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my plan for health insurance to ER
Old 07-06-2012, 04:16 PM   #1
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my plan for health insurance to ER

OK, securing health insurance is the last piece of the puzzle. I have had a plan in place but have not executed it yet. I wanted to see what others , more knowledgeable about HI would say. Also of course if the ACA is not repealed then another option is there. I have no pre-existing conditions that I know of but being over 50 I assume I would be denied for individual coverage based on horror stories I heard from others.

I would go on COBRA for 18 months, which then qualifies me for HIPAA, then I can join my state risk pool with no conditions. If the ACA is still in place I could have that option as well. This seems to be the path of least resistance.
Any thoughts on this, have I missed something.

State risk pool info:

Mississippi Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool Association - Coverage

It is not a cadillac plan by any means, but it is readily available. The cost is not outrageous. It does have a lifetime limit but "lifetime" is only to 65 ( 2024 ) when medicare kicks in.

I know some here have used the risk pools and seem satisfied. Martha in MN is one, but their plan has better benefits.

If I don't do this, then I'm stuck working at a j*b I don't want, for money I don't need, just have access to HI which I hope to never use!
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
It is not a cadillac plan by any means, but it is readily available. The cost is not outrageous. It does have a lifetime limit but "lifetime" is only to 65 ( 2024 ) when medicare kicks in.
But that lifetime limit is only in force until 1/1/2014 under current law, isn't it?
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Sounds reasonable to me. When I retired seven years ago, we went the COBRA to TX risk pool route for DW's health insurance. It has worked for us.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:44 PM   #4
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I would imagine state high risk plans will close - or rather, merge into the plans that result from full rollout of PPACA in 2014. If that doesn't happen for any reason the state high risk pool is an option, but those pools do depend on state funding or underwriting and most have enrollment limits. Still, it's not a bad option.

In addition, once in a Cobra plan HIPAA regs should give you a conversion option to an individual policy after the 18 months.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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You should talk to an insurance agent and see for yourself what your chances and costs of individual insurance would be. Maybe those horror stories are from people with pre-existing conditions. Why not check out for yourself what it would really be for you?
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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A quick review of HIPAA website at DOL and MS high risk eligibility confirms your thinking.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #7
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I have not heard of healthy people not being able to secure individual insurance (of course it depends on the definition). I have had three friends over 50 have no problem passing the underwriting part and received lowest rate quoted. You should go to ehealthinsurance and get a best case scenario estimate to see what it may cost. Although I am not quite 50 yet, I received best rate quote also 2 years ago. It certainly isn't impossible if you are fortunate to have good health.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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In addition, once in a Cobra plan HIPAA regs should give you a conversion option to an individual policy after the 18 months.
A word of caution about conversion options that I learned the hard way... if your employer's plan is self insured, you might not be eligible for a conversion policy. That's what happened to me in California.

On the plus side, I was previously told that I was uninsurable due to a pre-existing condition, but applied anyway. I was shocked that I was able to get an individual policy, albeit rated up 50%. Still cheaper than the CA high risk pool, and a better policy.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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A word of caution about conversion options that I learned the hard way... if your employer's plan is self insured, you might not be eligible for a conversion policy. That's what happened to me in California.

On the plus side, I was previously told that I was uninsurable due to a pre-existing condition, but applied anyway. I was shocked that I was able to get an individual policy, albeit rated up 50%. Still cheaper than the CA high risk pool, and a better policy.
Yup. I deliberately switched to a large HMO plan that the employer paid premiums on during my last open enrollment period at work because of this. (And that the plan had a much better reputation than the other options didn't hurt...). I was finally able to get onto an individual plan before the Cal-COBRA extension period ended, but conversion was my other option at that point.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:55 AM   #10
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Ditto COBRA->possible conversion, if not, HIPAA
My megacorp self insures, so conversion not likely. HIPAA policy is estimated to be twice the price (FL). So you might want to have get estimate of the cost so you're within budget.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:42 PM   #11
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When I retired early I looked at going the Cobra route but it was very expensive compared to some of the HD/HSA plan options. Isn't the risk pool insurance coverage for those who get turned down? If you're in good health and no pre-existing conditions you will have no problem getting individual coverage. Do what Mulligan suggested and check out ehealthinsurance and what the prices are for various plans. At your age and if your health is good you should be looking at a HD/HSA plan.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:35 AM   #12
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When I retired early I looked at going the Cobra route but it was very expensive compared to some of the HD/HSA plan options. Isn't the risk pool insurance coverage for those who get turned down? If you're in good health and no pre-existing conditions you will have no problem getting individual coverage. Do what Mulligan suggested and check out ehealthinsurance and what the prices are for various plans. At your age and if your health is good you should be looking at a HD/HSA plan.
I didn't have that choice. BTW, if going ehealthinsurance route, contact them first if you have/had any preexisting conditions, tell them situation and ask them to pre-screen you. it will save you time. As an example, BCBS has a 8-10 year lookback for cancer, it's grounds for immediate rejection.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:04 AM   #13
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For those "gray area military retirees" (military retired reserve awaiting pension at 60), TRICARE Retired Reserve is available. Although costly ($420 individual or $1,024 family), it likely provides very robust coverage.
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