Join Early Retirement Today
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
BEFORE ACA - what did retirees do?
Old 01-06-2020, 09:25 PM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 20
BEFORE ACA - what did retirees do?

I am NOT in any way trying to have a political discussion. I'm seriously curious.

Very possible I may retire next year - my age would be 45 and I find myself rather thankful that no matter how costly or imperfect ACA plans are.....at least I can buy insurance without having an employer.

Then I see there's some powerful folks trying to end ACA as we speak.

My question.... if ACA goes away - what do early retirees do for insurance? Yes, COBRA - but that is only 18 months.

If COBRA runs out, and you don't have a job - how do you buy insurance especially with pre-existing condition? Thanks
__________________

MichealKnight is offline  
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 01-06-2020, 09:33 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 267
I have a healthy relative that retired well before medicare age. He bought high deductible health insurance. He paid cash and learned how to get better deals from private doctors. I don't know what one would do with preexisting conditions and medical bill far larger than income. Once your money is gone there is the Medicaid route.
__________________

__________________
____________________________________________
Retired 4/30/16 at age 59
"If things go wrong, don't go with them" -Roger Babson
Doribe is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:34 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
street's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3,153
Paid out of the nose!
I did expense/budget 25K a year for HI for 9 years till I was 65. One year into retirement I changed my plan of income and became a pauper and was eligible for ACA. I would of been able to afford open market HI but ACA has made a huge difference on expenses.
street is online now  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:38 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 25,721
I retired before ACA. We bought individual insurance in the individual insurance market. While we were healthy and would have likely passed underwriting, luckily our state prohibited medical underwriting. We had a high deductible policy, like I had at work.

For 2012 we paid $556/month (for two) and for 2013 we paid $629/month. Our first year of ACA was $682/month until we got onto a cat plan that was $472/month in 2014 and that same cat plan is $662/month in 2020.

Who knows what will happen but medical underwriting is very unpopular so I don't see it returning for people who are continually insured but I can see it coming back for people who hope to game the system by not buying health insurance until they are sick (and IMO it should).
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...target 65/35/0 AA TBD
pb4uski is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:45 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
davebarnes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 1,130
If you had a policy, you stuck with it. No matter how much your premiums went up.
Because the alternative was always: FU. No insurance for you.
__________________
Dave Barnes
Old (71.5) Fart Nerd
AA 73/25/2 (Jan2020), WR=3.8% (living on the edge), 97.2% retired, still working 1/4ish hrs/day
davebarnes is online now  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:46 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 886
It would have been the same retiree medical plan, in place well before ACA, that I started in 2017. It was almost free (90% premiums covered) for 30+ year retirees through 2010. Then ACA came along, and the premiums spiked. A little better than ACA, but nowhere near close to what they were (and probably would have been). Any belief they drop if ACA is reversed? Yeah, me neither.
statsman is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:46 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: No fixed abode
Posts: 7,789
Many didn't retire until covered by Medicare. I stayed with megacorp for 2 years after I was FI in order to qualify for retiree medical coverage (pre-ACA). We had pre-existing conditions and couldn't get anything like affordable coverage outside of the corporate umbrella. Looking forward to a significant savings when Medicare kicks in at the end of this year.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Anonymous (not Will Rogers or Sam Clemens)
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:56 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
FrankiesGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 140
There's always been individual private insurance policies out there. Most of the big names would write you a policy.

They just used to be across the board more expensive, allowed to cap total payouts and exclude preexisting conditions and whatever else they liked. One of the key issues was no gap in coverage or your issues/coverage was considered lapsed so job hopping or being out of work for any length of time was scary and discouraged if you did have a chronic/preexisting condition.

You could get minimal (called catastrophic) coverage and technically can still do so; either an ACA bronze, or go outside the ACA and get a non-ACA compliant policy now as the penalty for not having has been removed.

Another workaround was starting their own company (and negotiating health insurance for the company employees, even if it was just them or them and spouse), religious/ministry coverage (medi-share or similar; open to all, but has restrictions). Some folks qualify for coverage due to serving in the armed forces, and some through super sweet government/corporate jobs as long as they meet the length of employment requirements. There were LOTS of ways, but none of them a perfect solution.

Most retirees just waited until full retirement age and got on medicare. FIRE wasn't a real option unless you were willing to gamble with health coverage. The ACA was a game-changer.
__________________
FIRE as of spring 2015!
FrankiesGirl is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 10:05 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
MRG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,945
I retired just as ACA was law and talked to a broker about what to do. She had a reputation for getting megacorp folks plans and promised she could cobble together a bunch of stuff. That what folks who had preexisting conditions had to do.

Luckily underwriting seems to be as popular as Blockbuster video in this era. I don't think people will accept it again; regardless to what happens with health insurance.
MRG is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 10:07 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,290
I had a good health history, so I was able to get a relatively cheap insurance policy. I looked into a group policy from IEEE (a techie group), I believe, but their rates were very high. Probably due to no underwriting. If ACA were to go away, I'd worry that I'd no longer qualify or at least I'd be in a higher rate pool. I'd have been content with a catastrophic health plan.

I know friends who continued working just to stay on a medical plan.
RunningBum is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 10:42 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2017ish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nashville
Posts: 1,901
We would have done the same thing as now. Farm Bureau health plans. Non-ACA compliant. Much cheaper. Theoretically, more out of pocket, but all that we desire is catastrophic coverage or Major Medical.

ACA is outrageously priced in Nashville, TN area. We had it for six months during the pre-existing condition waiting period for our insurance.
__________________
OMY * 3 2ish Done 7.28.17
2017ish is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 10:43 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,497
I retired in late 2008, before the ACA. I had found a decent individual HI policy but its premiums rose 50% in the next 2 years and was beginning to put a strain on my budget (and making me fearful that it would totally bust my budget in a few years if it kept up). After 4 months of paying those big premiums in 2011, I switched to a cheap, bare-bones, hospital-only policy to get me through the end of 2013. The ACA had been passed already, thankfully, but the exchanges would not become available until 2014.


My goal was to remain healthy for the next 2 1/2 years and I did. When I joined the exchange, I got a more comprehensive policy, like the one I had before I dropped it in 2011. And while its premium was much higher than the bare-bones, hospital-only policy, its premium was a lot lower than what I had been paying in 2009. I qualified for a small premium subsidy, barely a few hundred dollars per year.


Good thing I got that better policy because I got sick in 2015. I maxed out my OOP but was on the hook for only ~$6,000 for what would have cost me around $88k (mostly hospital, so much of it would have been covered under the bare-bones policy; however, a lot of the bills would not have been covered).


After several years of small and larger rate increases, for 2020 I am now paying what I was paying in 2011, but I will qualify for a subsidy which will pay about half of it. I am still 9 years away from Medicare.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 10:57 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 1,591
I retired at 48 in 2006. After 18m of COBRA, I bought a regular policy fairly easily for a bit more than COBRA. Premiums rose about 10% per year until ACA, when they dropped slightly, then resumed their ascent. Back then coverage was guaranteed if you kept continuous qualifying coverage.
__________________
learn, work, save, invest, fire
CyclingInvestor is offline  
Old 01-06-2020, 11:30 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,829
Five states did not allow pre-existing condition exclusions, some here had retiree health insurance through former employers, some may have been able to get individual policies, and many (most?) states had group coverage without pre-existing condition exclusions for small businesses of 1 or 2 employees. We had COBRA and then a COBRA conversion policy. The COBRA conversion and small group coverage, which was another option for us, were very expensive. With the deductibles, max out of pocket, out of network costs (one we planned on and one surprise one, the kind now banned by law in California), and some medical travel we had a $50K medical year before the ACA on a COBRA conversion policy.

We had friends who retired early give up (pre-ACA) and decided to go back to work for the health insurance. We were considering moving outside the country, at least until Medicare age. For not much more than $50K a year in annual expenses we could live in many developed countries, including medical care, instead of just spending $50K on medical care alone in California. But then the ACA came along and last year our Bronze plan premiums were $2 a month. I was also considering some kind of low stress retirement job just for the health insurance, but DH would rather have moved than go back to work.
__________________
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
daylatedollarshort is offline  
Old 01-07-2020, 12:01 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Huntsville, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 4,085
Health insurance. Cannot afford it. And cannot afford to be without it.

I've had my 32 year old daughter on BCBS for years, and a Cadillac policy is $377 a month, including dental. They tell me yearly that if I drop the coverage, it will not again be available.

Medishare might be another alternative.
Bamaman is offline  
Old 01-07-2020, 12:28 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 27,515
We started ER with pre-ACA insurance with a $10K deductible. I do not recall what the premium was exactly when we started in 2006, but it was perhaps around $500/month. In 2010 2014, the last year we had the policy, the premium was $914/month for two.

The policy did not cover existing conditions, but did not require underwriting, only that we had continuous health insurance prior to the policy.

PS. I corrected the year we last had the pre-ACA policy.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline  
Old 01-07-2020, 06:07 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 324
High-risk pools were an alternative in some states. That's what I used here in Minnesota pre-ACA. There was little choice of carriers or plans, but at least it was robust insurance at a reasonable (subsidized) premium.

(If the recent court decision (nicknamed "Texas Hold 'Em") results in ACA being declared unconstitutional, some states may (at least short-term) set up high risk pools again for those of us with pre-existing conditions.)
footenote is offline  
Old 01-07-2020, 06:11 AM   #18
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 14,051
Waited until we were eligible for my retiree health insurance. A non-subsidized (we are over the subsidy cliff) ACA compliant Silver standard plan for us would cost $27,252/yr in premiums, with an annual deductible of $8600. So it was a strong incentive to stay at work for those last few years.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is online now  
Old 01-07-2020, 06:57 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 25,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
HealthWealth insurance. Cannot afford it. And cannot afford to be without it. ..
FIFY
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...target 65/35/0 AA TBD
pb4uski is offline  
Old 01-07-2020, 07:07 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
We were considering moving outside the country, at least until Medicare age. For not much more than $50K a year in annual expenses we could live in many developed countries, including medical care, instead of just spending $50K on medical care alone in California.
That's what my mom did. Moved to France and finagled her way onto their plan (I don't know all of the details involved, but it was no easy process - especially considering she wasn't fluent in French).
__________________

intent is offline  
Closed Thread


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
POLL: Retirees: How much did you spend on hobbies in 2013? W2R Life after FIRE 52 05-27-2014 09:07 PM
ACA (Obamacare) and federal retirees? Richard8655 Health and Early Retirement 22 02-23-2013 06:43 AM
Half of retirees report retired before age 60 LOL! FIRE and Money 12 09-02-2012 10:23 AM
check the "best before" date before using... simple girl Other topics 1 08-24-2008 06:38 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:05 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×