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Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study
Old 01-12-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
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Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study

Since health insurance is a big concern for many of us who RE, I am posting my experience so far with trying to find out how much individual insurance will cost after I exhaust COBRA. Reading things on is one thing. Getting real numbers is a lot more useful. Here's the theoretical scenario:
  • Retiring at the end of 2007
  • Plan to move to FL
  • Use COBRA for 18 mos for me and DW
  • Conversion policy per HIPAA
I called the Florida Dept. of Finance (they regulate insurance) and they weren't much help. I called my current group insurer - United Health. They put me through to Golden Rule because United doesn't do conversion policies. I got quotes ranging from $280 - $500 per month depending on deductibles. I don't know if we'd qualify for these rates because of the usual high blood pressure and cholesterol things that apply to most folks in their late 50's.
If you can't get a conversion policy, there are 4 companies in FL who will write "guaranteed issue" policies with no underwriting/physicals, etc. One of these is Aetna, so I called them. The first person i got said "Are you sure you want guaranteed issue? You should try to get a regular(i.e. underwritten) policy first." I said I wanted to get the guaranteed issue rates just to see what the worst case was. She transferred me to someone else who gave me rates for DW and me. Guaranteed issue. Prices per month were $1500 - $1800 depending on the deductibles. That's a bit steep, but at least I know what I am up against.

My plan now is to use COBRA and then when I move to FL, try to get an individual policy (with underwriting) for DW and myself. If that fails, I'll be spending a nice chunk of change for health insurance of around $18 to $21K a year until Medicare kicks in (or until I kick the bucket because I'm paying so f@#!$%& much for health insurance.)


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Re: Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study
Old 01-12-2007, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study


I don't do business in FL, but if your only conditions are elevated cholesterol and HBP, even with a rate-up, you'd probably pay way less than a guaranteed issue plan or conversion plan. Keep in mind I am basing that opinion on my experience as a broker in Colorado. If the conditions are well controlled with only one or two meds, you'd probably be looking at a max rating of about 25%-50% above the quoted rates on a medically underwritten plan. Now, if there is also a problem with body mass index, you could be declined due to a combination of risk factors. IMO, I think it would be well worth contacting a broker in advance of your move to get a prescreen done and see if there are other possibilities besides guaranteed issue. Hope the info. helps.

Here's a website on Florida's guaranteed issue plans:

And here is where you can get a list of insurance companies offering health insurance in FL:


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Re: Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study
Old 01-12-2007, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study

Be sure to apply for the individual coverage while still on COBRA so that if you have to you can apply for the guaranty issue plan also before your COBRA expires You don't want a lapse in coverage, and you want to preserve your rights under HIPAA.

Thanks for the update. I didn't know the guaranty issue rates in Florida, it is good to know.

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Re: Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study
Old 01-13-2007, 06:11 AM   #4
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Re: Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study

Thanks for the responses. I already had the 2 web sites in my favorites. That was actually my starting point. Despite the fact that the guaranteed issue policies cost so much, I feel better about this because I know what the worst case is.
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