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CAn anyone advise on post-COBRA coverage in AZ
Old 03-17-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
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CAn anyone advise on post-COBRA coverage in AZ

I'm desperately trying to pull the rip-cord and retire (at 62) but health insurance is proving to be an issue because my employer recently dropped retiree coverage. Until last year, they maintained their premium subsidy of about 65% for retirees. Now I'll have to pay the entire $1200/mo.

We've looked at private coverage and its about 15% higher than COBRA (for now) and not nearly as good. The real problem is I'll still be a year from Medicare eligibility when the COBRA 18 months ends. If we were staying CA, I' could get another 18 mos via CA-COBRA, but we'll be relocating to our 2nd home in Sedona AZ within the year, and in AZ it looks like I'll be on my own when the COBRA runs out, except for Federal HIPAA transportability. I checked the AZ Insurance Dept website but I didn't find anything but Federal HIPAA. Can anyone give me an idea what to expect in AZ after my COBRA runs out? Is basic Fed. HIPAA all there is? Does HIPAA in AZ mean I get thrown in the "uninsurable" pool at a horrific premium?
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DWPC View Post
I'm desperately trying to pull the rip-cord and retire (at 62) but health insurance is proving to be an issue because my employer recently dropped retiree coverage. Until last year, they maintained their premium subsidy of about 65% for retirees. Now I'll have to pay the entire $1200/mo.

We've looked at private coverage and its about 15% higher than COBRA (for now) and not nearly as good. The real problem is I'll still be a year from Medicare eligibility when the COBRA 18 months ends. If we were staying CA, I' could get another 18 mos via CA-COBRA, but we'll be relocating to our 2nd home in Sedona AZ within the year, and in AZ it looks like I'll be on my own when the COBRA runs out, except for Federal HIPAA transportability. I checked the AZ Insurance Dept website but I didn't find anything but Federal HIPAA. Can anyone give me an idea what to expect in AZ after my COBRA runs out? Is basic Fed. HIPAA all there is? Does HIPAA in AZ mean I get thrown in the "uninsurable" pool at a horrific premium?
The best guides on the 'net that I know of are the ones from Georgetown Univ:

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Old 03-17-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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If you're saying you can stay on your former employer's plan but pay the full amount ($1200) without any employer subsidy, perhaps that is comparable to COBRA and the interim private insurance you would have to find? If I could I would just do that until Medicare would kick in.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:59 AM   #4
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If the health care bill gets signed next week it will require high risk pools to be established within 90 days (I don't know how they are going to achieve that). The pools are an interim measure for the uninsured. If you can wait a few months you may be able to price your pool out.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:42 AM   #5
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If you're saying you can stay on your former employer's plan but pay the full amount ($1200) without any employer subsidy, perhaps that is comparable to COBRA and the interim private insurance you would have to find? If I could I would just do that until Medicare would kick in.
Federal COBRA mandates that for 18 months after leaving the company (or take another job) I have access to the same group plan I had as an employee, but I'm responsible for the full cost. When COBRA runs out, HIPAA (Fed) mandates that I have access to health insurance (can't be excluded for pre-existing condition) but is wide open on cost and coverage. Some states, like CA, have their own laws that mandate further extension of the group plan after Federal COBRA, but it looks like AZ isn't one of them.
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