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Old 08-30-2012, 03:21 PM   #21
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Hi Retire2014,

Yes, I have private health insurance in ER. For me, the cost of insurance goes up about $10 a month each year. Approx 5% or so thus far. The rate isn't based on my individual health but get raised when the insurance company raised it for everyone in my policy group (I think I said that right). Also, when I became 50 years old, it got raised too.

When looking for health insurance, also keep in mind that's it's best to use an insurance broker from NAHU - Consumer Information - Find an Agent as using them doesn't cost more than if you apply for insurance directly from the insurance companies. Plus, they have closer contact with the insurance companies which helps as they may know ahead your chances of being accepted before approved. Ehealthinsurance.com is also a great place to get an idea of coverages and estimated costs available.

Additionally, if you company offers a HSA and a HSA which High Deduction Insurance makes sense to you, the next open enrollment, you might want to make sure to go the HSA route as when you leave, the HSA belongs to you. (That is what I did. The previous open enrollment when I contemplated ER'ing, I purposely signed up for the HSA knowing that I may very well say goodbye in the near future ).

Also, as you know I'm sure, 2014 and Health Insurance is a big wildcare with the Affordable Care Act.
Thank you, I will ask HR to see if my company offers HSA so I can open an account now. Do you know when I leave my HR, do I roll that HSA over to my bank/financial institution to continue to manage the HSA? Thank you for your advice.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:32 PM   #22
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Thank you, I will ask HR to see if my company offers HSA so I can open an account now. Do you know when I leave my HR, do I roll that HSA over to my bank/financial institution to continue to manage the HSA? Thank you for your advice.
Yes, generally when you sever employment you will have that option. In my case, our employer pays the basic monthly fee (about $3 per month for a single account though I'm sure they get a big discount) as long as we are still employed. But you can move your money to another HSA.

In my case, we get $1000 a year as an "employer match" into our HSA so that match has to go to the HSA that my employer sponsors. Having said that, this isn't like a 401K (for us) in that we can transfer HSA funds to another custodian any time we want, whereas most folks with a 401K plan can't transfer their 401Ks or roll funds into an IRA until they sever employment. In theory we could roll over their match the day after it hits our accounts, I think.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:47 PM   #23
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Thank you, I will ask HR to see if my company offers HSA so I can open an account now. Do you know when I leave my HR, do I roll that HSA over to my bank/financial institution to continue to manage the HSA? Thank you for your advice.
When I was still w*rking, at my megacorp Open Enrollment for health care coverage of the following year was in October. So during that open enrollment, I purposely signed up for the HSA option instead of the traditional plans knowing that if/when the time came that I'd go, that I could take the HSA with me. I used the default HSA administrator at the megacorp (not sure if one has another choice). Then when I left, I switched over to a HSA custodian of my choice. Not all banks manage HSAs. They have to serve as HSA Custodians to be eligilible.

The process of switching is similar to if you have an IRA at one location and want to switch to another instituation. You'd contact the instituation that you want for your HSA and ask them what forms to fill out to transfer from your current instituation.

I think with HSA's, what takes getting used to is so much of it seems like the honor system. Unlike a FSA, you don't have to send in proof of medical expenses. But you do need to decide on a good way to keep track of expenses, reimbursements, contributions for tax records. Also, it's good decide if you plan on reimbursing yourself soon after you incur qualified medical expenses or let it ride for the future.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:56 PM   #24
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Thank you, I will ask HR to see if my company offers HSA so I can open an account now. Do you know when I leave my HR, do I roll that HSA over to my bank/financial institution to continue to manage the HSA? Thank you for your advice.
Retire2014,

You probably already know, but just in case, you have to be already covered under a High Deductible Health Care plan before you can open a HSA account. For example, you can't just walk into a bank that manages HSAs and say I want to open an account without the insurance.

Many of us here (myself included) have the HSA with HSA Administrators.
Here's a link to their site to their tab "HSA Education"

Health Savings Account - HSA Administrators

The idea is a little tricky about what you can/cannot do, I think, but once when in place I love my HSA.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #25
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My $213 has increased to $302 in less than 2 yrs. BCBS. HSA eligible, $10K deductible. Zero claims in 2 yrs.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:03 AM   #26
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Please let us know which health insurance product you decide to buy. Did you have a look at United Healthcare Plan 80 or Plan 100 ? If ER'd now, I would consider the Plan 100.
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Do you buy private health insurance in ER? If so, has the cost of your insurance coverage gone up every year? By what percentage? And does the increase in insurance cost correlate with your health statistics? i.e., if your blood pressure, or cholesterol is high, your premium seems to go up significantly the following year?
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:33 PM   #27
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Please let us know which health insurance product you decide to buy. Did you have a look at United Healthcare Plan 80 or Plan 100 ? If ER'd now, I would consider the Plan 100.
Thank you, obgyn, I have not ER'd yet. I will look into Plan 100 as per your advice.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:35 PM   #28
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Retire2014,

You probably already know, but just in case, you have to be already covered under a High Deductible Health Care plan before you can open a HSA account. For example, you can't just walk into a bank that manages HSAs and say I want to open an account without the insurance.

Many of us here (myself included) have the HSA with HSA Administrators.
Here's a link to their site to their tab "HSA Education"

Health Savings Account - HSA Administrators

The idea is a little tricky about what you can/cannot do, I think, but once when in place I love my HSA.

Thank you, Easysurfer, no I did not know about any of this before you and Mulligan told me about HSA. I am sure when the time comes, I will have more questions for you. Thank you for the link. I will study the info at that resource. Have a great day!
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Retire2014

Thank you, Easysurfer, no I did not know about any of this before you and Mulligan told me about HSA. I am sure when the time comes, I will have more questions for you. Thank you for the link. I will study the info at that resource. Have a great day!
Make sure your plan, Retire, is HSA compatible. A lot of times insurance companies give you "preferred HSA choices". This usually means higher fees and lower interest rates. Many banks and credit unions offer HSA's. You have control over who you decide to have your HSA with, not the insurance company. Early on, the initial tax deduction and low fee structure are the most important components. Make sure you choose one that doesn't nickel and dime you to death.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:16 PM   #30
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Thank you, Easysurfer, no I did not know about any of this before you and Mulligan told me about HSA. I am sure when the time comes, I will have more questions for you. Thank you for the link. I will study the info at that resource. Have a great day!
You're welcome. When more questions come up, feel free to ask away.
Have a nice day too.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #31
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Thanks to the folks who posted info on premiums / deductibles / max OOP for those with pre existing conditions. Scary numbers but it validates what I have budgeted for health insurance
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:28 PM   #32
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Thanks to the folks who posted info on premiums / deductibles / max OOP for those with pre existing conditions. Scary numbers but it validates what I have budgeted for health insurance
While there are similarities from area to area you really have to obtain quotes for your zip code. Ultimately, the best way to do this is contact a local, independent agent. But a good starting point is www.ehealthinsurance.com

For instance, I recently spoke to a friend in another state and the premiums he told me about seemed ridiculous. I subsequently found he was right - for his zip code and the surrounding area the premiums are nearly double the premiums in my area. In addition, I had dozens of plans to choose from - he had less than ten.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:15 AM   #33
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Would love to hear what people who do have pre-existing conditions are paying.
I cannot get individual HI because of a pre-existing condition, so that would be 0.
TJ
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:42 PM   #34
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I cannot get individual HI because of a pre-existing condition, so that would be 0.
TJ
and thats just downright wrong ! I hate to hear that people cannot get health insurance.

I'm going to show my stuipidity right now ... if my position gets eliminated that qualifies me for unsubsidized HI. Does that mean I get the same rate as someone who does not have pre-existing conditions ? I'm sure the costs will be awful but at least I'd be covered.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #35
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and thats just downright wrong ! I hate to hear that people cannot get health insurance.

I'm going to show my stuipidity right now ... if my position gets eliminated that qualifies me for unsubsidized HI. Does that mean I get the same rate as someone who does not have pre-existing conditions ? I'm sure the costs will be awful but at least I'd be covered.
If I understand you correctly, you will be able to stay on your company plan, but have to pay the premium? You would pay the premium that the company has been paying for you as an employment benefit. Some companies also can charge you premium rate plus 2% administrative costs. You would pay the same whether you are in good or poor health. But, that being said, I had the option to stay on my group plan until 65 and decided to take individual insurance instead. My group plan was $500 a month, with $1000 deductible, but also had co-pays and tiered prescription. Me being healthy and on no meds, I just gambled and went out on my own. I have only been retired about 2.5 years, but going on my own has saved me $15,000 already. I say this only to look at all angles and be informed before you make your final decision.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:13 PM   #36
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If I understand you correctly, you will be able to stay on your company plan, but have to pay the premium? You would pay the premium that the company has been paying for you as an employment benefit. Some companies also can charge you premium rate plus 2% administrative costs. You would pay the same whether you are in good or poor health. But, that being said, I had the option to stay on my group plan until 65 and decided to take individual insurance instead. My group plan was $500 a month, with $1000 deductible, but also had co-pays and tiered prescription. Me being healthy and on no meds, I just gambled and went out on my own. I have only been retired about 2.5 years, but going on my own has saved me $15,000 already. I say this only to look at all angles and be informed before you make your final decision.
both DH and I have pre-existing conditions, so I'm sure our costs would be horrible IF we could even get covered. The option to stay on the employer plan (paying 100% of the premium) only exists if I get laid off. Otherwise I have to stay another 5 years. Like so many HI is the big "who knows" in my ER planning.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #37
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both DH and I have pre-existing conditions, so I'm sure our costs would be horrible IF we could even get covered. The option to stay on the employer plan (paying 100% of the premium) only exists if I get laid off. Otherwise I have to stay another 5 years. Like so many HI is the big "who knows" in my ER planning.
It still never hurts to know all options. I remember reading previous threads how some people would be denied from one carrier and accepted from another. From what I have read, companies price various pre-existing conditions differently. That being said, if I had a pre-existing condition, that was of any significance I would think twice about leaving the group you are in at your present company. This is a small consolation, but remember any medical expenses including premiums are tax deductible above 10% of AGI starting next year ( that are not claimed in your HSA) so that may bring some of your costs down.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:16 AM   #38
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it would kill me to essentially write a monthly donation to a company without the charitable tax write off benefit.
but HI premiums are tax deductible aren't they? so, the 'charity' is yourself in a way, right?
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:24 AM   #39
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both DH and I have pre-existing conditions, so I'm sure our costs would be horrible IF we could even get covered. The option to stay on the employer plan (paying 100% of the premium) only exists if I get laid off. Otherwise I have to stay another 5 years. Like so many HI is the big "who knows" in my ER planning.
If you are otherwise ready to go perhaps you could request to be laid off rather than resign.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:26 AM   #40
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Preexisting conditions usually lead insurance companies to deny coverage. In some cases they offer riders or exclude coverage for certain conditions. If you have group or employer policy HIPAA regulations implemented in most states enable you to keep that policy for 18 months if you leave the group.

The only way to know how much a policy costs or even if you can get one is to talk with an insurance agent.
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