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Old 06-19-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
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After retirement-Health insurance

Intend to retire end of this year. Currently employed (Texas) and could take COBRA. I intend to take early SS (presently my age 62, wife unemployed age 56). What other types of insurance should I consider that you have found to work for your particular situation. Advice as to pitfalls, what to consider etc. Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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COBRA is usually over priced. You can usually find a better deal with a little shopping around. I assume since you're talking about COBRA that you are no longer covered under any insurance by your employer after you retire? You will need a medicare supplement that best suits your needs since you'll be taking SS(and medicare).
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
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Why do you need a medicare suppliment? Perhaps a long term care plan, but I can't see paying an insurance company to file my medicare claim. I don't see the point in paying to have a middle-man in the transaction who takes a cut out of a) my taxes and b) medicare fees to the health provider. IMHO
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:42 PM   #4
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If you have the opportunity to take the Cobra I think I would. If it was obviously the insurance that was offered at work and you liked it I probably would keep it. Now if it didn't work to well for you then you probably should shop around for something else. You won't qualify for Medicare until your 65 so that's not an option at this point. There are plenty of plans out there but before I would let the Cobra option go, do some shopping around, you have plenty of time to make a decision. Depending on your needs for coverage all I can say is it won't come cheap. Good luck I hope it all works out for you.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledochas View Post
Intend to retire end of this year. Currently employed (Texas) and could take COBRA. I intend to take early SS (presently my age 62, wife unemployed age 56). What other types of insurance should I consider that you have found to work for your particular situation. Advice as to pitfalls, what to consider etc. Thanks for your feedback.
I will assume that you are just retiring because of your age (62) and NOT because of a disability...

First question is do you or your wife have ANY medical problems or conditions that might cause you to fail underwriting? If there are, then you would need to take the COBRA being offered by your employer. You will need to exhaust that (usually 18 months) and then you will be HIPPA eligible, you could then apply for any health insurance plan that you wanted. This option will not be a CHEAP DATE, but it will get you coverage.

The best option (and cheapest, if there is such a thing in health care) would be that you and your wife are in good health, and and could pass a company's underwriting requirement. You would then be issued a policy that you could keep until you turned 65 and went on Medicare.

This is just general information and you should contact an insurance agent for more detailed info....
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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Will need a "family" policy to pick up wife OR put her to work
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JJH3rd View Post
Why do you need a medicare suppliment? Perhaps a long term care plan, but I can't see paying an insurance company to file my medicare claim. I don't see the point in paying to have a middle-man in the transaction who takes a cut out of a) my taxes and b) medicare fees to the health provider. IMHO
How does a middle man take a cut out of your taxes and Medicare fees to the health provider?????

To answer your question as to "why someone would need a Medicare supplement?" The answer is quiet clear..Medicare only pays 80% of the approved charges. Depending on what plan you have chosen (lets assume that it was a plan F) the Medicare supplement would pay for your Part A and B deductible and your 20% co-insurance. It also pays for some limited Skilled Nursing home care, the first 3 pints of blood, Foreign Travel Emergency (limits apply) and a host of other benefits....Seems pretty clear to me why a person would need a sup.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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I retired in 1/11 and had insurance with my job. At retirement our insurance went to $1200 a month:( went and bought a catastrophic plan for $500 a month and it has risen almost 25% in a year and will continue until medicare. We had no pre existing conditions and that is why we were able to get the cheaper insurance. Pre existing conditions are what will raise the prices or get you denied. Cobra is more expensive but at least you will have something. Insurance costs(medical, car, home) are a major part of our retirementexpenses, we are always looking for a way to cut them but... not sure how everyone can afford them.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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When I went on Medicare, I picked up a supplemental with BC/BS for $125 @ month. Had major heart attack, life-flighted over 100 miles, spent 10 days in hosp, open-heart surgery, etc. Bill was $300. Picked up 6 prescriptions the other day, $36. Yes I like my supplemental ins.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:02 PM   #10
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If your COBRA is cost prohibitive and you are healthy with no pre-existing conditions,
you might want to look into a Health Savings Account. The policy will be a high deductible policy (ours is $6,000.00 family - not per person - thinking of raising ours to $10,000.00 family). You fund the HSA account with the amount of the deductible. You then pay for the nickel & dime (Ha ha) amounts out of the funded HSA. The policy will pay 100% once you've met the deductible. It really is for the high-priced catastrophic illnesses or events. If you remain healthy and either don't spend the money you funded in the HSA or spend very little of it, you get to keep what you didn't spend once you reach retirement age. There also are tax advantages. When we changed to a HSA from a traditional health insurance policy, our premiums came down around 30% if I remember correctly. It was a significant drop to be sure. So far, we've remained pretty healthy, so haven't had to deplete the funded amount.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #11
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Also look into Etna CVC Prescription Insurance. I pay 26.00 a month for it ans ALL prescriptions are $3.00.
Thankfully I don't require any medications but if I ever did I have coverage. I also have Part F BC/BS of florida supplemental insurance for Medicare wich is 126.00 a month
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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Please re-read the original post. He is 62 and going to retire and take [early]social security benefits His wife is 56. He will not/cannot be on Medicare for 3 more years so supplemental plans and Plan D has no applicability here. I took COBRA that was offered when I retired (at 56). This allowed me to purchase health insurance (for me and my wife) at the premium my employer was paying. I checked around with a lot of companies and found that premium was about 1/2 of anything out there. Do not automatically discount COBRA. My wife, who is older is now on Medicare and I will be later this year. My current health insurance premiums are just over $500/mo with a drug plan, dental and pretty reasonable deductibles and co-insurance. All I can recommend is see what COBRA will cost you, for how long and then start contacting health insurance companies. Your challenge will be the 9 years until Medicare for your wife. Good luck.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #13
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If you think you are healthy, then go with a catastrophic plan with a $5,000 or $10,000 deductible. This will be like being self insured for routine costs and protecting your life savings in case of a major illness. Many Doctors and all hospitals will give you a huge discount if you tell them you will pay cash right at the visit. Saves them huge costs of paperwork and gets them the money for sure. 50% discounts would not be unusual. If you are and expect to be healthy this can be much cheaper than a comprehensive plan. I had bypass surgery and it was over $100,000. Medicare and supplements are not cheap either. We spend over $600 per month on Medicare A, B and D. Without a catastrophic plan, a lingering illness can wipe out a million dollars.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:53 AM   #14
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No amount of insurance will cover you for a catastrophic illness like cancer. Many people have hit the hidden limit set internally by the insurance companies and then they have no coverage to continue treatment and that is when they lose their savings and their home. The "Obama Care" plan is supposed to fix that as of 2014 which is a date purposely set far enough into the future that the Republicans calculated with a Republican in the White House they could kill that plan and go back to business as usual.

If that happens we plan to get a place in Costa Rica as their health care is as good as that in the USA and costs a little over $140 a month for full coverage. Costa Rican citizens get free health care - but then unlike the USA their government spends money on its people instead of the world's biggest and most expensive military.

There are also "medical communities" in Mexico where the government has set up a first class hospital and this encourages developers to build housing for gringos in the surrounding areas. They have English speaking staff and the cost for the medical coverage is 1/4 of what it is in the USA.

My last surgery I had done in Germany as it was 1/20th the cost of having it done in the USA and I got a more experienced doctor who was world renowned. I saved more than enough to cover a month's travel in the country on my medical vacation. Lots of people doing the same and flying over to Thailand and India.
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