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New Health Care Proposal -- If it happens what does it mean?
Old 06-10-2007, 05:54 AM   #1
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New Health Care Proposal -- If it happens what does it mean?

If some of the new health care proposals go though... I can imaging that it might change some things fundamentally.

For example: if people could get Health Care Insurance at premium of about 2K/year for 2 people in their mid 50's, I suspect that more people might retire early. The question in people's minds is can they afford to retire. If the uncertainty of health care insurance is removed... I suspect many new "want to ER" folks will emerge.

Heck I am waiting on 55 mainly because of Company Med benes. If that part of the equation changed... I would check out sooner.

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Old 06-10-2007, 06:57 AM   #2
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What is really scary in the medical bennies issue is even if you have coverage you can get screwed by the insurance companies. I had an early screening of sicko by M Moore and uh oh. That said I have seen so much BS with friends who have coverage and then told oh we will not cover this or that procedure that it makes you wonder how not to get sick. One good friend diagnosed with cancer of the intestines and the doctor wanted to treat her a certain way and she spent 3 weeks fighting to get the treatments. Its bad enough to get sick then having to argue with a moron on the phone is just degrading.

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Old 06-10-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
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The thing that is really scary, is that even if you have company retiree medical benefits, whats to prevent the mega corp from pulling the plug on your benefits in the future, or if your benefits are only partially subsidized, to price your contribution to ridiculous $$ amounts?

Many large companies are doing so, and that coupled with runaway healthcare costs does not bode well. The large mega corps have the leverage to push back on the providers, but it is much easier for them to pass cost increases onto their retirees/employees. There is legislation taking place to try to preserve retiree healthcare benefits, but I have little confidence this will ever get made into law.
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by newguy888 View Post
What is really scary in the medical bennies issue is even if you have coverage you can get screwed by the insurance companies. ...
Especially with an individual policy. Group protection usually means some sort of leverage (larger contract). I believe it is very important to understand the rating of the Ins Co and how often they deny claims. If I had to purchase an individual policy... I would do much home work!



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The thing that is really scary, is that even if you have company retiree medical benefits, whats to prevent the mega corp from pulling the plug on your benefits in the future, or if your benefits are only partially subsidized, to price your contribution to ridiculous $$ amounts?

Many large companies are doing so....
Yup! It is a risk. I think my company will continue to offer the benefit. They are very strong financially. They look at that Benefit as a strategic tool to maintain employment. The Industry is complex enough that long-time employees are valued.

They manage the costs aggressively. I am less concerned about them discontinuing the benefit for retirees and more concerned that benefits will be reduced and/or the retirees cost increase (premium, deductibles, copays).
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Health care reform or not, people still have to put significant savings aside for FIRE...I still think that is more of a hurdle.....
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Old 06-10-2007, 11:04 AM   #6
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If it happens, what does it mean?

It means Medicare. It also means we haven't solved the problem.

So that means no fundamental change. The debate is access to health care which is clouded by paying for healthcare. We all have access to it -- a small majority (millions uninsured) can't pay for it.

Medicare has built more hospitals and funded more research than would have been accomplished without the taxation and infrastructure created to administer the benefits. Yet, we're not happy with it -- mostly because of how it funds the cost of care.

Legislation doesn't solve the myriad of issues we want to address with a simple solution: (1) childhood immunizations, (2) more healthy choices in life style, (3) cleaner, safer living conditions, (4) early detection of disease and treatment to improve health <<and reduce cost>>, (5) the right to the best treatment without paying for it, (6) educated healthcare consumers, (7) more research to find cures for causes of poor health -- both genetic and environmentally induced, (8) a way for millions who serve in the healthcare occupations to earn a living, (9) did I leave anything out?

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Old 06-10-2007, 12:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
For example: if people could get Health Care Insurance at premium of about 2K/year for 2 people in their mid 50's, I suspect that more people might retire early. The question in people's minds is can they afford to retire. If the uncertainty of health care insurance is removed... I suspect many new "want to ER" folks will emerge.

Thoughts or Opinions
Yes, if this could be accomplished it would certainly lead a lot more people to strongly consider early retirement. Anyone only working for the health insurance would be a candidate to quit. Depending on how it was implemented, it could move my FIRE ability forward five years or more.

That's one reason why it could be problematic to impose a government solution financed by taxes. Many of the people who are in their peak earning years and paying the most in taxes would become net tax consumers instead of net tax payers. That could lead to economic unsustainability which could make Social Security and even Medicare look like the pinnacles of intergenerational stability.

Don't get me wrong -- there are a lot of things about our health care system that need to be fixed. And while I'd benefit greatly from a guaranteed-issue, moderately priced health insurance option, I don't think it's too feasible unless early retirees of greater means have to pay a LOT more than working stiffs and retirees of lesser means. All of which might mean that someone who waits to FIRE until they have amassed a significant self-worth may not see much cost savings (if any) from the situation of today. The only perk might be that everyone would be eligible for group rates and not subject to preexisting condition limitations or extreme premium hikes if one develops a condition.
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:57 PM   #8
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The area that seems to get the most attention in terms of the govt providing healthcare is how to fund it, but IMHO the issue that needs to be tackled first is how to control costs so that we don't continue to see 10-15+% YOY increases; then figure out how to fund it. What a travesty that we have the best healthcare technology in the world, but the poorest administration.

With more corps diminishing/dropping healthcare benefits, this will definitely become a more serious and widespread issue in the next few years and is apt to impact those that have RE with company healthcare benefits.
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Old 06-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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The area that seems to get the most attention in terms of the govt providing healthcare is how to fund it, but IMHO the issue that needs to be tackled first is how to control costs so that we don't continue to see 10-15+% YOY increases; then figure out how to fund it. What a travesty that we have the best healthcare technology in the world, but the poorest administration.
I couldn't agree more. A few days ago some guy was harping about how we spend about 17% of our GNP for health care while Sweden (who has much better health care) spends about 10%. His take? It is the users fault. He never talked about the fact that hospital costs are less in Sweden - and that drugs cost less. Costs must be controlled. If the current health care costs continue at the present rate then within just a few years FIRE will become impossible (if you think that your megacorp insurance will save you imagine an increase of 200-300% or more) For those of you on medicare the projected increase for next year is 18% - project that out for the next few years!!!!
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Health care reform
Old 06-11-2007, 04:04 PM   #10
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Health care reform

Ziggy stated my view. I expect to pay a substantial "premium" or tax or whatever you call it for healthcare in ER. I just want to know it's dependable and that DW and I don't get jacked around if/when we need care. Gozzie
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