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Can you stay on track if ACA is altered ?
Old 06-24-2015, 04:45 PM   #1
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Can you stay on track if ACA is altered ?

Early retirees -- From another thread, it seems many early retirement plans are contingent on what happens on a go forward basis to ACA - be it change to subsidies, or a full reversal of the law, or a change to bring back pre existing condition limitations. Or some combo there in.

How dependent were you on ACA as a cornerstone / pillar to your overall FIRE plan ? To your SWR ?

Many people plan their FIRE without counting on SS as a contingency plan / conservative withdraw approach. what is the contingency plan for a change in ACA / not counting on ACA based health insurance ?

Can you personally still be FIRE earlier than Medicare eligibility if ACA gets overturned or changes ?

What's your plan B ? Plan C?

I am recently FIRE and about to sign up for an ACA plan - we don't qualify for subsidy now and likely not for next few years and I assumed no subsidy in fire budget. ( my contingency).

Another could be to live abroad.

I did not figure in the correct inflation rate- healthcare premiums are zooming up much faster than overall core inflation.

Will a change in ACA really upset the early retiree's apple cart ?
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:04 PM   #2
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Will a change in ACA really upset the early retiree's apple cart ?
Depends what they do. I never really cared about the subsidy. It was more about being allowed to purchase HI as opposed to being rejected/cherry picked by the insurance companies.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:07 PM   #3
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We will have the Supreme Court rulung in a couple of days. Why not wait for that and, if necessary, then we can speculate about alternatives and options.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:51 PM   #4
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While I initially though HI subsidies would be attractive, I later decided that the savings were paltry compared to the tax savings of doing Roth conversions and the RMD tax torpedo so I decided to forgo the subsidies.

We do qualify to by catastrophic coverage because the lowest cost bronze plan exceeds 8% of our income so we have done that and the premiums are about 30% less than a bronze plan and the deductibles are only slightly higher.

So if the only change is subsidies, no impact on us.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:51 PM   #5
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We don't need a subsidy, but we do need to be able to buy insurance, however, I think that we are safe in California. We're also over 55 and unlikely to have our Medicare age changed. I'm definitely not as anxious as I was before the 2012 USSC ruling.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:59 PM   #6
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We will have the Supreme Court rulung in a couple of days. Why not wait for that and, if necessary, then we can speculate about alternatives and options.
Surprised this hasn't been in the headlines of late. I suppose, there plenty of other "stuff" keeping the news stations busy.
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:08 PM   #7
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Don't care about the subsidy, but if insurance were suddenly much more expensive or if insurance were unobtainable for people with existing conditions, then that would certainly ruin plans for ER.
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:14 AM   #8
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Depends what they do. I never really cared about the subsidy. It was more about being allowed to purchase HI as opposed to being rejected/cherry picked by the insurance companies.
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:32 AM   #9
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Don't care about the subsidy, but if insurance were suddenly much more expensive or if insurance were unobtainable for people with existing conditions, then that would certainly ruin plans for ER.
That's my fear. However, at some point you have to take the plunge. Nothing is guaranteed and a Supreme Court ruling this week will not be the final word. I expect yearly changes and hopefully can adapt for the 5-6 years until Medicare.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:12 AM   #10
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That's my fear. However, at some point you have to take the plunge. Nothing is guaranteed and a Supreme Court ruling this week will not be the final word. I expect yearly changes and hopefully can adapt for the 5-6 years until Medicare.
And the next thing to worry about is what changes will happen with medicare. You can't protect for every change that could come down the pike. You can always make a new worst hypothetical to prepare for.

Make your best estimate and go for it.
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Can you stay on track if ACA is altered ?
Old 06-25-2015, 09:12 AM   #11
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Can you stay on track if ACA is altered ?

Supreme Court upheld subsidies on federal healthcare.gov exchange ....

Wonder what the next appeal will be.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:19 AM   #12
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Supreme Court upheld subsidies on federal healthcare.gov exchange ....

Wonder what the next appeal will be.

6-3 vote. That is a unanimous decision for that court. Personally the decision may have avoided disaster for me. I can come on here and complain about my premium rate increases, but at least I can afford it to complain.


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Old 06-25-2015, 09:31 AM   #13
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I couldn't have bought insurance without the individual mandate. Glad it's here for a while.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:48 AM   #14
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You can cross this one off the worry list now- yeah!
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:51 AM   #15
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I've never counted on subsidies- our investment income plus DH's SS make us ineligible- but I'm grateful for the steps it's taken to improve access to insurance. I'm 62 and on zero prescriptions but, like most people over 60, there are a few blips in my medical history that a picky insurer might call pre-existing conditions.

Still, I'll be happy when I can get Medicare and ditch my $6K deductible!
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:12 PM   #16
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Depends what they do. I never really cared about the subsidy. It was more about being allowed to purchase HI as opposed to being rejected/cherry picked by the insurance companies.
Exactly the same for me. I am "uninsurable" under the old rules. ACA is my Plan B for being able to obtain HC. My budget does not include the subsidy, so that's much less of a concern for me.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:35 PM   #17
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And the next thing to worry about is what changes will happen with medicare. You can't protect for every change that could come down the pike. You can always make a new worst hypothetical to prepare for.

Make your best estimate and go for it.
Exactly. The date is set - 2/19/16
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #18
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ACA is not going Anywhere. Supreme Court just ruled 6 to 3... Is now part of the American Fabric.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:12 PM   #19
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ACA is not going Anywhere. Supreme Court just ruled 6 to 3... Is now part of the American Fabric.
I think you are jumping the gun on the American Fabric statement. A President who opposes it with this House and Senate and it is toast.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:52 PM   #20
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I first found this forum while searching for affordable health care options for the early retiree. In fact, my bookmark for the site is Martha's FAQ on buying private health insurance and if memory serves, "how do you get health insurance?" was a common topic here prior to ACA. If you combine the views for the FAQ on Private HI with those for the FAQ on PPACA, you get more than 51,000 hits making HI the #1 topic in the FAQ section.

I may have access to some retiree health care through my megacorp if I work until I am 55, but they've made so many changes to our coverage that I don't want to count on that. I think that ACA offers me a way to approximate the cost of health care from 55 - 65 and also keep it affordable. Defining affordable will vary of course, but if I can keep it at or below $500 / month, then I can meet my FIRE goals. If I have to budget $1k or more, which was not unheard of before ACA, then I may have to work longer or consider other options such as retiring abroad. I really don't want to do either of those, so I'd say that ACA is pretty important to me.

All of the retiree households that I know of have employer sponsored health care coverage or have transitioned to Medicare. The two people that I know that have used ACA are both the twenty something children of friends. One to obtain coverage after they turned 27 and one for when the parent changed jobs and was in between coverage.
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