Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Skip the COBRA and go individual insurance right away?
Old 06-27-2009, 12:24 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
Skip the COBRA and go individual insurance right away?

I am completing an application for an HSA for DH and myself with American Community. I am working with a local insurance broker (owners' adult son) who recommended AC because, among other things, the plan has a network in FL. We will be able to maintain our current coverage when we move to FL. Agent and his family use AC for their health insurance which is a pretty good recommendation. We have no health issues and don't take any medications. We were quoted $398 per month.

Me 50.5
DH 59.9

- $5,000 deductible and then 100% in the SuperMedPlus network.
- Imbedded family deductible which means benefits are paid after the first $5,000 deductible is attained. I haven't seen an explanation in writing yet but that's the box I checked and what I was quoted. Seems strange.
- Covers accidental injury at 100% for the first 30 days regardless of status of deductible.
- $5 million maximum.
- In network covered after deductible at 100%.
- Out of network covered after deductible at 75%.
- Out of network deductible is 2X in network deductible.
- Drug discount card until deductible met.

Because I'm being laid off, my COBRA premium would be reduced by 65% for 9 months. That would bring the monthly cost down to $390 for 90/10 coverage with $500 deductible. 75%/25% out of network.

Do you agree it makes sense to transition immediately to AC so we don't have to face the possibility of becoming uninsurable while on COBRA? COBRA will not be affordable after the 9 month subsidy period so we would have to purchase individual insurance at that time if I wasn't working at a job with benefits. Coverage at current job will end July 31st.
__________________

__________________
Buckeye 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 06-27-2009, 12:30 PM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,823
I wonder if the premium would go up drastically when your DH reaches 60 later this summer?

I don't know which I would do. My main worry would be that the policy might go up considerably after you have had it a while. But that fear is mostly from some of the horror stories I have read about here on the board. At least with COBRA, I would think that your cost is more likely to remain reasonably steady for the nine months. But then, you have the deal in hand right now with the other policy. Hmmm.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 12:54 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
I'd get the private insurance now.
__________________
.


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

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 01:09 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,015
I second Martha.
__________________
Achiever51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 01:30 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
FIRE'd@51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,315
I agree with "locking in" individual insurance now if you can pass underwriting. In case you haven't done so already, I'd check what AC's premium would be if you moved to FL today. I assume the $398 is for your current zip code and would guess that health insurance premiums are higher in FL than in OH.
__________________
I'd rather be governed by the first one hundred names in the telephone book than the Harvard faculty - William F. Buckley
FIRE'd@51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
W2R - The individual policy premium is guaranteed for 12 months. The COBRA rate is probably good until February 1 when my employer's plan year begins.

COBRA will increase to 100% of employer premium, $800, in April 2010 when 9 month subsidy disappears. Employer plan is too much coverage with such a low deductible ($500/$1,000) when we don't spent $1,000 in an entire year between the two of us. The HSA will be a better fit.
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 01:39 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
FIRE'd@51 - Agent priced other policies in FL (yes, higher) but he didn't mention an increase in the AC premium when we moved. We only talked about what network we would have to use. I'll double-check exactly what will happen to the premium when our address changes.
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 04:09 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Have you compared the HSA with BCBS of FL?
BCBSF
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 05:23 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
dex - We don't know when the house will sell so we will have to start with OH insurance. I went to the BCBS of FL website and looked at the available plans. The posted (I assume "preferred") rates look pretty good. I started an online application. Very, very comprehensive set of questions. I will have to have our medical records in front of me to answer all the questions. They want a date and description for every visit and every test for the previous 5 years, wellness visits and otherwise. Yikes!

Thanks for digging that up. It's good to be able to compare.
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2009, 08:56 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Buckeye,
It must be different for all states - I didn't have to do any of that - then again I didn't go to the dr too often and I just gave them my regular dr. name.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 09:54 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
Broker said the premium increase for Buckeyes moving to FL has been under 10%.

I had the broker quote the non-imbedded plan and it was significantly cheaper at $307. This means we have a $10,000 family deductible instead of $5,000 per person before benefits are paid. Given our current health status (very good), I don't think it's worth $91 per month to get the $5,000/$5,000 versus $10,000 deductible.

I'm assuming a 10%-15% premium increase every year so I want to start with the lowest premium. I submitted our application to the broker today. It's feels like turning in a final exam and waiting for my grade. I want an A, i.e. preferred rates!
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 06:26 AM   #12
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
I started an online application. Very, very comprehensive set of questions. I will have to have our medical records in front of me to answer all the questions. They want a date and description for every visit and every test for the previous 5 years, wellness visits and otherwise. Yikes!
Reminds me of a sad story I heard on TV recently. (60 Minutes, maybe?) Anyway, a woman had insurance but when she developed breast cancer, she was dropped. The insurance company said that she hadn't revealed the fact that she was treated for acne years ago. Because she hadn't been forthcoming with her entire medical history, they had the excuse they needed to drop her, even though her acne had nothing to do with her breast cancer. So, despite paying her premium regularly (with no complaints from the insurance company about getting payments while she was healthy), when she developed cancer she had no insurance and couldn't afford the treatments for her cancer that might prolong or save her life. What a nightmare!
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 02:30 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
Do you agree it makes sense to transition immediately to AC so we don't have to face the possibility of becoming uninsurable while on COBRA?
It makes a ton of sense. Get it while they will take you.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 03:04 PM   #14
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Yeah -- the cheap subsidized COBRA for nine months is very tempting -- probably better coverage for less money -- but I'd probably spend the entire nine months worrying about developing a condition that made me uninsurable on the open market when the subsidy was over. Which in turn would likely cause stress-related conditions to develop...
__________________
"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 06-30-2009, 06:28 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
ziggy29 - The subsidized COBRA is more expensive (additional $100 per month) than the high-deductible policy we are applying for. Of course, it's not apples to apples since the COBRA has only a $500 deductible and the high-deductible has a $10,000 deductible. We have been low consumers of health care and we will work to keep it that way. We much prefer to spend our money on a fitness club membership, healthy food, and a few supplements rather than insurance premiums.

Yes, I too would worry about developing an uninsurable condition. I've actually been worrying about it for the 3 months I have known I was going to leave my employer and would need individual insurance. The broker said it should take about 2 weeks to get the new policy approved with a start date of 8/1/2009. It's a real feeling of freedom to not have my employment and our health insurance intertwined.

W2R - There are many horror stories out there. Obama has a healthcare website (or it's part of his website) where he has asked folks to contribute personal stories and comments. Many of the stories are incredibly heart-breaking. Something has to be done.
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 09:38 AM   #16
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,407
Before we moved to Florida (from NY) I contacted BCBS-Fl for info on individual coverage and quotes. They gave me some rough numbers, said a pre-existing condition I had would require a separate rider, and said they could not provide any further info until we were resident in Fl and actually applied. UHC response was similar.

Once in FL I applied and was immediately denied – due to the same condition I discussed by phone. DW was also denied – due to a reason our family Dr. says is bogus. He even intervened on her behalf – to no avail. Insurance regs in Fl are pretty loose – individuals and very small businesses are at the mercy of insurance co’s.

My only point: there is no guarantee of coverage is Fl except when federally mandated, such as cobra. If you do choose to pursue the AC option, I would at least attempt to "pre-qualify" with a Fl based AC agent, even with the clear understanding that their view wold not represent a commitment.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 11:22 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 150
A little off topic here but I think Cobra is a joke. What happen to people who lost their jobs and can't find another job that offer medical insurance and they happen to have a pre-existing condition?

I know HIPPA is a choice but the cost is prohibited if you're unemployed.
__________________
huusom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 11:25 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
MichaelB - The broker will remain our agent when we move to FL. There is no additional underwriting when we make the move. I double-checked because it sounds like it's all working out too well! The first real test of whether it's all coming together will be AC's response to our application. Does the actual premium resemble the quote?
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 11:26 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
huusom - I absolutely agree with you. Something has to be done to assist the folks you describe. There but for the grace of God go my husband and I.

Everyone comments his health is important. It's extremely true today with the messed up health insurance situation and the fact it is very easy to become uninsurable through no fault of your own.
__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 11:30 AM   #20
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by huusom View Post
A little off topic here but I think Cobra is a joke. What happen to people who lost their jobs and can't find another job that offer medical insurance and they happen to have a pre-existing condition?
The biggest problem is that employer health plans tend to be very expensive. Employees often have more than one health insurance option at open enrollment time, but most of them tend to be very expensive. Of course, the fact that it's group insurance also makes it more expensive (because it has no medical underwriting).
__________________

__________________
"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
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
individual health insurance choices RJ732 FIRE and Money 12 06-02-2008 09:37 AM
COBRA vs Start Retiree Health Insurance oliverdickens Health and Early Retirement 8 05-08-2007 06:04 PM
Getting individual insurance in ER with history of cancer tnedator Health and Early Retirement 27 03-22-2007 08:46 AM
Individual Insurance tomz Health and Early Retirement 7 03-09-2007 06:54 PM
Individual Health Insurance Termination uncledrz FIRE and Money 14 04-22-2005 06:26 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:44 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.