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Old 09-29-2008, 10:23 AM   #21
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When you say "exclusions", you mean like body parts? Do they say, "We'll insure you but not your lungs?" or things like that (if you don't mind me asking)? That could get tricky if you have, for example, high blood pressure as that can lead to stroke, etc. So could they exclude a host of downstream illnesses? Or is it more by body part or organ?

I have had a couple of basel cells removed, so the insurance company excluded ALL dematology exams or treatments. I was diagnosed with a compressed cervical disk (which as never bothered me since) but the insurance company excluded everything, exams and treatments, regarding the spine. Those are the major ones, there are a couple of other minor ones as well.

I have high cholesterol but they didn't exclude anything to do with that. But I think my rate is higher because of it, and being overweight.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:24 AM   #22
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Oh, too bad! We just hired somebody like that a couple of months ago as an editor. Fooey. Wouldn't that have been cool? I think it would have been neat to work with you. www.usajobs.opm.gov and keep looking. Every few days the jobs available changes, so I always looked once a week before I got this job. Did it every Friday as part of my routine. You have a marketable skill so you can probably find a federal job a lot faster than I did, though I was "only" 50 when I was hired.

Like you are considering, I moved here for the job, not because I wanted to live in New Orleans. That part came later after I had lived here a while.
Oh, too bad. that would have been fun! thanks for the info, want2retire.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:01 AM   #23
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Oh, too bad. that would have been fun! thanks for the info, want2retire.
You're welcome, and yes it sure would have been! The editor we is not all that fun to work with, but I am sure you and I would get along wonderfully. Oh well.

By the way, I forgot to mention that since you are 59 you would only have to have five years as a federal employee in order to retire with medical benefits. I think if you are 62 or older, and have five years in, then you are eligible. (I will be 61 when I retire next year so that doesn't help me but it could help you maybe).

It sometimes takes a long time for a federal job in a specific field to pop up sometimes - - 3+ years in my case, but for me it was worth the wait. I would expect with your skills, and/or some flexibility in occupation or job title, it wouldn't take nearly so long.

All the (admittedly complex) retirement rules are available at opm.gov if you click on retirement. New employees are required to go with the new retirement system ("FERS") instead of the old one ("CSRS).
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:57 PM   #24
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HIPAA guaranteed my ability to go from a group insurance plan of my employer to an individual plan, with no waiting period, no pre-existing conditions exclusions, and no underwriting.

The downside is that HIPAA plans can be prohibitively expensive and the coverage is often not as good as the group plan that you left. So you have to decide where you want to live and what insurance offerings are available to you in that area. For example, California has a risk pool as a HIPAA option, but it is expensive and only provides $75,000 of coverage per year.

Minnesota (our home state) was our best bet for insurance for two people who are otherwise uninsurable. Their HIPAA option is a risk pool but it is probably the best risk pool in the nation.
Brrr...C'mon I live in the desert southwest!
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:59 PM   #25
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I have had a couple of basel cells removed, so the insurance company excluded ALL dematology exams or treatments. I was diagnosed with a compressed cervical disk (which as never bothered me since) but the insurance company excluded everything, exams and treatments, regarding the spine. Those are the major ones, there are a couple of other minor ones as well.

I have high cholesterol but they didn't exclude anything to do with that. But I think my rate is higher because of it, and being overweight.
Well, that sounds perfect - they cover you for everything that you don't need coverage on, right?!?
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:01 PM   #26
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HIPAA guaranteed my ability to go from a group insurance plan of my employer to an individual plan, with no waiting period, no pre-existing conditions exclusions, and no underwriting.

The downside is that HIPAA plans can be prohibitively expensive and the coverage is often not as good as the group plan that you left. So you have to decide where you want to live and what insurance offerings are available to you in that area. For example, California has a risk pool as a HIPAA option, but it is expensive and only provides $75,000 of coverage per year.

Minnesota (our home state) was our best bet for insurance for two people who are otherwise uninsurable. Their HIPAA option is a risk pool but it is probably the best risk pool in the nation.
So I take it HIPAA mean federal guidelines that each state interprets in their own way and make their own HIPAA plans?? I guess I'm not understanding why all HIPAA plans aren't alike if it's a federal thing?
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:32 PM   #27
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So I take it HIPAA mean federal guidelines that each state interprets in their own way and make their own HIPAA plans?? I guess I'm not understanding why all HIPAA plans aren't alike if it's a federal thing?

HIPAA, the federal law, requires each state to have one or more plans in place for people who are leaving group insurance coverage after 18 months of prior coverage. States do have a fair amount of flexibility in what they offer. The feds also do not limit cost.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:07 PM   #28
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HIPAA, the federal law, requires each state to have one or more plans in place for people who are leaving group insurance coverage after 18 months of prior coverage. States do have a fair amount of flexibility in what they offer. The feds also do not limit cost.
And with no limits on what insurers can charge, there is really no teeth in the HIPAA requirement for disallowing preexisting condition exclusions.

I mean, if someone has a history of cancer, maybe HIPAA says insurers MUST offer insurance with no exclusions for cancer treatment... but if they choose to charge $5,000 a month, no one will buy it -- so they might as well not even have the law in place at all...
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