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I'm freaking out over health insurance
Old 04-16-2017, 03:39 PM   #1
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I'm freaking out over health insurance

We've been on the ACA since 2014 when I quit my job to join my DH who retired a year earlier. I follow health care news closely, and I'm really afraid there won't be any policies worth paying for in 2018.

We have 6 and 8 years until 65. We are reasonably healthy, but the way things are heading I feel like we are playing Russian roulette by not going back to work for the insurance. We have enough to handle a significant event, but I hate the idea of paying so much for premiums, and then possibly adding another $13k or more in deductibles if we have a bad year.

Anyone else worried? What are you doing about it?
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:41 PM   #2
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I watch every year at enrollment, since that is when you will really have information. If I cannot buy health insurance in the open market and be confident that the coverage is real, I guess I will be looking for a job with benefits. Pretty simple decision tree.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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I've learned here; it's easy to panic, but remaining calm is the answer.

I have no idea what is going to happen and likely no one here does either. That said I think I use reasonable thinking.

I doubt any representatives are too keen on having their constituents throw out of the ability to buy insurance. Of course I am frequently wrong, and I guess there's 50% I'm wrong on this.

I seriously doubt I could find a j*b with benefits here, but I suppose consulting might be an option. However that sounds like freaking W*rK!

I have 5 years until Medicare if current laws remain in place. It's a year at a time for now.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:30 PM   #4
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You are not the only one! I have been very lucky with the the ACA. Great docs, Great Services, Great Prices. I would not change a thing.

The stress alone I am suffering from at the moment. Waiting for a solid answer and hoping it is not decimated, honestly is worse than being sick.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:07 PM   #5
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We're 3 and 5 years from Medicare, so we're concerned, but not freaked out. We learned not to stress over things we can't control years ago. May seem easier said than done, but there truly is nothing you can do, so ultimately freaking out is just you hurting yourself unecessarily.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:26 PM   #6
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Like others here, I'd also say no one really knows at this point what is going to happen with ACA so really don't try to make sense of the tug of war. That would drive me nuts.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:34 PM   #7
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DH and I are both self employed and in our early 40's (I am semi-retired). Healthcare is definitely a concern but I am choosing to remain hopeful. I have health issues that require many specialists.


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Old 04-16-2017, 05:48 PM   #8
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I'm going to just factor in the full market price of health insurance and plan on that. If the government wants to subsidies the cost it will be gravy.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:02 PM   #9
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I'm going to just factor in the full market price of health insurance and plan on that. If the government wants to subsidies the cost it will be gravy.
It's not losing the subsidy that's the scary part -- we don't qualify for subsidies anyway, -- but losing access to health insurance altogether is frightening. Sooner or later you'll have a "pre-existing condition" and then good luck getting insurance at all, if we go back to the old mess. The old way let you pay for health insurance for many years, until you needed to use it, then bye-bye. We'll be 58 and 59 this year.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:03 PM   #10
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I seriously doubt I could find a j*b with benefits here.
There may be jobs with benefits out there, but those employers are not exactly bending over backwards to hire those our age.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:09 PM   #11
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I am keeping most of our assets in 401K and IRA. This makes bankruptcy a very convenient option if we need to use it (after racking up a few 100k of medical bills and maxing out 200k in credit cards). Nice to know they can't touch the million + in the 401K + IRA.

This is if we get a serious condition and insurance or work becomes unobtainable.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:27 PM   #12
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Even Walmart offers benefits. And they do hire people our age. Hawaii requires employers to offer health insurance to any employee working over 20 hours/week. And Massachusetts has its state health plan. California is considering single payer. It would be incredibly disruptive to have to move to get health insurance. I feel your pain, and I panicked a month ago myself. One of us will probably try to find a job if we need to. It's just about unaffordable now, and we only go in for our physical exams.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:42 PM   #13
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I'll admit I might be naive or confused about healthcare. So far in my life I have spent near zero on health or health insurance. It has always been paid for by my employer.

I know by retiring early this cost will be shifted to me. It is not my expectation the cost will be covered by someone else or the government.

If I develop health issues I know I will either need to use my saved money or return to work. Even Starbucks pays full benefits. I do not find it useful to worry or freak out about something that may never happen.

Currently the market price for good health insurance in WA state for my family of 3 is about 800/mo. Seems reasonable to me. If and when something changes I'll deal with it then.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:43 PM   #14
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Even Walmart offers benefits. And they do hire people our age.
They may offer benefits, but isn't the general consensus that they loathe to hire full-time employees because they don't want to pay out the benefits?
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:45 PM   #15
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Even Starbucks pays full benefits.
But you may not be the coffee enthusiast they are looking for?
Have you read the ads for these type of jobs?
I have. It isn't "easy" to get those jobs as you think.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:46 PM   #16
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I'll admit I might be naive or confused about healthcare. So far in my life I have spent near zero on health or health insurance. It has always been paid for by my employer.

I know by retiring early this cost will be shifted to me. It is not my expectation the cost will be covered by someone else or the government.

If I develop health issues I know I will either need to use my saved money or return to work. Even Starbucks pays full benefits. I do not find it useful to worry or freak out about something that may never happen.

Currently the market price for good health insurance in WA state for my family of 3 is about 800/mo. Seems reasonable to me. If and when something changes I'll deal with it then.
Well you might think you paid or spent zero, however you certainly were paid less money then you have been if your employer did not offer you health insurance. Na´ve to say your health cost has been zero.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:46 PM   #17
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I guess I can say I am worried, but not freaking out...

There does seem to be some steam on SOME kind of bill so they can say they 'repealed and replaced' even if it does not...

And nobody knows what will be in it since there is no clear consensus and they are just throwing stuff on the wall to see what sticks.... trying to get enough votes... still, it has to pass the Senate where I think anything that is much worse than what we have will die in filibuster....


I am not saying that what we have is great as our plans keep getting worse and much more expensive... but at least right now I know what is going on... now, if we have a number of plans drop off for next year.... well, who knows what to do...
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:55 PM   #18
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Well you might think you paid or spent zero, however you certainly were paid less money then you have been if your employer did not offer you health insurance. Na´ve to say your health cost has been zero.
And if you really want to see how much your employer has been paying for that health insurance, it should be on your W-2, in box 12, with the code DD. Theoretically, if they weren't paying that, they could give you an equivalent raise.
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:20 PM   #19
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While I concede that health insurance access is a concern, there is no need to panic. It is very likely that we'll know about changes far enough in advance to adapt to them.

We are Medicare eligible in 2020. Between conventional insurance or if necessary short term coverage or even faith-based medical cost sharing I think we can get through the next few years. The OP has a bit longer time horizon but who knows what will happen.
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:26 PM   #20
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I sympathize with your concerns. Before I retired four years ago, health insurance was my main driver. The ACA gave me the confidence to pull the trigger. Just this month I was able to go off my ACA plan and switch to Medicare, so my worries about health insurance are greatly reduced.

BTW, I learned an interesting fact about the ACA when I discontinued my plan. I decided it would be nice to notify the insurance company I was going to be dropping my coverage. The insurance company said I couldn't notify them directly and I had to handle the cancellation through healthcare.gov. Well, that kind of made sense, but when I called healthcare.gov, they said I couldn't leave the plan immediately as they required two weeks notice to quit! Never had an insurance plan where I couldn't call up and immediately cancel a policy. Since I didn't pay in advance and I don't have a subsidy (premium tax credit), I guess they will have to come after me for the 6 extra days they wouldn't let me cancel.
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