to be good where ever these plans are accepted so when we leave the area, that will be a consideration as we choose new providers. We've used the coverage here in VA for a few years and been satisfied, thanks for the feedback so far!
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