Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
ACA and Retiree Medical
Old 08-19-2013, 09:12 AM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 41
ACA and Retiree Medical

Thanks in advance for any assistance. Looking for some additional confirmation / perspectives on the following ACA and retiree healthcare situation.

I am presently bridged in a megacorp retiree medical plan and enrolled with my spouse and 2 or more dependents at a rather hefty "unsubsidized" rate until I reach 55. Once I reach 55 I will then be eligible for a subsidy to help offset some of the cost (TBD on amount).

As a stipulation of the retiree medical plan, I cannot drop coverage and come back into the plan at a later point so we have been paying and plan to continue to pay the monthly retiree medical plan cost until the subsidy kicks in as we want to ensure we keep this option available to us in light of the newness and uncertainty around ACA.

In light of the upcoming ACA changes though, I'm presently investigating whether it is acceptable for only me to remain on the company retiree plan (believe this to be true but not confirmed yet) and consider dropping the wife and children in the upcoming 2014 open enrollment period if we can find less expensive, comparative exchange coverage on the open market.

Figuring this to be true, I can then enroll my wife and two children separately in exchange coverage, resulting in us paying my individual retiree plan premium, in addition to the monthly exchange premium for them, less any premium subsidy based on family size of "four" and income level?

Thanks again for any input / suggestions.
__________________

__________________
bpgdeg1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-19-2013, 09:50 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RockyMtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Scottsdale
Posts: 1,231
Is your intent to drop them into the exchange and then bring them back to your plan once you hit 55 and receive the company subsidy?
__________________

__________________
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
RockyMtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,629
Not an easy decision with so much uncertainty in the overall marketplace. Overall HI costs, corp retiree bennies and ACA could change a lot in coming years (inc cut backs in subsidies &/or eligibility). Depending on your specific circumstances (MAGI, state HI premiums, features of ACA vs corp HI plan, etc) and that opting out of your co HI may be burning a bridge, I would be tempted to stay on co plan for 2014 to see how ACA implementation shakes out.

Good luck- and welcome aboard!
__________________
ERhoosier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:12 AM   #4
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtn View Post
Is your intent to drop them into the exchange and then bring them back to your plan once you hit 55 and receive the company subsidy?
Potentially. I guess it depends on subsidized retiree medical plan cost versus exchange plan cost.
__________________
bpgdeg1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RockyMtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Scottsdale
Posts: 1,231
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpgdeg1234 View Post
Potentially. I guess it depends on subsidized retiree medical plan cost versus exchange plan cost.
I would make sure that your retiree plan allows you to do this.
__________________
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
RockyMtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:20 AM   #6
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERhoosier View Post
Not an easy decision with so much uncertainty in the overall marketplace. Overall HI costs, corp retiree bennies and ACA could change a lot in coming years (inc cut backs in subsidies &/or eligibility). Depending on your specific circumstances (MAGI, state HI premiums, features of ACA vs corp HI plan, etc) and that opting out of your co HI may be burning a bridge, I would be tempted to stay on co plan for 2014 to see how ACA implementation shakes out.

Good luck- and welcome aboard!
Thanks ERhoosier. I would not opt out of company health insurance and would remain in as an individual but would consider dropping wife and kids until subsidy kicks in and then reevaluate at that point.

So basically would look to pay both my individual premium in company retiree medical plan and also wife and kids on exchange plan if the combined premiums are less expensive than just continuing as a family in company plan at unsubsidized rates.
__________________
bpgdeg1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:22 AM   #7
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtn View Post
I would make sure that your retiree plan allows you to do this.
Thanks RockyMtn for input and yes indeed this will be a major prerequisite to moving forward.
__________________
bpgdeg1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
MuirWannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 670
I'm in a very similar situation. I'd like to ER before 55 but do not qualify for subsidized HI from megacorp until 55. Hoping that ACA may provide cheaper options that change the 55 incentive and allow me to retire earlier. But ACA seems so up in the air for now. This uncertainty is the biggest impediment for me to be able to pull the trigger. Not sure how long it will take to have the ACA law and its ultimate effects on our retireee heatlh plan shake out. But I might be 55 by then anyway.

I suspect this uncertainty is impacting many potential ER's in our country.
__________________
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” John Muir
MuirWannabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 04:55 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,601
I think you need to make an appointment to sit down with someone in the benefits section of your megacorp HR department and discuss your options.

Chances are they have already considered your situation and know exactly what to tell you.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lake City
Posts: 131
Regardless of what you're told by the benefits managers, I would stay put in your current plan thru the transition in 2014 to see how everything pans out regarding the new law and its implementation. You have until March for "Open Enrollment" so you're not hurting yourself by waiting to see if things even implement January 1.

Wouldn't be surprised to see the rules regarding subsidies change before everything takes effect.
__________________
jflynn4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 41
Thanks Braumeister and jflynn4 for your perspectives. I have already reached out to the benefits group and started asking questions. I'm told I can readily drop my wife and children and then add them back in during a future Open Enrollment period or if a Life Event occurs, but seem to be getting some conflicting information for whether I would be able to re-enter the retiree medical plan if I were to also choose No Coverage. I plan to make another call tomorrow after reading some of the online plan documents. I don't plan to make any moves unless 100% sure of my ability to rejoin the plan if need be at some point in the future.
__________________
bpgdeg1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 07:12 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: North Bay
Posts: 1,026
When I left Megacorp in 2006 I had to deal with a similar clause in the retiree health benefits. Although the bold print said that I had to remain in the program to maintain future eligibility, the fine print said that as long as I maintained some type of health insurance, I would be eligible to opt into the retiree plan later. So I joined my wife's work-subsidized insurance and submitted evidence of that insurance to the Megacorp benefits group. Their website continues to show me eligible for the subsidized retiree program, so I think I am okay. You might see if your Megacorp fine print is similar.
__________________
scrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrinch View Post
When I left Megacorp in 2006 I had to deal with a similar clause in the retiree health benefits. Although the bold print said that I had to remain in the program to maintain future eligibility, the fine print said that as long as I maintained some type of health insurance, I would be eligible to opt into the retiree plan later. So I joined my wife's work-subsidized insurance and submitted evidence of that insurance to the Megacorp benefits group. Their website continues to show me eligible for the subsidized retiree program, so I think I am okay. You might see if your Megacorp fine print is similar.
Thanks scrinch, will do.
__________________
bpgdeg1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,428
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpgdeg1234 View Post
Thanks Braumeister and jflynn4 for your perspectives. I have already reached out to the benefits group and started asking questions. I'm told I can readily drop my wife and children and then add them back in during a future Open Enrollment period or if a Life Event occurs, but seem to be getting some conflicting information for whether I would be able to re-enter the retiree medical plan if I were to also choose No Coverage. I plan to make another call tomorrow after reading some of the online plan documents. I don't plan to make any moves unless 100% sure of my ability to rejoin the plan if need be at some point in the future.
Assuming that you can exit and later reenter, make sure that you get that from someone in authority in writing rather than just relying on some verbal indication that can later be denied or perhaps the person you talk to isn't with the company later on.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 09:42 PM   #15
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Assuming that you can exit and later reenter, make sure that you get that from someone in authority in writing rather than just relying on some verbal indication that can later be denied or perhaps the person you talk to isn't with the company later on.
No doubt pb4uski, that is my biggest concern. I feel very comfortable I can drop the wife and kids with the subsequent ability to add them back again later if makes sense. However, I personally need some real confirmation first on my ability to select no coverage at all and be able to subsequently get back in plan as I clearly don't want to be locked out if things go awry with ACA.
__________________

__________________
bpgdeg1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:12 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.