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Re: Help me out
Old 05-14-2007, 05:20 PM   #21
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Re: Help me out

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Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs
Again, that depends on the state which you live in. For example, Colorado has very competitive rates for medically underwritten policies AS WELL AS guaranteed issue plans through Cover Colorado (http://www.covercolorado.org). "Cover Colorado" will even take you if you are not truly HIPAA eligible. All you need to qualify is either to have been diagnosed with a pre-qualifing medical condition such as Cancer or Diabetes, OR you need to have been turned down by a private carrier or have been given an exclusion of coverage for a medical condition that you need coverage for. Granted, the lifetime maximums could be higher, but if you are purchasing the policy to get you by for a few years until Medicare, it's not bad coverage.

NY might do well to take some lessons from Colorado.
I checked the web site and calculated what it would cost for me and my wife. With 1000/2000 deductible the monthly premium would be between $1,600 and $1,700. This is not very cheep. The only thing it does is give you coverage when for profit insurance companies do not want to take a chance. Again this is not a solution to our health care crisis.
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-14-2007, 07:01 PM   #22
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Re: Help me out

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Originally Posted by Freein05
I checked the web site and calculated what it would cost for me and my wife. With 1000/2000 deductible the monthly premium would be between $1,600 and $1,700. This is not very cheep. The only thing it does is give you coverage when for profit insurance companies do not want to take a chance. Again this is not a solution to our health care crisis.
If, fundamentally, you feel it is unfair to pay more for presenting a high risk to the insurance company, then you are right. It is definately not a good solution to our healthcare crisis.

On the other hand, if you live in NY, and if you're only 19 - 35 years old, and in perfect health and living on a somewhat lower income than your average early retiree, it might seem unfair to have to pay $700/mo for your insurance when you could get it for less than $50/mo, in a less regulated environment.

No matter how you look at it, all "solutions" will have trade offs.

Nationalizing can lead to waiting times and tradeoffs in quality of care, particularly for high-tech services....Privatizing results in greater freedom and choice, but some inequity. Hybrid systems, like what we have here in the USA (1/2 Medicare and Medicaid, 1/2 Private), lead to cost-shifting. The big question is, what kind of system will provide the best quality of care to the largest number of people in the most efficient manner?

A system that claims to cover everyone, but leaves everyone waiting, possibly while in pain or potentially worse, for important medical services is not a good solution to me. Neither is a system that leaves millions of people uninsured against their will.

But since there are going to be tradeoffs either way, the question remains, which system leaves the fewest number of people alienated? Ultimately, that's what we all want.


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Re: Help me out
Old 05-14-2007, 07:13 PM   #23
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Re: Help me out

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Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs
But since there are going to be tradeoffs either way, the question remains, which system leaves the fewest number of people alienated? Ultimately, that's what we all want.
Actually, I doubt that is true. I think most of us want the system that will work best for us personally, for our family and for the people who we identify as "in our group".

Ha
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-14-2007, 07:28 PM   #24
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Re: Help me out

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Originally Posted by HaHa
Actually, I doubt that is true. I think most of us want the system that will work best for us personally, for our family and for the people who we identify as "in our group".

Ha
Thanks for your honesty, Ha. I really don't feel the same way that you do. I lose sleep over this stuff, and the thought of a truely nationalized system actually really scares me. Not because of my own personal experience or satisfaction with the system as it is today, but because I really believe it (nationalizing) could potentially destroy our medical system as we currently know it for the great majority of people (more-so in the long-run than in the short-run).
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-14-2007, 09:47 PM   #25
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Re: Help me out

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Originally Posted by mykidslovedogs
Thanks for your honesty, Ha. I really don't feel the same way that you do. I lose sleep over this stuff, and the thought of a truely nationalized system actually really scares me. Not because of my own personal experience or satisfaction with the system as it is today, but because I really believe it (nationalizing) could potentially destroy our medical system as we currently know it for the great majority of people (more-so in the long-run than in the short-run).
Or, just possibly because you sell private health insurance? Sorry to be harsh when you were so nice, but hello!

Ha
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-14-2007, 10:27 PM   #26
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Re: Help me out

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Originally Posted by HaHa
Or, just possibly because you sell private health insurance? Sorry to be harsh when you were so nice, but hello!

Ha
Not! Are you kidding? I have plenty of other marketable skills. If health insurance goes away, we could survive on the financial planning side of the business. Or..I could just go back to work for Oracle as a technical service analyst. Besides....I won't want to work as hard anyway. It won't be worth it, with all of the taxes we'll have to pay. Heck, maybe I'll just quit working altogether and just sit back and reap the benefits of the nationalized system without having to pay anything into it.

I invented some commission tracking software for agents and brokers (of any kind of insurance) that I would love to finish and market....maybe I could concentrate on that for a while.
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-15-2007, 10:30 PM   #27
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Re: Help me out

Pace the lively discussion above, I am still trying to understand how the current health insurance laws and options apply to my current situation, and whether or not to ER, in NY or not, based on the facts as they are not as we might wish them to be.

I do not fully understand "Federal Fallback". If this could work for me, it would give me a whole bunch more options of USA places to retire to. Suppose for the sake of argument I have BCBS at Big Company. I move to a Federal Fallback state, using Cobra for 18 months. At the end of that period, I must be offered the two most popular BCBS plans in that state, without underwriting, at the same price as everybody else. Is that correct? Do I need to have worked in the state before getting the policy, or can I use my current policy via Cobra in that state? What if my current Big Company only offers BCBS, and I want some other company's policy in the FF state I am thinking of retiring to?

Basically, I want to know in what states and at what cost and under what circumstances I can purchase medical insurance without underwriting, and at the same price as everybody else. I am not discussing whether this is good social policy, or fair, or efficient, just whether and in what places and at what cost it can be done legally under the current rules.

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Re: Help me out
Old 05-15-2007, 11:34 PM   #28
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Re: Help me out

I don't know if this helps. We live in California and retired early using COBRA through my wifes employer. We get 18 months COBRA with my wifes ex-employer. Than the COBRA is extended another 18 months with what is called Cal-COBRA. As I understand it many states offer this. The Cal-COBRA is with the same insurance company and the same coverage. The down side is we must reside in the county were the policy was issued. I am not sure if this requirement is because my wife worked for a public agency. I do think when you use COBRA you have to remain in the county or area that you worked in. Once you go off COBRA in California insurance companies are required to issue a policy but there are not any premium restrictions. So the insurance companies just price you out of the market.

I would check out your COBRA options with your employer and check to see if New York has an extension period like California. That would give you three years of insurance coverage.
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-16-2007, 12:11 AM   #29
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Re: Help me out

When I had to deal with this for my brother during his divorce I learned that if you are above 55 there are some COBRA provisions in Oregon designed to bridge folks to Medicare. Since he is a Vet and has the use of a VA facility he passed on the opportunity.
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-16-2007, 11:22 AM   #30
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Re: Help me out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey
Pace the lively discussion above, I am still trying to understand how the current health insurance laws and options apply to my current situation, and whether or not to ER, in NY or not, based on the facts as they are not as we might wish them to be.

I do not fully understand "Federal Fallback". If this could work for me, it would give me a whole bunch more options of USA places to retire to. Suppose for the sake of argument I have BCBS at Big Company. I move to a Federal Fallback state, using Cobra for 18 months. At the end of that period, I must be offered the two most popular BCBS plans in that state, without underwriting, at the same price as everybody else. Is that correct? Do I need to have worked in the state before getting the policy, or can I use my current policy via Cobra in that state? What if my current Big Company only offers BCBS, and I want some other company's policy in the FF state I am thinking of retiring to?

Basically, I want to know in what states and at what cost and under what circumstances I can purchase medical insurance without underwriting, and at the same price as everybody else. I am not discussing whether this is good social policy, or fair, or efficient, just whether and in what places and at what cost it can be done legally under the current rules.

Unfortunately, the price does not have to be the same price as offered to people who are buying on the market. The HIPAA eligible plans can be very expensive.

Each state is different in how they deal with HIPAA so you will have to check a specific state to see what is offered when you are coming off of COBRA and to determine the cost.

As far as moving to another state while on COBRA, you will have to see if your policy provides that it is no longer in effect if you move from your service area. If so, and if you are no longer COBRA eligible, you immediately will have rights under HIPAA to get a HIPAA qualified plan or enter a risk pool, if you are not insurable on the private market.

To see what states offer, look at www.healthinsuranceinfo.net.
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-16-2007, 12:42 PM   #31
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Re: Help me out

I'm pullin the plug July 1. Just got the bill for my new insurance policy purchased through e-health. What I did was go on line in March and apply for a policy to start June 1 while still covered by my employer. This insured no gap in coverage. Had to fill out the WA State health questionaire for DW and myself. We both have minor problems that were asked about in the standard questionaire. After a couple of weeks we were informed that the company would sell us insurance.

There will be no break in insurance between my employer and the insurance covering us in retirement.

The cost of this insurance with a 3K deductable and 70% cost of care coverage is 1/2 what my COBRA cost would have been. Also I only need the coverage for three years until TRICARE kicks in.

DW and I just completed annual check ups with no inew issues. BTW I've been in a hospital 1 time 38 years ago and DW was in the Hospital for the Birth of our sons so we haven't used a lot of the insurance we've paid for over the years.
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-16-2007, 08:00 PM   #32
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Re: Help me out

Ok, so I called a rep at ehealth and asked a few more questions. First, as I assumed, we will be rejected by any underwriting process, not even a close call, the rep was not the final decider but when told the conditions instantly said "forget it". Given that (which is what I thought based on other evidence as well), guaranteed insurance states are not really more expensive than non-guaranteed states (for us personally), perhaps even a better deal with one considers the level of coverage, the predictability of features, and flexibility of plans and providers. A guaranteed insurance, population-rich, and affluent state where many insurers still want to be (like, say, New York) looks to be our best situation. We simply will not save much if anything in terms of health care costs going to a non-guaranteed state, and might even spend more for less.

ehealth had on offer both a 1k a month NY plan (minus office visits and a few other routine items), and more robust 2k a month plans, which can be purchased by non-employed families of our age and number. We will also research other plans not offered by ehealth (Oxford, etc.) in NY. I need to research the 1k a month plan more carefully, since it is half the price of all the other plans I saw, and I wonder what it leaves out.

At least for now, I have resolved the questions that led to this thread. I know that I will not likely save money on health care moving out of state (which I would prefer not to do anyway). I believe that guaranteed issue is fairly essential for us. And I have a rough idea of the costs I need to plan for, and I have a way to find out more about those costs and the plans on offer, through ehealth and the websites Martha helpfully linked.

I know I could save money moving out of NYC, but I could also save a bundle (mostly in real estate costs) moving from Manhattan to Jackson Heights or Long Island City in Queens, which is probably what I would have to do to retire in a few years anyway. I would rather live in a apartment in Queens, than leave NYC. At least I have confirmed that I will not save on health care costs by doing so, and I like the legal status of health care in NY.

Thank-you to everyone who participated and gave me things to think about.
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Re: Help me out
Old 05-16-2007, 09:14 PM   #33
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Re: Help me out

Good luck! I retired two years ago at age 60. I love retirement. I am in better health and have the time to do what I enjoy.
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:44 PM   #34
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Brief update. I used the link Martha gave me to compare all the insurers in NY State. Surprise!! The non-profit insurer's plan is about 50-60% the cost of the other plans. So a family of three is about 1200 a month for an HMO, guaranteed issue, not 2000-2400 a month like the others (and like my current plan would be, if it were not employer subsidized). We still need to research this insurer to see if they leave anything important out, but it seems to solve our healthcare cost issue. We are having them send us more information, and checking the doctor lists in our area that participate with them.

Wife and I also sat down and did a spreadsheet of our current financial (non-real estate) net worth, spending and savings rates. Assuming a 1200 a month healthcare cost, and a 4 percent withdrawal rate from financial assets, we will be financially independent in our current paid off Manhattan apartment at our current lifestyle in about 4.5 years, when I am 45 and she is 41, even assuming zero return on our current investments, and this is the goal we will shoot for.

Thanks again for all your help.
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