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Old 01-08-2018, 08:38 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by 45th Birthday View Post
Wondering, since you are saving $1,900 per month, how much have you contributed to the medical expenses of others with pre-existing conditions?
Since we just joined in December, we haven't contributed much. We did make a donation of $100 in December and have set up a $50 donation each month. I want to do more but we need to see how it all plays out this year. My plan is to do the $50 per month and then make an additional donation at the end of the year after we see how the year goes financially. I do want to use some of the extra funds to help people in my community. I'm feeling like I now have the funds to do so much more (i.e., a friend is very low income and I'm buying his kids a Chromebook so they have access to a computer/internet (using wifi from their phones) at home to do homework).

My husband also pointed out that we aren't really saving $1900 per month because we are not able to deduct it from our taxes. We are probably saving $1000 per month as we now will have to pay more in taxes. To be honest, I'd rather pay more in taxes than support the insurance companies.

The December newsletter says that if each member family contributed $12.48 that month, all $1.8M in needs will be met. I find this incredible.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:08 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Doc0 View Post
.....
You seem.to want to do a lot of negotiating about job choice, as if you have that luxury. I don't think you have that luxury. I think you need a paycheck. You are not financially independent, aka get a job. Once you have a job THEN you have some luxury to move into something better. You are eligible for Medicare at 65. Medicare is not free, it's just relatively cheap. Full SS is 3 years away. In the meantime the fantasy of "choices" will leave you broke.
+1
OP does not realize she is in serious troubles here at a gut level.
She was already close to retirement age of 65, yet had changed from a higher paying job to a low paying job, when she still owed a mortgage and barely has any lifetime savings.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:41 PM   #123
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Hi DC Jennifer, Now that I'm on my computer, I can write more...someone was giving me a hard time about recommending Christian Healthcare Ministries so I want to make sure you do your due diligence and don't just take what I tell you. I'll give you an overview of what we learned but then please go to the website and call them if you have questions.

CHM is not insurance. It is a member based medical bill sharing non profit that has been around since 1981 (I think there are four such groups in the US). They had an issue with integrity and fraud some years ago and have put in place many safeguards - keeping the duties of receiving/distributing/depositing money all separate. They have over 300,000 members.

How it works is you go to the doctor, tell them you are a cash paying customer, they will probably make you pay a deposit and then when you get the bill, you ask for a cash discount. There are certain CHM rules to follow but let's say you go to the emergency room. You get the bill, call and ask for a cash discount (30-40%) and then submit the bill to CHM who then sends you a check. No deductible, no in network/out of network issues.

We signed up in December as our insurance was outrageous. We signed up for the highest coverage which is $150 per unit (each parent is a unit and then the children are one unit). The highest coverage shares bills for all incidents that exceed $500 as long as all the guidelines are met. You can receive up to $125,000 per incident which becomes unlimited if you sign up for the additional plan called Brother's Keeper which is $25 per month. An incident is considered all costs related to an illness - say you go to the doctor three times because your stomach hurts and then end up having your appendix out...all those costs are one incident. Once you get the bills for your appendix, you ask for cash discounts. If you get more than $500 in cash discounts, your responsibility for the first $500 is met. The incident costs you nothing.

In general CHM does not cover pre-existing conditions (with exceptions at the $150 level - see below). In one of my prior posts, I wrote that I bet they will pay for pre-existing conditions. I wrote "I bet" because I don't know if all pre-existing conditions get paid for but I think most do. Bills for pre-existing conditions are shared in a newsletter on the Prayer Pages. Members can donate tax deductible donations to help others with their pre-existing condition bills.

Also, if you join at the Gold level (the $150 level), CHM pays for $50k total of bills for pre-existing conditions the first three years and then after that, the condition is no longer considered pre-existing. If you have more than $50k of bills in the first three years, those bills can be put on the Prayer Page.

Here is why we joined. I was on a Facebook page and a gal wrote that her husband had to go to the ER. The bill was $4100. The discount brought it down to $2500. CHM sent them a check for $2500.

Another story about a pre-existing condition - a boy had a congenital defect where his sternum fused and he found it hard to breath. He had to have his sternum broken and repaired. The cost after discounts was $69,000. Since it was a pre-existing condition, it wasn't covered. Donations from the prayer page covered the whole cost.

CHM does not cover maintenance medications. They do have a prescription discount program that you can use to get cash discounts. They do not cover unwed mothers and probably won't cover care for drug abuse. They want people to live a Christian life.

Because of the minimum $500 per incident, regular doctor's visits and physicals are not covered. But again, you ask for a cash discount and it may not be much more than if you had insurance. Our insurance was going to cost us $105 per specialist visit (three max before they were subject to the deductible). Our dermatologist charges $55-90 cash. Less than what our insurance was going to make us pay.

There are three levels of membership. We choose the highest level with the most benefits.

Anyways, the website if chministries.org. I think you should check it out. Let me know if you have questions.
If you're referring to me about the hard time..I merely suggested that this can't really be called health insurance, and that if you have pre existing conditions you may or may not get money from this oufit.Which you pretty much agreed with in this post.But I would caution people about believing stories they read on Facebook..
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:53 AM   #124
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If you're referring to me about the hard time..I merely suggested that this can't really be called health insurance, and that if you have pre existing conditions you may or may not get money from this oufit.Which you pretty much agreed with in this post.But I would caution people about believing stories they read on Facebook..
She posted a copy of the check. Don't be so cynical :-).
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:31 AM   #125
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+1
OP does not realize she is in serious troubles here at a gut level.
She was already close to retirement age of 65, yet had changed from a higher paying job to a low paying job, when she still owed a mortgage and barely has any lifetime savings.
My job which was higher paying was also eliminated. Johns Hopkins bought the medical practice where I was a surgical coordinator for 12.5 years. They only made contracts with the doctors who owned the practice. All other personnel were let go. The Internal Medical practice that I joined after that job is where I worked for three years and it made me physically ill. I was supervising a staff that did not want to work and would call in at the drop of a hat. I took the church job as I felt called to it and there is more to life than just money so long as I could pay my bills and save--which I did. I went through a divorce in 2001 and took a hit to my IRA in 2008 so to me $130,000 is hardly chump change for savings. I also could downsize my home if needed and use the equity to pay for something smaller in cash and pocket the rest in the same building where I now live. I have already let someone who has a lovely smaller apartment know that I would be interested in buying if she wanted to sell in the future. Furthermore, I am only one month into unemployment and no one was hiring at Christmas, most people stay for their Christmas bonus if they have worked all year. Yesterday I applied for a medical job and I was contacted for an interview which I will do on Thursday since work is being done in my apartment today and tomorrow. I have to be here.

I feel your post was most negative as everyone else was more encouraging and helpful. I am not sure why you responded as you did. I am happy with a simple life. I do not tend to spend on luxury items or go on many trips. I live in a city where many things are free to senior citizens as well.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:44 AM   #126
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DCJennifer, I think you're going to get a new job in no time! I can tell by your thoughtful and clear responses to this thread that you have great skills. I know ageism is out there, but also there is a huge need for people who are willing to be organized and detail orientated without a desire to run the show (like millenials!). Don't underestimate your experience. Admin jobs run the world and it is really really hard to fill them with people who want to do the work!

I agree to wait a little bit to sell the car. Take a deep breath. Get some help with your resume and customize your cover letter for each position you apply for. Find some health insurance to tide you over. Put up a profile on LinkedIN and see what is out there! You can end up in great place to finish up your career! You got this!

Liz
Thanks for your encouragement. I have a linked in account and have had one for quite a few years --just did not need it until now. I applied yesterday for a position and have already been contacted for an interview this week. I am most encouraged. I have severance which will last until the end of March I believe if I am careful. I may need HI and will definitely purchase some if needed.

LOL I have run the show and there is no glamour there for me. I enjoy doing Admin and even did it in my nursing career. I do not care if I am the top banana so long as I am working for a good boss and organization.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:46 AM   #127
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Thanks so much for your input. I intend to do so.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:59 AM   #128
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We use liberty healthshare for insurance. If you have no preexisting I think this is better than aca.

You seem.to want to do a lot of negotiating about job choice, as if you have that luxury. I don't think you have that luxury. I think you need a paycheck. You are not financially independent, aka get a job. Once you have a job THEN you have some luxury to move into something better. You are eligible for Medicare at 65. Medicare is not free, it's just relatively cheap. Full SS is 3 years away. In the meantime the fantasy of "choices" will leave you broke.
Thank you. I am not broke and do not intend to be. It is not I who is choosing what I will and won't do--it is the workplace. I am 63 as stated earlier and I have been looking aggressively since I was fired. No jobs were replying back in December due to Christmas, the local hospital is not hiring as Johns Hopkins just acquired them and they want only recent grads-which may make sense to many here. I have severance which could last through March if I am careful. Furthermore I applied for a job in medicine yesterday and have already been contacted for an interview this week. I am not sure what you mean by not being "financially independent". If it were my plan, I would work until age 70--I am not sure that many on this forum have done that. I have $150,000 in my IRA due to a divorce and a huge dip in 2008. Not all of us are investment wizards or have inherited wealth to tide us over, please be kind in your responses. I also have an additional $20,000 in my bank account for emergencies to help me. I have saved as much as I can while living in a high cost area of the country. I am doing the best I can on my own. I asked for help on this forum because of my job elimination at my age. I have never had to be on severance in my life and it does not sit well and now no UI benefits....that is why I wrote in. It is not that I am picking and choosing for a job--it has been just over 30 days since this happened to me.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:13 AM   #129
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Looking at your numbers, I am concerned about your savings. Everyone took a hit in 2008, but most people came back from that and are in better positions. Did you sell at the bottom and put the money in cash? Although $130k is not "chump change," it does not look like you had a high savings rate when you had better paying jobs.

I do think you will get a job because of your skills and experience. It would help if it were a higher paying job, likely using your nursing background, and you could make a savings sprint to the finish line. Another $100-$150k in retirement funds would improve your situation considerably.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:24 AM   #130
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She posted a copy of the check. Don't be so cynical :-).
Cynical I prefer cautious
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:04 AM   #131
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Jennifer I'm not being critical, just cold in my assessment because I perceive you at risk. The problem with spending down any retirement money early is it's hard to replace at 63. It's a blow to the ego to loose a job. Have you considered a SDSC? Very often they have per diem spots. You may not need full time, just enough to get by. Every year you put off pulling the as trigger is a year you pay yourself 8% on what you will eventually claim especially at 70 Your focus therefore might be on how to get by for a 7 year period till you can maximize your payout at 70. Lastly if you have medical skills you will get a job if you want one. At my SDSC we routinely hired part timers your age or older who wanted to supplement their income, and we were happy to have them
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:10 AM   #132
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OK-

Had a high paying job in DC. Forced to leave. No decent opportunities that meet their standards.
Lives in a high COL area with >$1000 per month fee on an illiquid $310,000 housing asset.
Considering SS early at $1700 per month, of which >$1000 will go to housing monthly fee, no plan for HI.
Rejects concept of selling house converting equity to investment, and relocating to a low paying job with >2200 per month income, full benefits including HI, and housing expenses less than current maintenance fee.

There might be great opportunities elsewhere, but it seems that OP requires them to be in DC, because relocation is off the table. Money situation is on a path to becoming desperate.

This seems familiar.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:37 AM   #133
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San Diego Supercomputer Center?

SDSC is a new acronym for me. What does it mean?
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:18 AM   #134
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OK-

Had a high paying job in DC. Forced to leave. No decent opportunities that meet their standards.
Lives in a high COL area with >$1000 per month fee on an illiquid $310,000 housing asset.
Considering SS early at $1700 per month, of which >$1000 will go to housing monthly fee, no plan for HI.
Rejects concept of selling house converting equity to investment, and relocating to a low paying job with >2200 per month income, full benefits including HI, and housing expenses less than current maintenance fee.

There might be great opportunities elsewhere, but it seems that OP requires them to be in DC, because relocation is off the table. Money situation is on a path to becoming desperate.

This seems familiar.
The last job was not high paying. She has kept up her nursing license or certification and can get a job in a medical field. She states she can work until 70, which will allow her to maximize Social Security. If she gets a well-paying job in her field, with some frugality, she can save/invest for a better retirement cushion. She should be ok if she can do this.

If she can't do that, your suggestion would be one option.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:27 AM   #135
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OK-

Had a high paying job in DC. Forced to leave. No decent opportunities that meet their standards.
Lives in a high COL area with >$1000 per month fee on an illiquid $310,000 housing asset.
Considering SS early at $1700 per month, of which >$1000 will go to housing monthly fee, no plan for HI.
Rejects concept of selling house converting equity to investment, and relocating to a low paying job with >2200 per month income, full benefits including HI, and housing expenses less than current maintenance fee.

There might be great opportunities elsewhere, but it seems that OP requires them to be in DC, because relocation is off the table. Money situation is on a path to becoming desperate.

This seems familiar.
This is it in a nutshell and it might seem harsh but it's true.

In fact do you not have nearly a big enough nut put away to continue indefinitely on this path. I hope you find a job to reduce your anxiety but you need to think long and hard about your possible life after retirement.Having employment will make this a little less stressful but the numbers won't change.

You have a paid off car and 500 dollar condo payment and LBYM..your money saved seems low. A surgical coordinator in a large DC hospital is going make good money and after 12.5 years of that it seems like your numbers are on the low side.

This layoff has brought some other issues to the surface but you still have time to figure things out.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:08 PM   #136
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My job as Administrative Assistant at a local Church was eliminated by a new Rector who decided he needed someone who was more of an accountant than an assistant. I was given two months of severance pay, two months of insurance coverage and a lovely letter of reference. On November 30, after a lovely luncheon, gifts, and brave goodbyes, I was released from my position. It was difficult to find a new job in December due to Christmas--I did of course put out my resume. I am VERY concerned. I do not want to tap my savings AND if I am not contributing to SS, I am trying to decide if I should take my benefits early. I will be 63 and a half in March. I am also concerned about health insurance--a health care co-op is what I will most likely use as COBRA will be cost prohibitive. My insurance benefits are over on January 31, 2018. I hope I am on the right track. I am a divorced woman, no children. I will not have a pension, only an IRA and 401K.

Best of luck to you and sending a prayer your way for peace in your heart. It's very sad they could not keep you on for a couple more years, I've seen it done in other churches, but enough of that. If you feel like you have been wrongly dismissed, you could lawyer up but it sounds like you are at peace with it and don't need the hassle.

You sound like you are doing very well (living inexpensively) already. Congratulations!

Thriving after getting let go late in life requires great flexibility - have you looked at non-AA support jobs in volunteer/non profits like DC Central Kitchen or other similar efforts? They aren't exactly what you were doing but you'd be practicing a few of the beatitudes at the very least. Washington has very low unemployment so you should be able to find something if you remain flexible. Also consider temp agency work somewhere in the bureaucracy. Usually jobs pop up at the beginning of the year so your timing is quite good.

Good luck to you.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:29 PM   #137
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Looking at your numbers, I am concerned about your savings. Everyone took a hit in 2008, but most people came back from that and are in better positions. Did you sell at the bottom and put the money in cash? Although $130k is not "chump change," it does not look like you had a high savings rate when you had better paying jobs.

I do think you will get a job because of your skills and experience. It would help if it were a higher paying job, likely using your nursing background, and you could make a savings sprint to the finish line. Another $100-$150k in retirement funds would improve your situation considerably.
I did indeed save, but I had obligations to a divorce attorney--Expensive!. I am attempting to now get a job that combines my admin and medical background. I also have my Personal Concierge Business to continue building. I will apply for UI as has been suggested here as well and look into my ex-husbands retirement. My home has a lot of equity if I choose to downsize as well. I will do my best.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:33 PM   #138
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Best of luck to you and sending a prayer your way for peace in your heart. It's very sad they could not keep you on for a couple more years, I've seen it done in other churches, but enough of that. If you feel like you have been wrongly dismissed, you could lawyer up but it sounds like you are at peace with it and don't need the hassle.

You sound like you are doing very well (living inexpensively) already. Congratulations!

Thriving after getting let go late in life requires great flexibility - have you looked at non-AA support jobs in volunteer/non profits like DC Central Kitchen or other similar efforts? They aren't exactly what you were doing but you'd be practicing a few of the beatitudes at the very least. Washington has very low unemployment so you should be able to find something if you remain flexible. Also consider temp agency work somewhere in the bureaucracy. Usually jobs pop up at the beginning of the year so your timing is quite good.

Good luck to you.
Many thanks for your encouragement. Jobs do abound but so does ageism. I had to sign a waiver that I would not sure the Church or anyone there for reasons of age. If I did not sign then there would have been no severance package. It was better to leave as I did with grace and dignity. I had done nothing wrong but they wanted a younger worker who they can pay less with a different skill set. So far they have not found that person. The one millennial they did hire as the Communications/Media Director on November 15, rarely works an eight hour day and just took two weeks off!
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:44 PM   #139
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OK-

Had a high paying job in DC. Forced to leave. No decent opportunities that meet their standards.
Lives in a high COL area with >$1000 per month fee on an illiquid $310,000 housing asset.
Considering SS early at $1700 per month, of which >$1000 will go to housing monthly fee, no plan for HI.
Rejects concept of selling house converting equity to investment, and relocating to a low paying job with >2200 per month income, full benefits including HI, and housing expenses less than current maintenance fee.

There might be great opportunities elsewhere, but it seems that OP requires them to be in DC, because relocation is off the table. Money situation is on a path to becoming desperate.

This seems familiar.
I am not rejecting anything Clone. It has only been a five weeks since I left my job. It costs money to relocate and your suggestion did not even mention where this job might be. I have repeatedly said that I would sell my apartment and convert to a studio--they are actually quite large and the co-op fees average about $500 per month. When one becomes available I may do that. There are none on the market at the moment. I have not yet decided to claim my SS benefits and would love to be able to wait until 66 or even 70 since I am in good health. I was a bit frightened by my situation and asked for those here to provide some advice and many sent in good suggestions. It was only since yesterday that I have been getting these negative comments. I have made no decisions and am looking for employment. God willing that will happen as I do have a varied and diverse background. I also owned my own successful coffee and tea business in Alexandria VA in the 90's. That was a great experience for me and I sold it at a profit. Thank you for your reply
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:00 PM   #140
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DCJennifer - good luck on your interview later this week. Keep applying for jobs.

Assuming your nursing license is still in good standing can you pick up shifts here and there doing nursing? I thing there's a term for it - but I don't recall the term... but a friend with a nursing license does this... travelling for a few months, then picking up a contract for a month or two, rinse and repeat.

Samcat - My experience is quite different than yours in trying to negotiate rates down outside of the insurance world. I'm on a HDHP and the biggest benefit is the negotiated rates. When I considered going out of network for a surgery for my son there was NO cash discount or prepayment discount... It was prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, the surgeon in network did a great job and the negotiated rate was less than half what the out of network "cash" price was quoted. Similarly - seeing the non-negotiated rates when same son had a hospitalization the year before - eye popping. But the negotiated rates were close to 75% off.

But if it works for you. Awesome.
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