Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?
Old 04-17-2007, 09:49 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 144
What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?

I am retired, but DH works for a small company with less than 20 employees so we are not COBRA eligible, as I understand it.

Our plan upon retirement in a couple of years was group health insurance from IEEE, but that is no longer an option as IEEE group health is no longer accepting new applicants. We would also apply for individual policies.

My concern is as to what happens if DH's company decided to shut down (which we don't expect, but never can be sure of). If we are not COBRA eligible would we need to find individual insurance within 60 days if he was suddenly unemployed? Should we be looking for new insurance now and make the transition before retirement, just in case? Are we in a risky situation? It's kind of scary not to have that COBRA safety net...

I would appreciate any advice...
__________________

__________________
BarbaraAnne 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!

Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?
Old 04-17-2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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: 42,090
Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?

I suggest you go to the Georgetown University website, download your state's consumer guide and determine what your rights are.

http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/

__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?
Old 04-17-2007, 08:03 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?

Some states have mini-COBRAs to cover the people who are not covered under federal law. The guide Wahoo points to should tell you that. The 60 day rule you mention is a COBRA rule so that isn't relevant to you. However, be sure to read the information concerning HIPAA. HIPAA gives you some rights when leaving a group plan, even if COBRA isn't available. However, to exercise those rights you generally must get on the new plan within 63 days. HIPAA rights are important if you are worried you might be unisurable.
__________________
.


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

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?
Old 04-18-2007, 08:45 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 144
Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?

Thanks Martha and REWahoo for your advice and links.

I was not aware of the mini-COBRA provision or how HIPAA would work in our situation. Although we think we are insurable now, one never really knows. One of the many problems with the current system is that many people are potentially one blood test, mammogram, etc. from being uninsurable. I don't know if many folks realize this and frankly it worries me every time a family member visits the doctor.



__________________
BarbaraAnne is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?
Old 04-18-2007, 09:43 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Re: What is the solution if you're not Cobra eligible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraAnne
One of the many problems with the current system is that many people are potentially one blood test, mammogram, etc. from being uninsurable. I don't know if many folks realize this and frankly it worries me every time a family member visits the doctor.
I never heard it put that way, but that is exactly the way it can work.

It's sadly ironic that the very hazard you are insuring against can deprive you of the very protection you need from your insurance.
__________________
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 05-30-2007, 12:01 PM   #6
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraAnne View Post
Our plan upon retirement in a couple of years was group health insurance from IEEE, but that is no longer an option as IEEE group health is no longer accepting new applicants. We would also apply for individual policies.
Pardon me for resurrecting this one.

There's a good chance that if you were eligible for IEEE coverage once upon a time, you're probably eligible to join the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). They still have association-sponsored health insurance plans; whether or not it's a true "group" plan, I'm not certain.

(I'm actually a member of this association who's considering this as a fallback should I sever employment, so I'd be curious to hear from anyone who might be in the plan.)

ACM's Insurance Programs
__________________
"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 05-30-2007, 12:22 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
I'm starting to think that it might be a good idea for some people to procure an inexpensive high deductible plan early in life before anything can "go wrong" and maintain that until medicare kicks in.

That way you'd always have a fallback plan for between jobs, early retirement, etc.

Based on what i've looked at recently, you could probably pay 30-40 years worth of low cost, high deductible insurance for not a lot more than the cost of 18 months of Cobra when you're in your 40's or 50's. The rates are so dang cheap when you're in your 20's or 30's...

Might turn out to be the best investment you could ever make.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 12:49 PM   #8
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
I'm starting to think that it might be a good idea for some people to procure an inexpensive high deductible plan early in life before anything can "go wrong" and maintain that until medicare kicks in.

That way you'd always have a fallback plan for between jobs, early retirement, etc.
I've thought about that. I just can't get myself to pay $200+ per month for something I won't use (at least while at Megacorp). I guess one way to look at it would be to call it "health insurance insurance."

If the system were overhauled so that Megacorp gave me the money they spend on health insurance and had us shop for our own policy, I'd be all over it. For what they spend on health insurance for us (even without my contributions), I could get a decent HSA-eligible HDHP for about $300 a month plus about $4000 a year left over to fund the HSA.
__________________
"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 05-30-2007, 01:02 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
What i'm going to be paying in cobra amounts to about $70 a month for 30 years...and should things go badly in the re-employment-with-benefits category, I cant wait to see what sort of Hipaa policies we're offered and how much THOSE are gonna cost...and how lousy the coverage will be :P
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 01:10 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
FIRE'd@51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,315
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
I'm starting to think that it might be a good idea for some people to procure an inexpensive high deductible plan early in life before anything can "go wrong" and maintain that until medicare kicks in.

That way you'd always have a fallback plan for between jobs, early retirement, etc.

Based on what i've looked at recently, you could probably pay 30-40 years worth of low cost, high deductible insurance for not a lot more than the cost of 18 months of Cobra when you're in your 40's or 50's. The rates are so dang cheap when you're in your 20's or 30's...

Might turn out to be the best investment you could ever make.
Yeah, until you develop a pre-existing condition and can't move because your policy doesn't cover you in your new state. Or until your carrier exits the business and cancels your policy. Or over the years, adverse selection leaves you in a risk group where your premiums escalate way more than average, or health care inflation makes your policy's lifetime cap inadequate, and you can't switch to another policy because of a pre-existing condition.

If we could fix the system, so the "quirks" I mentioned above couldn't happen, I would agree with you. We need to move in the direction of tying insurance to the individual and making it completely portable, and away from employer-provided Cadillac plans. We need a system with everyone in it, where people don't lose their insurance when they lose or switch jobs, or move.
__________________
FIRE'd@51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 01:35 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
FIRE'd@51's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,315
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
What i'm going to be paying in cobra amounts to about $70 a month for 30 years...and should things go badly in the re-employment-with-benefits category, I cant wait to see what sort of Hipaa policies we're offered and how much THOSE are gonna cost...and how lousy the coverage will be :P
Fortunately, when I FIRE'd I was able to switch to a higher-deductible policy under COBRA (my employer had several plans - this was before HSA's). While I was working I took the Cadillac plan since my part of the premium was tax-subsidized (pre-tax) and the employer paid the rest. It saved me a bundle over the 18 months I was on COBRA. Have you checked if your wife can do this, or is her plan a "one shoe fits all"?

Just to clarify, HIPAA is not a policy - it is Federal legislation which is implemented somewhat differently in each state. In my state, a HIPAA-eligible individual can buy any policy offered by any insurance company in the state as guaranteed-issue with no waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. The catch is that the insurance company can charge a much higher premium for the policy. While the HIPAA laws are better than nothing (at least you can get insurance), you pay through the nose for it. Sometimes, a state risk pool or some fallback guaranteed-issue policy will actually be cheaper.
__________________
FIRE'd@51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 02:09 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
perinova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Pardon me for resurrecting this one.

There's a good chance that if you were eligible for IEEE coverage once upon a time, you're probably eligible to join the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). They still have association-sponsored health insurance plans; whether or not it's a true "group" plan, I'm not certain.

(I'm actually a member of this association who's considering this as a fallback should I sever employment, so I'd be curious to hear from anyone who might be in the plan.)

ACM's Insurance Programs
What does anyone think about the Catastrophic Major Medical. It seems to be inexpensive and cover after a deductible of $25,000. I am thinking that this is a reasonable option for a family with no current illness.
I am not sure if you can be covered with no other insurance at all?
Any catch?
__________________
perinova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 02:19 PM   #13
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by perinova View Post
What does anyone think about the Catastrophic Major Medical. It seems to be inexpensive and cover after a deductible of $25,000. I am thinking that this is a reasonable option for a family with no current illness.
I am not sure if you can be covered with no other insurance at all?
Any catch?
You need another policy. This is not designed to be stand-alone insurance; it's supposed to sit on top of another insurance plan when it has reached its payout limits (much like umbrella liability sits on top of an existing homeowners' liability policy).

I believe the main purpose of this insurance is to kick in when you reach the "plan maximum" (usually $1-5 million) in your primary health insurance policy, or to pay out if you incur more expenses than a plan will pay out in any given year.
__________________
"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 05-30-2007, 03:28 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
perinova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
You need another policy. This is not designed to be stand-alone insurance; it's supposed to sit on top of another insurance plan when it has reached its payout limits (much like umbrella liability sits on top of an existing homeowners' liability policy).

I believe the main purpose of this insurance is to kick in when you reach the "plan maximum" (usually $1-5 million) in your primary health insurance policy, or to pay out if you incur more expenses than a plan will pay out in any given year.
Are you sure? A $1-million deductible would be a stop loss insurance. The insurance I found in the link I followed above is at $25k deductible insurance. I didn't actually read (did I miss it?) that you need a 2nd insurance. I do know that some catastrophic insurance coverage require it.
__________________
perinova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2007, 03:43 PM   #15
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by perinova View Post
Are you sure? A $1-million deductible would be a stop loss insurance. The insurance I found in the link I followed above is at $25k deductible insurance. I didn't actually read (did I miss it?) that you need a 2nd insurance. I do know that some catastrophic insurance coverage require it.
Yep. Look at this about plan details: http://www.personal-plans.com/pdfdoc...jormedical.pdf

Where it says "Required Basic Plan", you'll see that another health plan sitting under it is required.
__________________
"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 05-30-2007, 04:39 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,881
Hey BarbaraAnne,

The 20 employee bottom limit is definitely a COBRA requirement however, nothing limits an employer from extending "COBRAlike" benefits to a long-time employee. Perhaps your DH could approach the boss and work out some kind of a one time deal for him. What's the worst that can happen?
__________________

__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd 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
COBRA vs Start Retiree Health Insurance oliverdickens Health and Early Retirement 8 05-08-2007 06:04 PM
The book, The New Health Insurance Solution Martha FIRE and Money 20 05-15-2006 11:16 AM
COBRA hassles free4now FIRE and Money 19 04-14-2006 06:21 PM
COBRA Ginger Other topics 1 11-15-2005 06:27 PM
COBRA Limits REWahoo FIRE and Money 3 11-02-2005 09:48 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:59 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.