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New member healthcare questions...
Old 10-01-2007, 09:04 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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New member healthcare questions...

I just joined the forums yesterday and have some healthcare questions. Here are the details:

Hoping to retire next year at age 43. Married w/ 2 kids (6th and 11th grade). Live in Illinois.

Health: My wife & I may be slightly overweight (10-20 pounds). I have high cholesterol (280) and stopped taking Lipitor about a year ago due to muscle aches. I have not followed up w/ a doctor (plan on doing soon). Other than this, we are healthy (never smoked).

Questions:

1. When I retire, should I take COBRA for 18 months or is it smarter to find a new health plan ASAP while still fairly healthy?

2. Will my high cholesterol prevent me from getting private insurance, or will it just increase the premium?

3. Cost -- I am budgeting $1,000 a month for private insurance. I don't care about a high deductible ($5,000 - $10,000). I have done some on-line quotes which show premiums of $300 - $400 for high deductible plans. I assume this would go up due to my cholesterol, but not sure how much.

4. Moving -- if I took a plan like Blue Cross / Blue Shield of IL and moved South in a few years (say North Carolina), does the plan transfer or do you have to re-apply and get a new plan? If this happened 10 years from now, it could be a lot tougher getting new health insurance.

Any other insights into things I should consider would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrifty1 View Post
I just joined the forums yesterday and have some healthcare questions. Here are the details:

Hoping to retire next year at age 43. Married w/ 2 kids (6th and 11th grade). Live in Illinois.

Health: My wife & I may be slightly overweight (10-20 pounds). I have high cholesterol (280) and stopped taking Lipitor about a year ago due to muscle aches. I have not followed up w/ a doctor (plan on doing soon). Other than this, we are healthy (never smoked).

Questions:

1. When I retire, should I take COBRA for 18 months or is it smarter to find a new health plan ASAP while still fairly healthy?
I would consider shopping for a health plan but use COBRA if you need to.

Quote:
2. Will my high cholesterol prevent me from getting private insurance, or will it just increase the premium?
It is hard to know what exactly insurers use to decide whether to deny you insurance, charge you a higher premium, or exclude a condition. Some companies will not do exclusions. Some states don't allow exclusions or limit them. We used to have an insurance broker on the board who shared underwriting information. IIRC, she said that high cholesterol may prevent you from getting insurance , unless it is controlled for a certain period of time through treatment or otherwise. You might search in "advanced search" for posts containing "cholesterol and underwriting" by mykidslovedogs. I would also read the guide to rights in your state at http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/s...ranceGuide.pdf

Quote:
3. Cost -- I am budgeting $1,000 a month for private insurance. I don't care about a high deductible ($5,000 - $10,000). I have done some on-line quotes which show premiums of $300 - $400 for high deductible plans. I assume this would go up due to my cholesterol, but not sure how much.
Cost is difficult to predict because of wide state variability. I would talk to an independent agent about both cost and for possible prescreening for eligibility. Worst case is that you end up on whatever HIPAA option you state has, which might be quite costly.

Quote:
4. Moving -- if I took a plan like Blue Cross / Blue Shield of IL and moved South in a few years (say North Carolina), does the plan transfer or do you have to re-apply and get a new plan? If this happened 10 years from now, it could be a lot tougher getting new health insurance.
It depends on the company, but I believe BCBS does not transfer from state to state. When shopping, talk to the agent about this issue. Otherwise, you are correct, ten years from now you may have a hard time getting insurance and you no longer have HIPAA rights to force the sale of a plan to you, so you may have no options, depending on that state you are looking at.

I also recommend reading this guide to private health insurance: http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/n..._Insurance.pdf
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:30 AM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Martha,

Thanks for the reply.

I will look for a good independent agent after the first of the year. I will also schedule a doctor visit to see how my cholesterol is doing since I dumped Lipitor last year. Maybe it has lowered all on its own (wishful thinking).
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:10 PM   #4
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We used to have an insurance broker on the board who shared underwriting information. IIRC,
"Used to?" What have I missed now?
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