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View Poll Results: For Folks not on Medicare, how much of a burden is health insurance
Easy to get and covers my nest egg 16 35.56%
Really hard to get and wished I was still working 1 2.22%
If I get sick, I will just die 4 8.89%
Not hard to get, but expensive and doesnt cover pre-existing conditions 24 53.33%
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Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-20-2005, 09:41 PM   #1
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Health Insurance in FIRE

If a problem, please explain what state and why.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-20-2005, 09:51 PM   #2
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

None of the above.

Not hard to get but a) expensive b) excludes pre existing conditions [and the definition of pre existing is up to the underwriter and is VERY broad] and 3) no prescription coverage.

REW
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-21-2005, 07:36 AM   #3
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

A great resource for determining your individual health insurance optionsif you don't have employer retiree coverage is www.healthinsuranceinfo.net. Has a guide for every state.


Under HIPAA one can usually move from a group plan after exercising COBRA coverage to an individual plan. However, HIPAA does not put any limits on cost. So people in their search for affordable health coverage look for plans with high deductibles, and may end up with plans that in one way or another limit coverage. Or they find insurance simply not affordable and go bare. Sometimes they are picked up by state risk pools if coverage isn't available or affordable in the individual market. Also, HIPAA doesn't provide protection once you have an individual plan and want to move to another individual plan. Therefore, you might not be able to qualify for any plan or the plan might have exclusions or lengthy waiting periods for pre-existing conditions.




Here are the HIPAA rules for health insurance portabiliby to go from a group plan to an individual plan:

You must:

1. Have at least 18 months of continuous creditable coverage
2. Have been covered under a group health plan, a governmental plan, or church plan (or health insurance offered in connection with such plans, such as COBRA) during the most recent period of creditable coverage
3. Not be eligible for coverage under a group health plan, Medicare, or Medicaid
4. Not have other health insurance coverage
5. Have not had your most recent coverage canceled for nonpayment of premiums or fraud (unless it was your employer that failed to pay premiums)
6. Have elected and exhausted any option for continuation of coverage (under COBRA or a similar state law) that was available under your prior plan.

If you qualify as an eligible individual, any insurer that sells individual health plans in your service area must offer you a plan. But keep in mind that your premiums are not governed by HIPAA; rather, they are determined by state law and can generally be set higher if you have medical problems. Thus, while your application for coverage won't be rejected because of your health problems, the health plan can charge higher rates as long as it has state approval. These rates can be very, very high.

In addition, your benefits could be vastly different under an individual plan. That's why when you're moving from a group plan to an individual plan it's especially important to shop around for the best rates and benefits to suit your needs.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-21-2005, 10:00 AM   #4
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

For expats: www.goodhealthworldwide.com covers my need very well for $1200/year.
Cheers!
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-22-2005, 04:28 AM   #5
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Americans like to do everything the expensive way Ben. If I lose my health insurance for any reason, I may join you in Thailand. Its still affordable, but going up by leaps and bounds.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-22-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

I have a company plan that I'm grandfathered in, it will cost me $150 a month for my wife and I. The company quit offering this benefit about ten years ago.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-22-2005, 01:13 PM   #7
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by garrynky
I have a company plan that I'm grandfathered in, it will cost me $150 a month for my wife and I. The company quit offering this benefit about ten years ago.
Consider yourself blessed by the Healthcare Gods and pray that "grandpa" doesn't die...

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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 08:40 AM   #8
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

I think what this taught me is if you have a serious pre-existing condition and have to get your own policy, it could be a necessity to stay working or at least just semi-retire. Another thing to consider is that the longer you stay in the workforce, the more likely a condition could come up.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 09:19 AM   #9
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

I have a question:* We plan to move to another state after I retire.* If I elect to pay for COBRA coverage, does HIPPA guarantee us access to insurance even though it's in a different state than the original employer insurance?*

I'm trying to understand if the expensive COBRA coverage is worth it...I do have a good backup with group insurance offered through a professional organization, though it is also a bit expensive* *

Thanks for any input!
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 10:45 AM   #10
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

What is the best state to live in order to get affordable health insurance with a prexisting condition.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 11:34 AM   #11
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_K
I have a question: We plan to move to another state after I retire. If I elect to pay for COBRA coverage, does HIPPA guarantee us access to insurance even though it's in a different state than the original employer insurance?
I am currently using COBRA after retiring "early" a couple of months ago. It is simply a continuation, at your expense, of you current health coverage through your employer. I don't think it is a question of "access" to insurance even if in another state, it is the same insurance you have while employed, and the same coverage rules would apply.

You can find a summary of COBA here:
http://benefitslink.com/cobra/summary.html

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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 11:37 AM   #12
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by atla
What is the best state to live in order to get affordable health insurance with a prexisting condition.
You might want to do some research here:

http://www.healthinsurance.org/riskpoolinfo.html

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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 12:51 PM   #13
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
I am currently using COBRA after retiring "early" a couple of months ago.* It is simply a continuation, at your expense, of you current health coverage through your employer.* I don't think it is a question of "access" to insurance even if in another state, it is the same insurance you have while employed, and the same coverage rules would apply.*
Thanks REWahoo, but I'm not sure you understood my question.

Martha stated: "Under HIPPA one can usually move from a group plan after exercising COBRA coverage to an individual plan".* My question is:* Does this hold true when trying to move from COBRA coverage purchased in one state, to an individual plan in another state...in other words, are insurance providers in the new state of residence bound by the HIPPA rules to sell me insurance?* I'm trying to determine if it's worth paying for COBRA coverage in this situation.* *
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 02:28 PM   #14
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_K
Thanks REWahoo, but I'm not sure you understood my question.

Martha stated: "Under HIPPA one can usually move from a group plan after exercising COBRA coverage to an individual plan". My question is: Does this hold true when trying to move from COBRA coverage purchased in one state, to an individual plan in another state...in other words, are insurance providers in the new state of residence bound by the HIPPA rules to sell me insurance? I'm trying to determine if it's worth paying for COBRA coverage in this situation.
You might try looking here:

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/hipaa/hipaa1/content/protect.pdf

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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 03:54 PM   #15
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Not hard to get since we are able to stay with ex-employer for up to 25 yrs. (gov't agency) But it's darn expensive. We pay the full premium of $1027 a month for DH and me.

Very good coverage, though. $10 co-pay for appointments and $5 co-pay for generic drugs. (the only script we take is a sleeping pill for me)

Plus physicals are totally covered once a yr for each of us and we get two eye exams per yr each.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 05:38 PM   #16
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by kz
Not hard to get since we are able to stay with ex-employer for up to 25 yrs. (gov't agency) But it's darn expensive. We pay the full premium of $1027 a month for DH and me.

Very good coverage, though. $10 co-pay for appointments and $5 co-pay for generic drugs.* (the only script we take is a sleeping pill for me)

Plus physicals are totally covered once a yr for each of us and we get two eye exams per yr each.
For that premium they should make house calls and bring wine.

JG
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-24-2005, 06:54 PM   #17
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

I will continue to receive my health benefits from my former company and then will get it through cobra. One of the reasons I am thinking of moving from NY is to get cheaper insurance unless high deductable insurance is introduced here. Compared to the current cobra rate, I would save about $300+ a month if I moved to NM and get better coverage.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-25-2005, 03:52 AM   #18
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
I will continue to receive my health benefits from my former company and then will get it through cobra. One of the reasons I am thinking of moving from NY is to get cheaper insurance unless high deductable insurance is introduced here. Compared to* the current cobra rate, I would save about $300+ a month if I moved to NM and get better coverage.
I fell into this thinking for a while, i.e. looking to move based on the availability of cheap
health insurance. Spent a lot of time researching. IMHO, unless you are
really hard pressed, it's a poor reason to move although certainly can be
one of many considerations.

JG
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-25-2005, 08:28 AM   #19
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

I just got an approval email that all of us are approved for an individual policy.

The premiums will be 471.00 a month vs 713.00 on Cobra. I'm thrilled. I only had to pay Cobra for 1 month after all.

My older son is planning on joining the military next year, so he should have his health care coverage through them....
That will lower it even more.
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE
Old 07-25-2005, 08:37 AM   #20
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Re: Health Insurance in FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB
I just got an approval email that all of us are approved for an individual policy.

The premiums will be 471.00 a month vs 713.00 on Cobra. I'm thrilled. I only had to pay Cobra for 1 month after all.

My older son is planning on joining the military next year, so he should have his health care coverage through them....
That will lower it even more.
Congrats. I understand how nice that is. We're currently paying $741/mo for COBRA...

REW
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