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Any guidance is appreciated
Old 10-03-2013, 01:41 PM   #1
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Any guidance is appreciated

I live in VA, and in 50's...and just retired.
So not Medicare eligible.
I worked for a big company, that will furnish me Retiree Medical Benefits, at a cost = 2*what an employee pays....the rub is it is based on my last,big salary.

1) Whereas in 2014 I will have $0 salary. I am living off savings now, and will do a small, $20000 pull from 401K in 2014. So 2014 income = only $20000, making me look like a poverty case.

2) I haven't seen the cost of my company's offering to me...so I can't compare to VA's Affordable Care plans, yet...
But, am wondering,for all the others in the same boat...what have you seen? Is it a given the Affordable Care act based on tiny salary of $20000 would HAVE to be less than my big company's offering based on big (but no longer real) salary?

3) If I take the Virginia ACA, would I get a subsidy,even though i do have an employer's plan, though, I am not really employed,so not really an 'employer'

Thanks to anyone who responds
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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$20K isn't so bad, it's more than I spend ( excluding HI premiums ).

Yes , you can still shop on the exchange, Retiree benefits aren't considered employer provided HI.

https://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i...-for-medicare/

If you have retiree health benefits
If you have retiree health benefits, you’re considered covered under the health care law. You don’t have to pay the fee that some people without insurance must pay.

If you want to consider Marketplace insurance instead, you can. If you are not enrolled in retiree health coverage, you may qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs based on your household size and income.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 2retireearly View Post
....I worked for a big company, that will furnish me Retiree Medical Benefits, at a cost = 2*what an employee pays....the rub is it is based on my last,big salary....
It would be unusual in my experience that employer provided health insurance varies based on salary - usually it is $x per employee, $y for an employee and children and $z for an employee, spouse and family IIRC so it will probably be 2x the amount from your last paystub. Check with your HR.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #4
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It would be unusual in my experience that employer provided health insurance varies based on salary - usually it is $x per employee, $y for an employee and children and $z for an employee, spouse and family IIRC so it will probably be 2x the amount from your last paystub. Check with your HR.
My company, does have employee charges based on salary bands. So, let's say, a salary in 2013 was $200,000....that is the high band...so the price per paycheck, for the single health coverage might = $180 per paycheck. If another employee made, say $50000, he would pay maybe $80 per paycheck.
If the $200000 employee goes into early retirement, his health coverage =2*180=$360, though his ER income is now, $0 (if he is living off of cash savings). It isn't 'fair', but it is reality. So, seems like ACA,with subsidy for low income should be the 'right' choice...if the coverage is comparable.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:43 AM   #5
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You may need to be careful about not having enough income. Although it hasn't been determined, if VA accepts Federal support and you are below 133% poverty level, you will shift you over to medicaid in VA.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2retireearly View Post
If the $200000 employee goes into early retirement, his health coverage =2*180=$360, though his ER income is now, $0 (if he is living off of cash savings). It isn't 'fair', but it is reality. So, seems like ACA,with subsidy for low income should be the 'right' choice...if the coverage is comparable.
I've never seen this before but life isn't "fair." I've heard the expression that "life isn't fair but it's equitable." We all had the same chance of being born to a crack addict mother or to Warren Buffet's wife. Most of us have landed somewhere in between.

There are other threads describing how to reach the subsidy level. If you have a significant 401k you should probably be rolling some over every year to a Roth IRA. In pre-ACA times the discussion would have been to max out the appropriate tax bracket to avoid punitive withdrawals when the RMD kicks in at 70 1/2. Now, people are looking at keeping it in the zone to stay out of the Medicaid bracket (which you don't want anyway) and still get the subsidy. We seem to have passed right through any moral dilemma at millionaires taking the subsidy intended for the "poor."

If you don't have enough in a taxable 401k, the possibility of reporting gambling winnings has been discussed along with other "income enhancements."

You can check to see what's available outside your company plan. Be careful to consider the level of coverage you can have now. I dont' know whether VA has their own exchange but you should be able to see what is going to be available on ehealthinsurance.com. That site seems to be working well and the government (state and federal) are struggling to get up and running. Be sure to indicate that you want it to start 1/1/2014.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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. . . We seem to have passed right through any moral dilemma at millionaires taking the subsidy intended for the "poor." . . .
It's certainly worthy of a theoretical discussion but I believe it is an issue that must be answered on an individual basis. I wish we didn't have to have so much regulation. In a society where the general working philosophy is to be responsible, generous, and successful for the benefit of all, that works. When the prevailing view is how little do I need to do or how can I game the system, it doesn't - and it leads to more regulation.

If enough people start to take advantage of the subsidies intended for the poor and use the benefit irresponsibly and flaunt it . . . you can be sure more regulation (means testing) isn't far behind. moo

My personal view is that any shift in social capital (tax dollars) away from bureaucrats and into the hands of responsible people who use it in non-consumptive ways for the benefit of society is a good thing.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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You may need to be careful about not having enough income. Although it hasn't been determined, if VA accepts Federal support and you are below 133% poverty level, you will shift you over to medicaid in VA.
IIRC, Virginia refused to expand Medicare so if he is under 133% and above 100% he will fall into the Medicare gap problem. In that case, his best bet (per the other thread we had on the gap topic) might be to project his income at slightly over the 133% level to insure that he can get a subsidy.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:22 PM   #9
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....We seem to have passed right through any moral dilemma at millionaires taking the subsidy intended for the "poor."....
Given the huge staffs of the people who crafted ACA if they weren't smart enough to consider this possibility then I'm not going to feel any guilt whatsoever at accepting what I am rightfully due under the law.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:32 PM   #10
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Call me a chicken, but if the employer insurance was the rate you quoted and was comprehensive, I would consider paying that and avoiding the high deductible premiums available. There may be future rate shocks from premiums priced wrong, lack of healthy participants, changing of rules to get the subsidies, etc. I assume once you decline company insurance, you cannot rejoin. You can always get on the exchange, later. Of course if your companies plan is a high deductible, I guess it makes it a moot point.
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