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Worry-free lifetime healthcare
Old 10-08-2007, 11:30 PM   #1
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Worry-free lifetime healthcare

So many would-be retirees are dissuaded due to the great unknown of future healthcare costs, myself included. Corporations are radically cutting back on retiree benefits. Policy costs continue to rise, and coverage is never completely assured. Which begs the question, who amongst us do not have to factor medical costs in their ER planning? A few that come to mind:
1) Those wealthy enough to self-insure
2) Veterans
3) Government employees
4) Canadians
5) The married with continuously-employed spouses

Any others?
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:47 PM   #2
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2) Veterans
Any others?
2) retired veterans
6) Medical tourists
7) Medicare-eligibles, at least for now...
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:13 AM   #3
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6) Medical tourists
7) Medicare-eligibles, at least for now...
6) Still must be budgetted
7) Only if you consider 62 the new 52
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:19 AM   #4
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I think there is some cost that needs to be factored in for basic costs even if one has insurance. Copays for service and prescriptions and Group Insurance participation premium

IF you are talking about the huge premium for individual coverage... then add

- Early Retirees with Company Group Health Coverage
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:47 AM   #5
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2) retired veterans
My initial thoughts were the same, but any vet can go to a VA hospital. The amount owed is based on the income of the person. It's not the best system, but it might beat bleeding to death in the gutter. There was short time when I was not covered by insurance (personal choice) I was going at a coconut and took a large chunk of meat out of my hand. I paid $25.00 at the VA to have Doogie Howser stitch it up. I waited an hour for service on a Sunday morning. It was the longest wait I've ever had in an empty emergency room.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:52 AM   #6
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So many would-be retirees are dissuaded due to the great unknown of future healthcare costs, myself included. Corporations are radically cutting back on retiree benefits. Policy costs continue to rise, and coverage is never completely assured. Which begs the question, who amongst us do not have to factor medical costs in their ER planning? A few that come to mind:
1) Those wealthy enough to self-insure
2) Veterans
3) Government employees
4) Canadians
5) The married with continuously-employed spouses

Any others?
You want free health care, free food & free lodging?
No worries, just go rob a bank, you get the best health
care money can buy, even if you are on death row!
TJ
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:27 AM   #7
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You want free health care, free food & free lodging? No worries, just go rob a bank, you get the best health
care money can buy, even if you are on death row!
Uh.. have you ever visited a prison clinic? An inpatient prison ward?

Might wanna re-think the Willie Sutton advice.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:53 AM   #8
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Everyone has to budget for health care. I pay about 25% of the cost of my Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield Standard Plan. The taxpayers foot the rest. I will continue to pay that amount after I become eligible for Medicare at which point the Fed plan becomes a supplemental. The BC/BS plan has copays and doesn't cover everything I would like. I have long-term-care. Etc. I recognize that this leaves me in a much better situation than those of you who are at the mercy of insurance companies that can turn you down. I would vote for a reasonable single payer system that covered everyone in a heart beat.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:36 AM   #9
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Except for the very poor and disabled and those in prison I don't know of anyone who doesn't need to budget for health care.

In my state, the retirees health insurance supplement in $5/year of service - max $120/month - a significant shortfall of the full premium (now about $800/month for individual coverage and increases annually). So, signficant out of pocket there. BTW, the average state pension is approx $15,000/year - not much over the HI costs.

Medicare (which you can't take until 65) also requires signficiant personal funding. Supplemental coverage (A and B) for doctor and other outpatient visits and Part D for prescription drugs (if you don't take it when first eligible, you get hit with a financial penalty for signing on late). These added coverages are between $800 and $1,000 per month, excluding co-pays and the like.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:53 AM   #10
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I am a federal (CSRS) retiree. I carried my federal BCBS standard option family health insurance into retirement. Last year my out of pocket health care costs were $3200 (deductibles and copays) plus the $3400 withheld from my pension checks as my share of the premiums. While this total is undoubtedly less than many ER's have to cover, it certainly is a factor I have to consider in my budget.

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Old 10-09-2007, 08:58 AM   #11
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Supplemental coverage (A and B) for doctor and other outpatient visits and Part D for prescription drugs (if you don't take it when first eligible, you get hit with a financial penalty for signing on late). These added coverages are between $800 and $1,000 per month, excluding co-pays and the like.
Sandy, my monthly Fla premiums for the BCBS MC wrap-around would run between $420 and $600 depending on whether one or both are on MC, standard (not high deduct).

Your $1000 a month seems a little high just for "added coverages" (though may be about right if you include the core MC premiums as well).

Can you elaborate?
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:05 AM   #12
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what me worry?

1. can lose all their money too ya know.
5. can wind up divorced and then might need to budget way more than 6.
8. the unencumbered who live outside the u.s. only have to budget half as much.
9. smith, wesson & arsenic inc. (we relieve your suffering without the worry or the high premiums.)
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:24 AM   #13
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RIT:

Don't know what I was smoking this morning Sorry if I caused you heart failure. Thanks for keeping me honest, not as high as I said, but not insubstantial - and certain to increase:

In 2008:

Part A : no premium if over 40 quarters but $233 or $423 based on quarters worked (may apply to some of our FIRES)

Co-pays and coinsurance if you are hospitalized or for skilled nursing care, while not fixed monthly cost, are substantial and require budgeting, especially as you age.

Part B premiums are 96.80 -higher for singles with income over $82,000/couples over $164,000 [I expect this means testing will continue]

Plus $135 deductible and 20% copayments, again, these costs will significantly increase as you age.

Answer

Then there is Part D, with average premiums of $25 plus copays. Also, if you take a lot of meds (e.g. a common combo of blood pressure, diabetes, coumadin, and cholesterol), you can enter the donut hole and get to pay the premium while also paying the full cost of your drugs.

While most 65 yo do not get hit hard, by the time you are in your 80's costs can be substantial - I guess just plan on continuing the "travel budget" in a revised category.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:31 PM   #14
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So many would-be retirees are dissuaded due to the great unknown of future healthcare costs, myself included.
Why health care in particular? Early retirement is all about cutting your umbilical from your paternalistic paycheck provider and living off your investments. It's not for wimps.

You're probably worried about health care costs because of recent cost increases. I imagine that you'll have other things to worry about in the future. Maybe energy costs. Maybe food costs. Maybe a prolonged market crash.

But the upside is that you'll be free.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:39 PM   #15
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Why health care in particular?
Because that seems to be biggest wildcard in planning. High energy costs? Ride a bike, bundle up or move. High food costs? Americans already eat too much. Market crash? That's what AA is about. Medical catastrophe, insured or not, can lead to bankruptcy, an end to ER, and worse....
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:58 PM   #16
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Because that seems to be biggest wildcard in planning.
What's the cliche? Man plans, and god laughs.

Life is a wildcard. Hedge your bets. Here's how I hedge health care costs:

Modelling health care cost in early retirement?
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:04 PM   #17
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My initial thoughts were the same, but any vet can go to a VA hospital. The amount owed is based on the income of the person. It's not the best system, but it might beat bleeding to death in the gutter. There was short time when I was not covered by insurance (personal choice) I was going at a coconut and took a large chunk of meat out of my hand. I paid $25.00 at the VA to have Doogie Howser stitch it up. I waited an hour for service on a Sunday morning. It was the longest wait I've ever had in an empty emergency room.
Only if said veteran has an other than dishonorable discharge. (trust me those folks are out there too!)

But, yes, in general the care does not suck at all!
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:17 PM   #18
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Everyone has to budget for health care. I pay about 25% of the cost of my Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield Standard Plan. The taxpayers foot the rest. I will continue to pay that amount after I become eligible for Medicare at which point the Fed plan becomes a supplemental. The BC/BS plan has copays and doesn't cover everything I would like. I have long-term-care. Etc. I recognize that this leaves me in a much better situation than those of you who are at the mercy of insurance companies that can turn you down. I would vote for a reasonable single payer system that covered everyone in a heart beat.
I am a federal employee with BC/BS Standard also. I have to work two more years to qualify for retirement (and the continued health care that comes with it). Otherwise I could ER earlier. So, given my past history of rotten luck, my prediction is that national health care will become a reality in 2010.

I always wondered what would happen if a federal retiree didn't apply for Medicare (even for Part A), and if the federal BC/BS Standard would just continue as before in a case like that. Guess that between you and Gumby's answers, it looks like we have to go ahead and apply for it anyway. I have heard so many complaints about Medicare being primary and BC/BS being secondary, and insurance wrangling related to that, that I wish I could just keep what I have! Oh well.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:15 PM   #19
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What's the cliche? Man plans, and god laughs.

Life is a wildcard. Hedge your bets. Here's how I hedge health care costs:

Modelling health care cost in early retirement?
Mann tracht, Gott lought.

Still, we must tracht to succeed, or you can tracht on failure.

Your hedge is a proper AA.

If that don't work, see you at AA.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:23 PM   #20
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Mann tracht, Gott lought.

Still, we must tracht to succeed, or tracht on failure.

Twaddle, your link went elsewhere, if you care to re-post. Thanks!
It was a bit out of context, but the basic idea is that we have no control over price inflation, and we have no way to estimate future price inflation, so invest in assets that tend to track the kind of inflation you're worried about.

In my case, I own a slug of health care and energy funds. Not because I think they'll be great investments, but because I think those funds will tend to grow as those sectors grow as a percentage of the economy.

That's all I can do: purchase insurance, invest in inflation hedges, and stop worrying until something actually bites me.
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