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Old 05-15-2011, 06:12 PM   #21
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We had individual health insurance in place prior to my resignation 2 weeks ago. I knew the COBRA premium would be more than I wanted to pay because the deductible was only $3,000. Given we are in good health and insurable, I agree with folks who say it is too risky to stay on COBRA becauses some health event may occur making it impossible to purchase individual health insurance when COBRA expires.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:25 PM   #22
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eHeathinsurance.com

Somebody already mentioned ehealthinsurance.com and I've found that web site to be very helpful. DW and I plan to submit an online application this week through ehealthinsurance.

The plan we are considering is an HSA with a $5000 per person deductible but there are caveats that if you don't meet your deductible in a given year 1/2 the amount transfers to the next year so that makes it more tolerable. The proposed plan is also very similar to the plan I currently have through megacorp.

My plan is to leave megacorp in the next few months so I need to have my own insurance lined up. However, I'll have retiree status at megacorp so I can sign up for their plan during open enrollment periods. So if I don't like going it on my own I have a backup plan.

By the way, the outside plan is $350 per month including both people. The megacorp plan for retirees is $1000 per month but you cannot be denied coverage through megacorp.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:13 PM   #23
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Somebody already mentioned ehealthinsurance.com and I've found that web site to be very helpful. DW and I plan to submit an online application this week through ehealthinsurance.

The plan we are considering is an HSA with a $5000 per person deductible but there are caveats that if you don't meet your deductible in a given year 1/2 the amount transfers to the next year so that makes it more tolerable. The proposed plan is also very similar to the plan I currently have through megacorp.

My plan is to leave megacorp in the next few months so I need to have my own insurance lined up. However, I'll have retiree status at megacorp so I can sign up for their plan during open enrollment periods. So if I don't like going it on my own I have a backup plan.

By the way, the outside plan is $350 per month including both people. The megacorp plan for retirees is $1000 per month but you cannot be denied coverage through megacorp.
I'd suggest using the help of an independent agent to apply even if you've already decided on the plan. Doesn't cost you anything....sounds like you're describing the United Health One plans with the deductible credit. If so, the deductible reduces by 20% the first year, 20% the second year, and 10% the third year until you are down to half the original deductible, then it resets when you do reach it. The deductible on that policy would be a single $10k combined, not $5k per person.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:51 AM   #24
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FYI: I went through ehealthinsurance, had UHC, after 1st year they raise my rate by 20%, when I called to ask why, they said I had a special introductory rate. This might be business as usual, I don't know.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:52 AM   #25
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FYI: I went through ehealthinsurance, had UHC, after 1st year they raise my rate by 20%, when I called to ask why, they said I had a special introductory rate. This might be business as usual, I don't know.
TJ
That's why you use an independent agent. An agent would tell you the truth instead of giving you a BS line like that.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:56 AM   #26
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An agent would tell you the truth instead of giving you a BS line like that.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:30 AM   #27
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Wouldn't an independent agent also be able to surmise your chances of actually getting the insurance and not being turned down? I've heard that once you are turned down, you have put that fact on any future applications for health insurance. You probably don't want to apply for it if the agent tells you you will be rejected.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:02 AM   #28
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Wouldn't an independent agent also be able to surmise your chances of actually getting the insurance and not being turned down? I've heard that once you are turned down, you have put that fact on any future applications for health insurance. You probably don't want to apply for it if the agent tells you you will be rejected.
Better than ehealth, yes, since they will tell you to just submit the application anyway. Some companies ask if you've been declined/rated/postponed, others don't. Getting declined or rated doesn't change your insurability with another company, but it does give them a red flag to check out a bit more extensively.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:42 AM   #29
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But the agent is getting paid by the insurance company?

You wonder about the rate hikes, with anecdotes about double-digit rate hikes every year.

Hard to get visibility on premium costs if say you retire 10 more more years before MC eligibility. Not to mention needing supplemental MC Advantage coverage too?
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:37 PM   #30
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But the agent is getting paid by the insurance company?

You wonder about the rate hikes, with anecdotes about double-digit rate hikes every year.

Hard to get visibility on premium costs if say you retire 10 more more years before MC eligibility. Not to mention needing supplemental MC Advantage coverage too?
The agent gets paid a commission, but so does ehealth. People mistakenly believe that buying from a source like ehealth is buying direct and they will save money, but it's not. Ehealth gets the same commission (probably higher because of volume) than an independent agent would. Health insurance rates are set with the Department of Insurance and the insurance company can't charge a lower rate for buying directly.

Yes, it is difficult to plan for early retirement when it comes to healthcare costs unless you have a retiree benefit, hence all of the threads on here about it.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by teejayevans View Post
FYI: I went through ehealthinsurance, had UHC, after 1st year they raise my rate by 20%, when I called to ask why, they said I had a special introductory rate. This might be business as usual, I don't know.
TJ
That's really interesting.

Like I said earlier in this thread, I got the same exact price from an agent that was listed on e-healthinsurance.com. My premium this year went up 8%, not 20%.

I know I got jacked on my auto insurance through Progressive because I didn't qualify for the 'internet rate' for year two. Definitely sounds like a scam to get folks in the door.

If I were you, I'd check with an agent to see what the pricing for your same exact policy would be. If it comes out to be 10% lower I might re-apply to get the better price (as long as I had zero issues with my health in the last 12 months).
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #32
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That's really interesting.

Like I said earlier in this thread, I got the same exact price from an agent that was listed on e-healthinsurance.com. My premium this year went up 8%, not 20%.

I know I got jacked on my auto insurance through Progressive because I didn't qualify for the 'internet rate' for year two. Definitely sounds like a scam to get folks in the door.

If I were you, I'd check with an agent to see what the pricing for your same exact policy would be. If it comes out to be 10% lower I might re-apply to get the better price (as long as I had zero issues with my health in the last 12 months).
Rate increases will vary between states and blocks of business. Car insurance has different rules and regulations and will also vary by state.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:01 PM   #33
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If I were you, I'd check with an agent to see what the pricing for your same exact policy would be. If it comes out to be 10% lower I might re-apply to get the better price (as long as I had zero issues with my health in the last 12 months).
I did that, ended up switching to Aetna but went back to work so I don't know if they would have done the same thing after the year was up, maybe all 1st year rates are lower. I no longer have clean health record, and 20% increases over a a 15 yr ER would break the bank no matter how low the rate started out to be.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:32 PM   #34
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Rate increases will vary between states and blocks of business. Car insurance has different rules and regulations and will also vary by state.
I realize that. He was saying that ehealthinsurance uses a similar scam pricing strategy as the one I ran into at Progressive . . . online discounts that only apply to the first year. If the initial price is the same between ehealth and using a broker, as it was in my case, then the 'online discount' is bogus and his year 2 increase is too high by precisely the amount of the expiring bogus discount.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #35
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I realize that. He was saying that ehealthinsurance uses a similar scam pricing strategy as the one I ran into at Progressive . . . online discounts that only apply to the first year. If the initial price is the same between ehealth and using a broker, as it was in my case, then the 'online discount' is bogus and his year 2 increase is too high by precisely the amount of the expiring bogus discount.
There are no online discounts with health insurance...the year 2 rate won't be determined until a couple months before the renewal. I've had some clients this year actually get rate decreases.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #36
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There are no online discounts with health insurance...
I think we're in agreement. He said he was told his health insurance increased 20% because of the expiration of an introductory discount. If there is no introductory discount, then there should be no increase for the expiration of said discount. That means his increase is partly the result of getting jacked by ehealth . . . which was my point, three posts ago.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:13 PM   #37
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I think we're in agreement. He said he was told his health insurance increased 20% because of the expiration of an introductory discount. If there is no introductory discount, then there should be no increase for the expiration of said discount. That means his increase is partly the result of getting jacked by ehealth . . . which was my point, three posts ago.
We're on the same page then....sarcasm can be hard to detect on the internet. Now that I re-read it I see what you're saying.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:26 PM   #38
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dgoldenz - Are the reductions due to the huge profits being reported?
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:32 PM   #39
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dgoldenz - Are the reductions due to the huge profits being reported?
Probably a combination of MLR requirements from PPACA and the fact that some companies, at least here in VA, are getting obliterated by Anthem on their rates. If they keep jacking up rates, they will lose a ton of business to Anthem. Anthem's increases have been relatively small on old blocks of businesses and they haven't increased rates on their new plans that were introduced last year at all....yet.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:39 PM   #40
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Probably a combination of MLR requirements from PPACA and the fact that some companies, at least here in VA, are getting obliterated by Anthem on their rates. If they keep jacking up rates, they will lose a ton of business to Anthem. Anthem's increases have been relatively small on old blocks of businesses and they haven't increased rates on their new plans that were introduced last year at all....yet.
I agree with DGoldenz. Anthem's rates in Missouri were way lower for me than others, and they have actually decreased my premium since my initial rate was given to me.
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