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Old 04-03-2017, 02:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
....since in our state health insurance is not age rated it is very affordable... currently ~$480/month for two.
Is the state you mention VT or FL? We've considered a move to FL just for HC reasons.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:16 PM   #22
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The cost of HI has been a big concern for me until very recently. I had considered our company retiree health insurance options to be absurdly expensive with the less expensive choice being a 60/40 split after the $2k deductible is met ($2k/per person). But after seeing what else is out there and after looking more closely at the retiree policy, I realized I could budget for it. It has a $2k deductible but a $4K Out Of Pocket (OOP) max for an individual and $8k OOP max for the family. The premium for family care is $1100 per month this year. That is a lot but I can budget for it. The $4k OOP max is what makes it work for me.

If not for these healthcare expenses my budget for monthly expenses at ER would be about $3600 per month. I am looking forward to a nice boost in disposable income when I hit Medicare age... but that is true for most of us.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:20 PM   #23
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If it were not for the HI component of my retiree benefits I would still be w@rking.
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:15 PM   #24
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To a certain degree, it did - I've been really worried about this.

However, we were also motivated to delay hubby retiring until the year he turns 55 so that we can pull from his 401K if our taxable account runs low in the early years. So our delay wasn't just due to healthcare coverage issues.

He turns 55 next year. I've crunched numbers the best I can, and I think we are ready to take the leap. Possible outcomes:

1) Best outcome: subsidies continue and we have more than enough money for HC

2) OK outcome: no subsidies but we can afford the premiums and out of pocket costs (I've run all of my numbers based upon this.)

3) worse outcome: healthcare becomes unaffordable to us, we run too low on money and have to go back to work

4) worst outcome: we delay FIRE and one of us croaks early with a big stash of money we never enjoyed together, ie. we go home with the idol in our pocket...


So, once I realized I can't predict the future and would regret #4 the most, I have become more comfortable pulling the FIRE trigger in 2018. Hubby is in agreement, especially having recently lost 2 co-workers to the grim reaper.

I may continue my part-time gig for a few more years, but I really want hubby to be able to retire. He's worked hard and long enough.

In a game of unknowns, to me, it's about what outcome you would you regret most.
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:24 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
To a certain degree, it did - I've been really worried about this.

However, we were also motivated to delay hubby retiring until the year he turns 55 so that we can pull from his 401K if our taxable account runs low in the early years. So our delay wasn't just due to healthcare coverage issues.

He turns 55 next year. I've crunched numbers the best I can, and I think we are ready to take the leap. Possible outcomes:

1) Best outcome: subsidies continue and we have more than enough money for HC

2) OK outcome: no subsidies but we can afford the premiums and out of pocket costs (I've run all of my numbers based upon this.)

3) worse outcome: healthcare becomes unaffordable to us, we run too low on money and have to go back to work

4) worst outcome: we delay FIRE and one of us croaks early with a big stash of money we never enjoyed together, ie. we go home with the idol in our pocket...


So, once I realized I can't predict the future and would regret #4 the most, I have become more comfortable pulling the FIRE trigger in 2018. Hubby is in agreement, especially having recently lost 2 co-workers to the grim reaper.

I may continue my part-time gig for a few more years, but I really want hubby to be able to retire. He's worked hard and long enough.

In a game of unknowns, to me, it's about what outcome you would you regret most.
Great post! Thank you.
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:34 PM   #26
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Not delaying, but certainly a source of concern and unnecessary stress. As if my blood pressure was not high enough....
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:42 PM   #27
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Yes, in part. I need to make it 7 more months to get retiree health care. I also want to get to the point where our pensions will fully cover our living expenses (i.e. -- 0% withdrawal rate from the portfolio). That will be in two years.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:21 PM   #28
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I ERed in late 2008, just a few days before the 2008 election. I had already lined up an affordable HI plan which cost me $469 a month, even in New York which is not a friendly place (back then) to buy HI on the individual market.


I had found this plan through ehealthinsurance.com and it was the cheapest of the main HI plans. I was in good health at the time at age 45.


But when the rates for this policy jumped nearly 50% in 2 years, I was paying nearly $700 per month and becoming fearful that HI would put a big strain on my budget if these increases continued over the next 17 years before I could go on Medicare. Thankfully, the ACA had just been passed and I was looking forward to buying a plan on the NY exchange for 2014 which was just under 3 years later.


In the meantime, I switched to a bare-bones hospital-only plan in the middle of 2011 which left me underinsured but only for a few more years. As long as I stayed healthy in that time, I'd be okay. And I did, but not by much.


I signed up for a Silver plan through the NY exchange for 2014 and its premium, without the small premium subsidy, was about $90 less than my 2009 plan. It's a good thing I had this plan because I became sick in 2015 and was in the hospital for 12 days. I exceeded the annual deductible so I was on the hook for only about $6,400 which was fine. The ACA did its job - it got me well again without sending me to the poorhouse or otherwise endangering my ER.


I switched insurance companies in 2016 and the premiums have risen but are still below what I was paying in 2009. I don't mind the deductible rising to over $7,000 because my OOP expense, even with my Diabetes, is only $2k or $3k tops, not counting the premiums. IOW I don't sweat the small stuff very much, I am glad to be protected against the "big one" which would endanger my ER.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:24 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
Is the state you mention VT or FL? We've considered a move to FL just for HC reasons.
VT... if we changed to FL we would probably pay $1,000/month more than what we pay now so that won't be happening until we are both on Medicare.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:31 PM   #30
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This is a pole.
Here's another Pole. The Bond girl from Goldeneye.

Well..... She is half Polish and half Swedish. But, I will still take my half Pole over all of yours. :-)
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:34 PM   #31
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I wouldn't say it's keeping me from retiring, but HI is a big factor as I consider retiring. I'm lucky in that I receive retiree healthcare from employer. The problem is that there is no guarantee that it will continue into the future. When I hired in, we had a defined benefit pension. That quickly got converted to a defined contribution. Better then nothing, but not the "annuity" that I was hoping for. Then, retiree healthcare used to be paid in full. Then they started charging and then capped their contribution. This year, they converted the plan - including current retirees - to a defined contribution. Retiree health insurance is not guaranteed and at 56, I could be looking at 5 years for DW and 9 years for me.

Currently I get $14,000 per year to buy a plan on the exchange. That's a pretty good deal, but with the "excitement" around the ACA, who knows what I'll be able to buy in the future. I'm sure my FIRE decision will come down to how much more BS I can take, but the uncertainty around HI increases the threshold a bit.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:20 AM   #32
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What are people's thoughts about signing up for ACA before it gets replaced (if ever) in order to be grandfathered in to any future plans? What are the risks? What are the advantages?

The reason I ask is that I just ran the ACA subsidy calculators and for some reason I got different results than I had gotten a few weeks ago. According to the KFF calculator, I could receive over $1000 per month in subsidies with an income of $80k (family of 3). The silver plan cost would be $646 and the bronze plan would be $319. Yeah, the deductibles and max OOPs are very high but those monthly prems are much easier to swallow than $1400-$1700 per month without subsidies.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:31 AM   #33
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We are planning to retire this year and health insurance is our number one concern. The state of Tennessee is currently experiencing insurance carriers fleeing the state. We are covered under the ACA with Blue Cross but I read a recent article that they might not continue for 2018. If so, there will be no health insurance carrier in our area in the ACA. Humana is also leaving the ACA this year. Blue Cross of Tennessee left most major cities last year under the ACA.

We are currently paying 1757.00 monthly for the cheapest Blue Cross ACA plan which is only 1 of 4 plans available to us.

Just patiently waiting and hoping for a positive resolution.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:41 AM   #34
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We are planning to retire this year and health insurance is our number one concern. The state of Tennessee is currently experiencing insurance carriers fleeing the state. We are covered under the ACA with Blue Cross but I read a recent article that they might not continue for 2018. If so, there will be no health insurance carrier in our area in the ACA. ....
Farm Bureau's plans seem to be good, and I think they offer statewide. (Not ACA plans though, and we haven't yet bought a personal plan....)

Do you have COBRA eligibility, or too small an employer? We are in the same position as you and, as noted above, we rearranged things this year to fit within a crappie (but not the fish!) employer plan that is COBRA eligible...
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:42 AM   #35
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We are currently paying 1757.00 monthly for the cheapest Blue Cross ACA plan which is only 1 of 4 plans available to us.
Ouch! And I bet that doesn't even include deductibles. Are you not able to manipulate your income in order to receive subsidies?
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:01 AM   #36
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What are people's thoughts about signing up for ACA before it gets replaced (if ever) in order to be grandfathered in to any future plans? What are the risks? What are the advantages?
Hubby and I have discussed this, but aren't sure of the risks/advantages/if the grandfathering would even happen or if ACA plans would just close down... If it looks like things might go sour before our FIRE plan for 2018 then we would consider retiring a bit earlier if there was enough advantage to being grandfathered into a plan.

The talk from the Freedom Caucus lately about modifying the healthcare bill to no longer protect those with preexisting conditions is high on my radar right now. If that modification should pass (I doubt it, but, ya know never say never) - we'd look hard at the benefits of trying to get on a plan before the bill is enacted. But for now, too early to jump ship if we don't have to.

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Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
The reason I ask is that I just ran the ACA subsidy calculators and for some reason I got different results than I had gotten a few weeks ago. According to the KFF calculator, I could receive over $1000 per month in subsidies with an income of $80k (family of 3). The silver plan cost would be $646 and the bronze plan would be $319. Yeah, the deductibles and max OOPs are very high but those monthly prems are much easier to swallow than $1400-$1700 per month without subsidies.
Have you checked prices on healthcare.gov? It is specific to your zipcode, income, age, etc. (not sure if the KFF calculator drills down to those specifics or just looks at averages?). I use https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/

I don't know how/why/if prices can change that quickly. I know they change from year to year (I saw a jump from 2016 to 2017), but I thought insurers had to get approval for their rate increases yearly...but...not sure. Hopefully someone else here knows the rules on that. I surely would like to know, too.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:08 AM   #37
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The subsidy amount differences was a user error....I realized I had been running estimates for when DD dropped off our coverage at 26. Oops!
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:50 AM   #38
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I'm not postponing... I caught the OMY disease for a couple years, but finally gave notice in January and my last day working will be May 5. I'll use COBRA for the following 18 months and then hopefully this HI mess stabilizes. I'm 47 with 2 young kids, so HI will be a big part of my FIRE expenses.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:01 AM   #39
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I'm not postponing... I caught the OMY disease for a couple years, but finally gave notice in January and my last day working will be May 5. I'll use COBRA for the following 18 months and then hopefully this HI mess stabilizes. I'm 47 with 2 young kids, so HI will be a big part of my FIRE expenses.
Congrats on your upcoming retirement. I hope to be not too far behind you. But until then, OMY....
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:03 AM   #40
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Farm Bureau's plans seem to be good, and I think they offer statewide. (Not ACA plans though, and we haven't yet bought a personal plan....)

Do you have COBRA eligibility, or too small an employer? We are in the same position as you and, as noted above, we rearranged things this year to fit within a crappie (but not the fish!) employer plan that is COBRA eligible...
Self employed so only ACA available. Not COBRA eligible.

I will check into Farm Bureau if necessary. Thanks.
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