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Old 10-25-2012, 10:08 AM   #21
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On the bright side, just think about the tax deduction we get to claim on those high premiums.
No deduction for us. We have no mortgage and our real estate taxes are only $2400/year so we haven't itemized in a long time.

We've been covering all our monthly expenses on just about 90% of DH's pension payment so we've had some savings left over every month. This increase in insurance costs eats up our entire cushion in the monthly budget and then some. We have been able to save all of my part-time income so next year a portion of that will be used to cover the increased expense, which will be deducted from the monthly pension payment. I'm glad I have my part-time job and that's it's something I enjoy. Many of the other retirees are going to have to make major changes in order to handle this health care insurance expense.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:19 PM   #22
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We just got our notice for our individual policies (no employer subsidy). The policies go up by 11.3% for next year. The past two years have seen increases below the 14% rate I budgeted for on retiring. Um... Yay?
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #23
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No deduction for us. We have no mortgage and our real estate taxes are only $2400/year so we haven't itemized in a long time.

We've been covering all our monthly expenses on just about 90% of DH's pension payment so we've had some savings left over every month. This increase in insurance costs eats up our entire cushion in the monthly budget and then some. We have been able to save all of my part-time income so next year a portion of that will be used to cover the increased expense, which will be deducted from the monthly pension payment. I'm glad I have my part-time job and that's it's something I enjoy. Many of the other retirees are going to have to make major changes in order to handle this health care insurance expense.
Sounds like you have been hit hard.

Our insurance has gone up at double digit rates for several years now. If DW goes to the doc it's $200 for a standard office visit. IMO we should all be able to get the same medical deal if we can pay for the insurance. How many of us chose our career based on how well the medical insurance would work out?

Sometimes I need to bitch a little.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #24
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How many of us chose our career based on how well the medical insurance would work out?
Me? But that is because I have a very low risk tolerance in nearly all aspects of life, and surely doesn't mean I think that what is happening to Sue and others is anything but shocking and abominable.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:30 PM   #25
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Me? But that is because I have a very low risk tolerance in nearly all aspects of life, and surely doesn't mean I think that what is happening to Sue and others is anything but shocking and abominable.
There is always one smart one in the crowd. Still I bet there were a few other considerations in your career + employer choice.

When I started work in the 1970's I had no idea that medical benefits would be the only tangible thing left to me by the employer after retiring. Even a few years before retiring I did not guess that medical premiums would escalate as they have. Oh well, no point in going on about this. Will just have to grit the old teeth and carry on.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:35 PM   #26
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There is always one smart one in the crowd. Still I bet there were a few other considerations in your career + employer choice.
You're right. Other security blankets like pension, too, and the lower likelihood of being pushed out before retiring due to being older. But, benefits were the main consideration, and particularly medical insurance.

I was pretty sure there was going to be a medical care crisis with skyrocketing expenses as I approached retirement, and predicted this publicly as far back as the 1970's. Of course, I could have been wrong.... often am! But I was SO sure that would be the case. Still am.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:53 PM   #27
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W2R, my hat is off to you.

Our current situation is just fine, but maybe we were just a bit lucky with the choices we were given over the decades we had to work. So the medical insurance situation for us is just an annoyance.

Other generations may not be so lucky, but then again they may have an even nicer time of it ... the future is unclear.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #28
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W2R, my hat is off to you.
Hey, even a million monkeys with a million typewriters... or something.... Thanks. I didn't foresee the real estate crash at all, though, so I guess I am not much of an oracle. I do fear there will be a nursing home crisis in about 10-15 years so we'll see how that goes.

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Our current situation is just fine, but maybe we were just a bit lucky with the choices we were given over the decades we had to work. So the medical insurance situation for us is just an annoyance.
I'm glad to hear that.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:43 PM   #29
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This unknown future of mega corp retiree health care is part of what is freezing me in my tracks. However I don't have near the stress level at work that many here have reported. It makes me wonder if the stress once I retire, worrying about these things would be greater than the near zero stress I now experience at work. Seriously
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #30
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This unknown future of mega corp retiree health care is part of what is freezing me in my tracks. However I don't have near the stress level at work that many here have reported. It makes me wonder if the stress once I retire, worrying about these things would be greater than the near zero stress I now experience at work. Seriously
I probably would have been a person caught with his pants down, if I had worked for a Mega who offered retiree health benefits, I would have naively accepted the promise at face value. If I was an early Mega retiree, I would make sure one of my contingencies is to be able to afford open market insurance. Concerning your last comment, if you find yourself prone to worry about things, you definitely will have more time to find things to worry over. I find myself to be more concerned over saving money now than I did while working, and not having debt like I used to.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:37 PM   #31
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I probably would have been a person caught with his pants down, if I had worked for a Mega who offered retiree health benefits, I would have naively accepted the promise at face value. If I was an early Mega retiree, I would make sure one of my contingencies is to be able to afford open market insurance.
Bingo.

My MegaCorp1 had the ultimate health plan when I started in the 80s. We paid NOTHING. And retirees were the same way. By the time the 90s rolled around, MegaCorp1 was slowly introducing costs to employees, and then retirees.

The retirees were loud and very, very, very, very angry. And this was for something like a $20/mo. charge.

This change along with the retirees' reaction woke me up. I realized I was going to be on my own. I left MCorp1 with eyes open realizing I may be paying most of my way from there on out.

I'm glad I did. I don't really have to worry about retirement benefits when there are none of significance. (There is a medical plan, but it is full cost incurred by the group.) In a way, it is freedom, even if it costs.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:22 AM   #32
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I hesitate to FIRE when I read stories like this. Since I am 47, without subsidized HI from a megacorp, I cannot imagine what 15-20 years of increases like this one will do to my budget.

A clinic has offered me to work 20 hours a week and provide HI, I may do this when I FIRE from my full time j*b.

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We have subsidized retiree health insurance from DH's megacorp that he retired from a couple of years ago. I just received the benefits retirement folder for next year. The premium for the kids and I (DH just moved to medicare) has gone up 265% from 180 a month to around $478. This is for the low premium plan with a $3000 deductible.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:32 AM   #33
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I hesitate to FIRE when I read stories like this. Since I am 47, without subsidized HI from a megacorp, I cannot imagine what 15-20 years of increases like this one will do to my budget.
If by 'increases like this one', you mean 265%, you need to analyze it a bit.

As Animorph pointed out, the 265% increase is a bit of a distortion. That calculation uses only the non-subsidized portion as the denominator. As costs go up over time, that % would decrease. I don't think the OP ever mentioned how much is subsidized, but as an extreme example to illustrate, if the total cost is $410, and $400 is subsidized, then their part of the bill is $10. If the cost of healthcare went from $410 to $451, that would be a 10% increase in costs, but the OP would report it as a 410% increase. It doesn't really tell you much.

Also, cost increases like that are not sustainable over 15 years. Do the math on that number compounded, it probably reaches the national debt.

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Old 10-28-2012, 11:53 AM   #34
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To add a data point. My Megacorp2's non-subsidized retiree plan went up 7.5% from 2011 to 2012. I'm awaiting to see what it is up to for 2013.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:15 PM   #35
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On the bright side, just think about the tax deduction we get to claim on those high premiums.

Ours is going up to $687/month next year. But DW and I will be on Medicare sometime next year and I'm hoping that Medicare Advantage is lower then that figure.
Correct me if I am wrong but I believe you can only get that tax deduction on the long form and if it is over 7.5% of AGI. Another reason why I decided to go into retirement with a mortgage.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:26 PM   #36
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Correct me if I am wrong but I believe you can only get that tax deduction on the long form and if it is over 7.5% of AGI. Another reason why I decided to go into retirement with a mortgage.
Better take advantage of that 7.5% AGI this year, as it goes to 10% next year. I wonder if a person could pay all of their next years premiums this year to take advantage of the lower threshold this year?
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:44 PM   #37
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I probably would have been a person caught with his pants down, if I had worked for a Mega who offered retiree health benefits, I would have naively accepted the promise at face value. If I was an early Mega retiree, I would make sure one of my contingencies is to be able to afford open market insurance. Concerning your last comment, if you find yourself prone to worry about things, you definitely will have more time to find things to worry over. I find myself to be more concerned over saving money now than I did while working, and not having debt like I used to.
I am an early Megacorp retiree with HI and I budgeted $15k / year for Health costs. 3 years into ER and I'm very grateful to have it still, and have spent on average a little over $3k / year for insurance plus other costs. Long may it continue but I don't plan on it continuing.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:56 PM   #38
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I don't think the OP ever mentioned how much is subsidized, but as an extreme example to illustrate, if the total cost is $410, and $400 is subsidized, then their part of the bill is $10. If the cost of healthcare went from $410 to $451, that would be a 10% increase in costs, but the OP would report it as a 410% increase. It doesn't really tell you much.
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The numbers I give were the part we pay after the subsidy.

That is we were paying $180 a month (since DH went on medicare last month - before that it was $289 a month). Next year we will be paying $479 a month.

Some retirees are eligible for unsubsidized retire coverage. If we were in that group the unsubsidized cost would be $919 a month. We are fortunate to be in the subsidized group, however, the company only absorbs increases in premium of up to 5%.

By the way we are in the low premium plan with the $3000 deductible. Before DH retired we were in the regular PPO. If we were still in that, the premiums for next year would be $1457 a month (subsidized) or $2465 a month unsubsidized. This is for retiree and children coverage.

Again, I'm glad we have the coverage at all and I'm glad that we are getting it at the subsidized rate. It certainly allowed me to ESR when DH retired since I no longer work enough hours to be entitled to health insurance with my employer. Without DH's retiree coverage I wouldn't have been able to reduce my hours to that point.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:11 PM   #39
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Just received my annual increase from BCBS, up 13% for a total premium of $250/mo. Not too bad of a premium compared to many, but I do have a 10k deductible. Decent doctor and drug co-pays however.

Doing a quick ehealth online quote, my plan still looks as competitive as any in my area. So will just sip on a med and not worry about it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:38 PM   #40
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Just go a notice in the mail today. Ours in increasing 13% in 2013. Letter suggests that much of the increase is due to federal and state mandated increases in benefits (reduction of Rx deductibles, expanded autism benefits, contraception benefits) none of which we benefit from. Could be worse but was more than I was expecting. Yuk!
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