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Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-12-2006, 02:41 PM   #1
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Health Insurance and ER

Yesterday's New York Times had a supplement on retirement, and there was a large article on the theme that if you can't get health insurance, you're stuck until 65 and Medicare kicks in.

The article talks about workers stuck in their cubicles until 65.

It seems to me that this is an enormous obstacle to ER.

Has it been discussed here?

Lee
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-12-2006, 02:47 PM   #2
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

Lee, it's been discussed so much it's almost made some of us ill. Go to the search function and put in "health insurance".

Welcome to the forum.

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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-12-2006, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeg
Yesterday's New York Times had a supplement on retirement, and there was a large article on the theme that if you can't get health insurance, you're stuck until 65 and Medicare kicks in.

The article talks about workers stuck in their cubicles until 65.

It seems to me that this is an enormous obstacle to ER.

Has it been discussed here?

Lee
I agree with the article. I didn't seriously consider ER until I had a personal policy in my hip pocket. As soon as BCBS approved me, I told my boss of my plans to retire.*
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-12-2006, 07:28 PM   #4
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

It is definitely a major issue. The problem is really not getting insurance as mush as being able to afford it.

Some states are guarantee issue states which means the insurance companies must take everyone. Pre existing conditions are covered if you were on a previous plan. If not they can put limits on existing medical problems. Premiums higher than average.

About 30 other states have risk pools and they will take you if you cannot get insurance on your own. The companies they work with are good and you will pay about 150% of what someone without medical issues will pay. I believe alot of these states have reduced rates for low income people.

And there are other state programs if you qualify.

I think if you want to ER first find out what insurance is available to you, the cost and build it into your ER budget.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-12-2006, 09:27 PM   #5
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

I think that is kinda alarmist saying that people have to work until 65. Some folks here have discussed going part time to keep insurance or having a working spouse. Others that retire from government can get health insurance as a benefit in their 50s. Others with a company plan are fewer. You could also search "HSA", health savings account, which has been discussed a lot recently.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-13-2006, 07:12 PM   #6
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

If you have the assets to consider ER you should be able to get an high deductible policy and assume the risk for minor medical expenses. My wife and I have been self-employed for over 8 years and have a hospital only, $2500 deductible policy for $385 per month (WA state). Medical expenses, including insurance premiums, are our biggest financial risk exposure in ER but we didnít feel it was too big a risk to not ER and live our dreams.

In our culture of fear itís easy to say you can't take a chance and therefore follow the advise of some article or expert that tells you you need to work until your 65 or have enough savings to give you 100% of your current income (Schwabb said that once). ER is inherently a risky act unless you have a small fortune to live off of. Donít be foolish, manage your risks, but donít hide from them either.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-13-2006, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

So does approximately $400 a month for a couple in their early 50's with no pre-existing conditions and a high deductible ($10,000) sound like it is in the ballpark?

I have done just a few web searches and I am not sure if the web quotes are way off the mark or in the reasonable range.

--Papi
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-13-2006, 09:54 PM   #8
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papi
So does approximately $400 a month for a couple in their early 50's with no pre-existing conditions and a high deductible ($10,000) sound like it is in the ballpark?
That's a REALLY high deductible. Is it per individual or per family? A single episode of significant care (e.g. appendectomy, gall bladder surgery, admission for pneumonia, fracture) would snorf 10K up in a hurry, so have the checkbook handy. Lipitor is about 2 bucks a pill in some strengths. Is preventive care covered? Prescriptions?

Lots of variables to consider, but a high end BC/BS type policy in many areas goes for about $12K per couple per year with maybe a $2K deductible per family. Hope that gives you some perspective. If you have the cash around just in case, $4800 a year isn't too bad at all otherwise.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-13-2006, 11:57 PM   #9
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

Hi Rich,

Thanks for your input. My goof on my numbers: that $400/month would be for the entire familly (DW and 3 kids) before the kids get out of college. Yeah, I thought that deductible was very high as well. But the premiums rapidly ramped up as the deductible dropped. I haven't looked at the specifics of any plans yet, just trying to get a rough idea for now.

I guess the trade-off for us is that we are pretty healthy, no family history on either side of any mid-life bad diseases, strokes, alzheimers, etc., and we don't seem to have many doctor visits per year. So I figure play the odds and go with a higher deductible plan. But that also with the knowledge that if something bad did happen, I know I would have the cash ready to pay the worst case scenario.

--Papi
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-14-2006, 12:08 AM   #10
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papi
So does approximately $400 a month for a couple in their early 50's with no pre-existing conditions and a high deductible ($10,000) sound like it is in the ballpark?

I have done just a few web searches and I am not sure if the web quotes are way off the mark or in the reasonable range.

--Papi
At age 64 I was paying $232/mo for $1500 deductible, 80% co-insurance with a $3000 stop-loss. However, there was no drug coverage.

Ha
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-14-2006, 09:52 AM   #11
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

The costs of premiums will vary greatly depending on which state you live in and the type of coverage required by that state. I found that eHealthInsurance.com rates were very accurate for my state.

A 10K deductible is very reasonable if you are in good health.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-14-2006, 11:03 AM   #12
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papi
Hi Rich,

Thanks for your input. My goof on my numbers: that $400/month would be for the entire familly (DW and 3 kids) before the kids get out of college. Yeah, I thought that deductible was very high as well.
Get an HSA compatible plan for your family and put a few thousand in an HSA. It's tax deductible even if you don't have earned income.

cattlebank.com pays out 4.5% for their HSA. US Bank allows investing in Fidelity target funds.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-18-2006, 01:39 PM   #13
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFloat
The costs of premiums will vary greatly depending on which state you live in and the type of coverage required by that state. I found that eHealthInsurance.com rates were very accurate for my state.
DW and I pay $190 per month for both, $5,000 deductible, no drug coverage, ages 45-46.

We went with Golden Rule in CT. We found that eHealthInsurance.com rates were slightly higher than dealing directly with Golden Rule.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-18-2006, 05:06 PM   #14
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

i'm currently paying cobra $435/month for one person with no deductibles. this includes good dental and vision. i rationalize the high cost because i've stepped up weekly allergy shots (increasing the frequency & dose to finish early--this alone would be more than $100/week). also i'm medical-gifting myself from soon-to-be-inherited estate as everything over $2 mm will later be taxed at 46% anyway. i'm matching my medical withdrawals with estate gifting to my brother's family.

after inheritance i will shop for a high deductible insurance policy and self-insure the lower costs as afloat suggests.
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Re: Health Insurance and ER
Old 04-18-2006, 06:09 PM   #15
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Re: Health Insurance and ER

I am currently paying for my cobra insurance $525 with dental and in network $500 deducable for myself. Although, I have not been notified yet, I assume that my insurance will probably go up this May since it didn't last year. When I get to Tuscon, i'm going to get BC/BS PPO for $128 with $5000 deductable. For my annual dental checkup and cleaning, i'll probably have it done when I am in Thailand.
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