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Big consideration for many going forward....
Old 12-21-2008, 11:16 AM   #21
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Big consideration for many going forward....

As more and more cut back on what a retiree will receive and more and more is pushed to the "free market" what and where will it all go? Again, politics aside the health care mess and coverage confusion and lack of stability is at crisis level in my humble opinion. We need to step up to the plate and provide health care to all somehow. I don't know what model to use or what model to criticize....just know the maze of coverages and maze of not covered is far beyond what it should be. In our case we anticiapted higher premiums and less coverage and more hassles and 4 years ago while in good health took out a private plan vs. being linked to an employers plan. This plan is nationwide in USA, it is a High Deductible plan ($3,850 per family unit per year), it pays 100% after that level, and we linked an HSA to it. Each year we write a check back to us from the HSA to cover the under $3,850 portion of our costs. Now...will this work to carry us to age 65? We have about 12 years to go and think it should work if in fact we can simply keep up with the premium increases. Our HSA has about 3 years of deductibles in it now and should continue to grow. Again, as we understand it they can't drop us unless they discontinue the whole class of coverage but they can and do raise premiums each year. So far it looks like a good move.....we have coverage no matter where or how much we work....will it hold on to age 65 and can we affort it? Stay tuned!
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:30 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Independent View Post

Sure enough, the letter went "blah, blah, blah, bad economic conditions, blah, blah, can no longer afford to subsidize retiree health care, blah, blah".
So all retirees have to get off the company's plan ? There's no option to stay and pay the premium yourself and leverage group rate ?

I assume you still had a contribution towards medical insurance before this change - how much was it ? Any idea on monthly cost after leaving company plan ?

Don't say anything you don't want to - I'm just curioius. My Megacorp keeps increasing "retiree contribution" - but not terminated.

What happens to people with pre-existing conditions ?
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:20 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Delawaredave5 View Post
So all retirees have to get off the company's plan ? There's no option to stay and pay the premium yourself and leverage group rate ?

I assume you still had a contribution towards medical insurance before this change - how much was it ? Any idea on monthly cost after leaving company plan ?

Don't say anything you don't want to - I'm just curioius. My Megacorp keeps increasing "retiree contribution" - but not terminated.

What happens to people with pre-existing conditions ?
All I know now is a few lines in a one-page letter. But I'm pretty sure that we'll be able to buy into the existing plan for at least two year. The company is "eliminating the subsidy" but not "eliminating group health for retirees".

I agree with you that just staying in the group plan is a big deal. Before I retired, I said that the only thing I really needed from the company was group rates. But I also felt that if they don't subsidize the coverage, eventually they get anti-selection and the rates spiral up.

According to the company, their contribution for a couple, under age 65, was about $14,500 per year. For a couple over 65, it was $3,000 per year.

If you stay in the plan, I'd assume no changes on pre-existing conditions. If they close the plan, then we've got whatever HIPAA provides. I generally believe that means you can get coverage as long as you "stay in the system", but I know there are exceptions (my son discovered that his student health insurance didn't fall under the guidlelines).
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:45 AM   #24
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I could be wrong, but I don't think that HIPAA applies to retired folks. Likewise, I don't think employers are required to offer COBRA to retired folks when they terminate a health care plan. All the references in HIPAA refer to employees.

When I retired in 2001, I paid $200/mo for the DW and I to have coverage. By 2008 this had reached $800/mo as the company had frozen its subsidy in 2001.

The company was purchased by another this year, and we became part of the new owner's retiree pool. Their subsidy is higher (although frozen) and we will pay $600/mo for 2009.

We have just a few years till Medicare so who knows.......

Something has to be done.
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