Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Insurance for getting health insurance
Old 12-04-2008, 08:21 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,107
Insurance for getting health insurance

Here's a new insurance product: insurance to protect your future insurability.

UnitedHealth is offering UnitedHealth Continuity, insurance for those who currently have health insurance and worry they may lose it and not be able to replace it due to illness or pre-existing conditions.

"People who are already sick will generally not be eligible for the new product. Those who do pass a medical review will pay 20 percent each month of the current premium on an individual policy to reserve the right to be insured under the plan at some point in the future."

New health wrinkle: Buying the right to get insured later

You'll have to pardon me if I appear a bit skeptical...
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-04-2008, 08:35 AM   #2
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
People who are already sick will generally not be eligible for the new product. Those who do pass a medical review will pay 20 percent each month of the current premium on an individual policy to reserve the right to be insured under the plan at some point in the future.
That's some pretty expensive insurance.
__________________

__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 08:38 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
That's some pretty expensive insurance.
Yes it is, and it still doesn't help you if you have the nerve to already be sick with something. You are paying to be underwritten, basically, since many people who are healthy can buy individual policies, and those who are sick can't buy this new "product" anyway.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 08:48 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
FIRE'd@51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,315
Sounds like a call to buy a put.

Actually, I think Medicare parts B and D actually have something like this built in. For example, I believe you can delay buying part D (the drug part), and then a penalty of something like 1% for each month you didn't have part D is tacked onto the premium if you subsequently buy it. I think something similar is possible with part B, as well. The difference here appears to be that you pay this penalty up front in terms of a monthly premium, whereas you only pay for the Medicare "options" if you "exercise" them.
__________________
FIRE'd@51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 10:16 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,527
Wonder if they will package this derivatives product with a credit default swap on unitedhealthcare? For that matter, maybe all annuities and insurance could come with a CDS.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
The article isn't clear, but I wonder if the guaranty includes a guaranty that if you buy their insurance in the future you will pay the same price as the perfectly healthy, even if you are sick. Otherwise, what's the point.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 10:45 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
FIRE'd@51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
The article isn't clear, but I wonder if the guaranty includes a guaranty that if you buy their insurance in the future you will pay the same price as the perfectly healthy, even if you are sick. Otherwise, what's the point.
Also, what exact policy do you have this option on? Maybe by the time you are ready to exercise the option, the lifetime cap on the foregone policy will be too low. Or maybe the risk pool will have been seriously degraded by adverse selection over the years. My experience has been that you not only can't beat the insurance companies at their own game, but you would be extremely lucky to get a tie.
__________________
FIRE'd@51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 10:49 AM   #8
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE'd@51 View Post
Also, what exact policy do you have this option on? Maybe by the time you are ready to exercise the option, the lifetime cap on the foregone policy will be too low. Or maybe the risk pool will have been seriously degraded by adverse selection over the years. My experience has been that you not only can't beat the insurance companies at their own game, but you would be extremely lucky to get a tie.
Precisely. It's not clear whether you would be guaranteed insurable at the tier where you would be assigned at the time of your medical review, or are you merely guaranteed coverage without exclusions, even if that means the costliest tier?

If someone is very healthy and would qualify for the best rate available and buys this "insurability insurance," and the next year they become diabetic and develop cancer? If they later had to buy an individual policy, would they get the preferred rates or the "history of cancer" rates would basically be "state risk pool" rates in many cases?
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,107
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Precisely. It's not clear whether you would be guaranteed insurable at the tier where you would be assigned at the time of your medical review, or are you merely guaranteed coverage without exclusions, even if that means the costliest tier?

If someone is very healthy and would qualify for the best rate available and buys this "insurability insurance," and the next year they become diabetic and develop cancer? If they later had to buy an individual policy, would they get the preferred rates or the "history of cancer" rates would basically be "state risk pool" rates in many cases?
This doesn't answer the question definitively, but it infers you'd get the rates at the tier you qualified for when you initially apply for the "insurability insurance":

"...you can have quality personal health insurance regardless of changes in your health or the health of your covered dependents. You’ll only need to pass underwriting once — when you apply for your personal plan."


UnitedHealth Continuity Insurance Plans

Also note that you can apparently turn the plan on and off if you go from employer coverage to an individual plan back to employer coverage....
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 11:19 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
The article isn't clear, but I wonder if the guaranty includes a guaranty that if you buy their insurance in the future you will pay the same price as the perfectly healthy, even if you are sick. Otherwise, what's the point.
Maybe so, but that would make this unpopular with the healthy if it caused their rates to increase. Insurance companies get their money one way or another.
__________________
Rustward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 11:23 AM   #11
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward View Post
Maybe so, but that would make this unpopular with the healthy if it caused their rates to increase. Insurance companies get their money one way or another.
Good point. I hadn't thought of that angle. An unhealthy person generating high costs for the insurer in the "preferred" tier would seem to put upward pricing pressure on the preferred pool overall. How much would depend on how many sickish people wound up in the preferred tier.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 11:29 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,107
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Good point. I hadn't thought of that angle. An unhealthy person generating high costs for the insurer in the "preferred" tier would seem to put upward pricing pressure on the preferred pool overall. How much would depend on how many sickish people wound up in the preferred tier.
True. But isn't the insurer betting there will be enough folks paying this additional premium for future insurability who never exercise those rights to cover the added cost impact to the pool? At least that's how I though insurance worked...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 11:32 AM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Health insurers are highly opportunistic in a very unflattering way.

I remember when Medicare was exploring the use of private carriers to administer some of its programs. The premiums were fixed and the companies had to promise not to "cherry-pick" by agreeing to accept everyone who applied.

One company in Wisconsin set up offices across from expensive spas and fitness centers only, and did no broadcast advertising. They could prove that they accepted everyone who applied; of course these were only those seniors who could afford and participate in a fancy fitness facility.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 11:36 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
One company in Wisconsin set up offices across from expensive spas and fitness centers only, and did no broadcast advertising. They could prove that they accepted everyone who applied; of course these were only those seniors who could afford and participate in a fancy fitness facility.
C'mon Rich, that's just 'creative marketing'...
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Health Insurance bookman51 FIRE and Money 48 08-14-2006 07:23 PM
health insurance and effect on increased health care costs Martha Other topics 9 08-08-2006 02:54 PM
Health Insurance Retire Soon Hi, I am... 11 11-27-2005 09:19 AM
Health Insurance moguls FIRE and Money 6 10-29-2004 02:44 PM
Health insurance? dory36 FIRE and Money 23 03-16-2004 03:18 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:00 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.