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Money for Health Insurance
Old 08-26-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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Money for Health Insurance

I am only 58 years old, and am not supposed to retire with full benefits until I am 66. If I have to retire sooner it will be because of my health. I have health insurance provided at my work, but of course I will have to go on COBRA when I retire. I am worried about where I will get the money to pay for my insurance at that time. My husband has already retired on disability and we won't have much money coming in until I get disability SSI.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GrammieD View Post
I am only 58 years old, and am not supposed to retire with full benefits until I am 66. If I have to retire sooner it will be because of my health. I have health insurance provided at my work, but of course I will have to go on COBRA when I retire. I am worried about where I will get the money to pay for my insurance at that time. My husband has already retired on disability and we won't have much money coming in until I get disability SSI.
It had been my understanding that if you qualify for SSI disability you are enrolled in Medicare at the same time.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:31 PM   #3
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I have health insurance provided at my work, but of course I will have to go on COBRA when I retire. I am worried about where I will get the money to pay for my insurance at that time. ... until I get disability SSI.
The sort of good news is that I think you can get Medicare if you've been on disability for two years.

Disability Benefits

That leaves the two years on COBRA to squeak through. I don't know any neat tricks there myself. If there's an open enrollment period at your employer coming up, you might be able to switch plans before you have to stop working.

I did this to get into a plan that I could use to continue onto COBRA for 18 months, and then move onto a state COBRA extension for another 18 months. The plan I switched to was the only one that had to offer the state extension.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies M Paquette and Bikerdude. Yes, I can get Medicare after being on disability for 2 years. It's those 2 years that I'm worried about. It is open enrollment for the school district I work in right now until Sept 7. What kind of a plan are you talking about? One of our insurance plans is Providence and it's the one I am planning to transfer to. My other choices would be ODS or Keiser. I already tried ODS this past school year and didn't like it. If I choose Keiser I will have to change my personal Dr. and would only be able to go to the Keiser hospital.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:11 PM   #5
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What kind of a plan are you talking about? One of our insurance plans is Providence and it's the one I am planning to transfer to.
In my case, I had to pick a plan that would allow me to continue for as long as possible under California state law. Each state has it's own insurance rules.

I was just suggesting that you might have an opportunity to pick the plan that would work best for you and your situation before you had to stop working.

Someone who understands the situation for disability and medical coverage in your state could provide more information than I can.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:05 AM   #6
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I don't know all your details but I think you need to keep in mind that SSI can take a long time to get started. I have a sister in law that just got her approval. She waited 2 years for the benefit to be approved and start paying. Apply as soon as possible and most people I know get a lawyer involved to move things a long.
Don't mean to add to your worries,
Steve
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:29 AM   #7
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And be sure that COBRA is your only option: some employers offer a continuation policy (retiree health insurance) which you may have to pay for, but at least you have access.
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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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Old 08-27-2009, 09:38 PM   #8
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Thanks all. I did a close analysis and compared the insurance plans offered this year. According to my comparison, it looks like Providence Health is my best choice.

I am going to call them tomorrow with a ton of questions. Well, maybe just a few. Do you guys have any ideas about what I should ask them to find out what plans they might offer in case I need to retire?

One benefit I already have is my PERS. I, unlike many others in the PERS system had my funds locked into an 8% no matter what account. Of course those in charge had to jump in and spoil it all by putting everything not nailed down into a variable account. That way we could all lose when they did or, of course, get big pay backs when they did.

What I had in my 8% PERS account was nailed down, and is still making 8% no matter what. If I am not understanding this correctly, please by all means, correct me.

At any rate, I only had about 6k in the variable account when the market crashed. So only lost about 2k.

I hope some of you can give me some ideas. I am thinking I only have 1 or 2 years before my health retires me.

BTW why am I so confused about dryer sheets? Would someone like to enlighten me?
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:00 PM   #9
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....
BTW why am I so confused about dryer sheets? Would someone like to enlighten me?
Don't know much about your insurance question but here's the scoop on Dryer Sheets. Check out the FAQ sections for many other puzzling questions.

"What's the deal with the dryer sheets?!?"
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:42 PM   #10
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Ordinarily COBRA lasts for 18 months but if you are disabled as defined by the social security act it will last for 29 months. The idea is to be able to purchase coverage while you wait for medicare to kick in.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:44 AM   #11
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I might add, that since you think you might be getting involuntarily retired in a year or two do everything now to save as much money as possible. Do not leave anything off the table. If you can live without it, live without it. You are actually in a fairly good position that you can see it coming. Do everything you can to prepare for it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:01 AM   #12
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I might add, that since you think you might be getting involuntarily retired in a year or two do everything now to save as much money as possible. Do not leave anything off the table. If you can live without it, live without it. You are actually in a fairly good position that you can see it coming. Do everything you can to prepare for it.
Thank you. We are doing just that. We would really like a car, since we only have an old truck, however we are putting it off until we have as much money as possible in our savings. Right now we have 10 k put away in an account that we can only use in an emergency.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:15 PM   #13
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Well, I asked Providence Health about their portability option and they do have a fairly good plan. It's not one we could afford if I had to retire now, but it does give us a kind of guideline for a savings plan. If you hear any money screaming because it is being pinched it will no doubt be, at least partially, mine.
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