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Health Insurance
Old 10-01-2003, 12:02 PM   #1
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Health Insurance

We retired about 2 years ago. I am 56 and husband is 58. We joined the Tennessee Farm Bureau organization. Cost is $30.00 a year for both of us. You do not have to own or work on a farm to join. You can then purchase health insurance at a group rate. In my state it is with Blue Cross.

Since we do not have children to insure we each got an individual policy. My cost per month is $170.50 and my husband is $160.00. Deductable amount is $1000.00. We have had no major health problems but if we had the rates would be higher. Rates have gone up quite a bit lately and I was getting concerned until I read what some of the other posters were paying.

Some of you may want to check and see if there is a Farm Bureau in your state and then compare rates. Also if you know of any other organization you can join that would allow you to purchase health insurance you may get it cheaper because you are getting it at a group rate.

Hope this may help someone in their search for affordable health coverage. If it does post back with your results.

Barb
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-01-2003, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Health Insurance

In Pennsylvania the cost is $75.00 per person to join the farmers bureau. I am going to call tomorrow about the different Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance packages available plus costs.

Thanks Barb.

Rob
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-01-2003, 03:34 PM   #3
 
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Re: Health Insurance

Funny you should mention that.. I checked PA immediately fter reading the original post. I don't need it but my brother is always over a barrel for medical insurance.

Anyway, what I saw was that the requirements for membership in PA required something to do with farming either directly or indirectly. A bit more strict than TN requirements. Also, I checked Nebraska (my state) and apparently they do not have any medical insurance benefit with their membership at all

This is a good option for early retireds tho if you do the research and find the right plan and place and do NOT mind moving someplace new
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-02-2003, 03:17 AM   #4
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Re: Health Insurance

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Anyway, what I saw was that the requirements for membership in PA required something to do with farming either directly or indirectly.
I have a relative here in-state that owns a farm. I am sure I can work something out.
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-02-2003, 06:59 AM   #5
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Re: Health Insurance

Does anybody out there self insure - I've found other things to spend the money on for the last ten plus years ( age 49 to now 60 ). ? At what point would an individual consider himself having enough assets to self insure - assuming reasonable health.
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-02-2003, 09:01 AM   #6
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Re: Health Insurance

One cannot assume that their health will remain reasonable.
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-02-2003, 10:35 AM   #7
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Re: Health Insurance

I have a somewhat of a unique situation but it is one that will be able to provide me and my wife with I think decent health care in early retirement. We currently live and work in the US (we are not US citizens) but when we FIRE we will leave and spend a number of years in a Terhorst-like wandering.

During the wandering time we will carry high deductible international health insurance. The small stuff we will pay for ourselves and we will be able to pick and chose which country for the elective stuff (teeth cleaning, physicals, etc.). That and the non-elective stuff (ear infections, accidents, etc.) will be much cheaper than US prices.

When we decide to stop travelling or if we get a chronic disease or condition that makes the health insurance prices unaffordable we will stop in one of a number of countries with socialized medical coverage. I have citizenship in two such countries and my wife in a third one. We will need about 3-6 months to re-establish residency and qualify for coverage. This will be our fallback and also likely final retirement point.

What could an American citizen do similarly? Well, they could do the first part - travel or live in a cheaper foreign country and carry high deductible insurance. Most of the reasonably priced foreign health insurance policies limit the amount of time you can spend each year in the US because of the high cost of medical care there. However, it would allow for maybe 30-60 days a year so you could visit (be careful some allow only a handfull of days). They could also plan on returning to the US when older and covered by Medicare. There would be no socialized safety net for the years before 65(?). Perhaps one of your parents or grandparents was a citizen of such a country (generally any first world country other than the US) and you might be eligible for citizenship?

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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-02-2003, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Health Insurance

Terhorsts? At what point do have enough to pay your own medical bills - domestic or foreign?
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-02-2003, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: Health Insurance

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Terhorsts?
Paul and his wife Vicki of the the book "Cashing in on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35". Some of the senior pioneers in the very early retirement movement. See their webpage at http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/...315/index.html

Quote:
At what point do have enough to pay your own medical bills - domestic or foreign?
I think it depends on how much you want to self-insure. I plan to self-insure for the small stuff - physicals, teeth cleaning, ear infections, etc. The big stuff, over $5K to $10K will be covered by insurance. Where the cut point is will depend on the prices of insurance policies available to me when I actually retire (estimated date about 8 years from now).

Another big factor is how good is your health? My wife and I are in pretty good shape and don't actually see the doctor for much beyond routine physicals. I figure if we budget for maybe $1500 / year for our costs and then have at least one year's deductible easily available in case then we should be fine. I will have to look at fine tuning the number as I get closer. My guess is that the actual costs will be much lower.

Remember, in my case, if things get really bad (cancer, heart disease, hit by a yak cart, etc.) then even if the yearly coverage gets too expensive I will return to a country with socialized medicine. The high deductible insurance would cover me until I was able to re-establish residence. If an American were to try this then I would suggest having more in reserve to cover the possibility of yearly deductibles for quite a few years until Medicare.

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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-05-2003, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: Health Insurance

What I'd really like is a plan like what I've got now, a ppo plan that does an aggressive negotiation with providers. I just got a bill from the lab for my blood work and it was nearly $400 (Yeah, I'm not in perfect health) but the negotiated fee for services was less than $100. If I went on my own, I'd have to pay the $400. What would be ideal would be what they used to call major medical coverage. I'll be happy to pay the first $10k per year, if they would:
a) let me buy medical services at their reduced )negotiated) rates
b) cover me for anthing over $10k.
c) sell it to me at a reasonable rate.

Anyone know of insurers that have such a plan?

THanks,
Jim.
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-05-2003, 11:55 AM   #11
 
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Re: Health Insurance

It might have something to do with how states regulate these things, so location might have to be a consideration. HOWEVER.. I have seen many Blue Cross/Blue Shild plans around called "asset protection plans" They have a 5000 or 10,000 dollar deductable then pay for everything over that. The premium, of course is, is among the lowerst you'll find for any plan for obvious reason.

The only problem is the same problem with any medicla insurance. They cannot be required to sell it to you for ANY AMOUNT of money. If you're too sick for them "F" you. I would suspect tho that with a 10 grand annual dedcutable you almost can't be turned down unless you're REALLY REALLY sick.
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-05-2003, 11:20 PM   #12
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Re: Health Insurance

Quote:
What I'd really like is a plan like what I've got now, a ppo plan that does an aggressive negotiation with providers. *I just got a bill from the lab for my blood work and it was nearly $400 (Yeah, I'm not in perfect health) but the negotiated fee for services was less than $100. *If I went on my own, I'd have to pay the $400. *What would be ideal would be what they used to call major medical coverage. *I'll be happy to pay the first $10k per year, if they would:
a) let me buy medical services at their reduced )negotiated) rates
b) cover me for anthing over $10k.
c) sell it to me at a reasonable rate.

Anyone know of insurers that have such a plan?

THanks,
Jim. *
I just spent several weeks shopping for Health Insurance and Golden Rule offered a policy like the one you describe. I think the name of the policy was "Plan 100". There was at least one other company that offered a similar plan, but they were more expensive for my case, so I didn't pursue them and I've forgotten the company.
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Re: Health Insurance
Old 10-06-2003, 03:48 AM   #13
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Re: Health Insurance

Don't overlook Veterans Administration coverage, if you are a veteran. Quality was reportedly pretty bad 10-20 years ago, but from what I can see, it's as good as anywhere now.

Dory36
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