Early retirement and medical insurance - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-23-2016, 11:45 AM   #15
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 68
I'm 62 and although we could manage if I quit working today, I'm planning to work until 65 for Medicare eligibility. Health insurance is a major part of the calculation. My wife left her job this year, so both she and my 19 yr old son are on my company plan.

I'm on an HSA plan through work and hope to build enough of a balance to help pay for future medical costs.

Neither of us have pensions, so the general plan is to delay claiming SS until the maximum payout age (70.) To that end, we will live off of our income investments, asset sales and maybe some part-time work.

Health care costs in the US are whack.

"...I keep blowin' down the road."
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:35 PM   #16
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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Escapees at Escapees.com has numerous members who have no domicile address other than their Escapee membership. If you go to Escapee's web site you'll find rversinsurance.com and Texas blue cross, both are affiliated with Escapees. We have not bought health insurance center thru either group.

We're old enough to have Medicare. The cost of Medicare for the two of us is about $9,000 a year for prescription, part A and part B. Part B is by far the most expensive part.

We've had it for 9 years and virtually not paid a dime out of pocket, get coverage anywhere including our trips out of the country. Our only abnormal medical events were with skin cancer and a torn meniscus.

Insurance is probably our biggest single expense. Prescription and part A are automatically withdrawn from SSI. Part B from our checking account.

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Old 08-23-2016, 12:39 PM   #17
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Name: John
Trailer: In the market
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I have insurance through the Affordable Care Ace or Obamacare. The insurance is just for myself until February 2017 when my Medicare kicks in. My wife is already on Medicare and also has a Plan "F" policy. I hope I have described that correctly because it's very confusing.

Let me say that it's better to have Obamacare insurance than no insurance at all. Without the subsidy, I don't feel that I could afford health insurance. With that said Obamacare has plenty of problems.

I have two stories to relate. First, I had to estimate my 2016 earnings to get a subsidy. I estimated pretty close and my subsidy pays roughly half my premium. After I chose my policy and signed up, we found out that if we earn more than my estimated earnings, I would have to pay back all or part of the subsidy. AND in certain situations, the reimbursement could actually be more than I received as a subsidy because the premiums are re-figured at market rates and not the rates negotiated by the health care plan. I had planned to work part time (with no benefits), but I can't do that without losing the subsidy AND possibly being liable for a large retroactive back-payment. Incidentally, drawing on an IRA or a 401k is counted as earnings, so I am being more frugal that I ever have, trying to stay under my budget. Even so, it's taking some creative planning and a little borrowing to get by. It's very hard to find information on this issue, but it does appear in some places. My wife found it in her Jane Bryan Quinn financial guide. We went to an accountant, but even he said he would have to study up on the issue. About all he could say was 'Yes it's true and be careful.'

Second story. My wife recently needed an appendectomy. That was a big surprise for us, since it's not common for people of our age. We are starting to get the statements that show what Medicare and her subsidiary insurance paid. For example, the doctor charged $3000 for the procedure. Medicare said it would pay $500. The doctor accepted that as payment in full. So Medicare paid $500, but we would have been charged $3000 if we had not had insurance. Part of the administration of the anesthesia was billed at $1500. Medicare paid $200 which was accepted as payment in full. We would have been billed the full $1500 if we didn't have insurance. The point is that the hospitals and doctors are way over-charging to compensate for diminished payments from insurance companies, or from billings that go into collection. I guess the lesson is that you better have insurance. I'll keep further comments to myself.
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Old 08-23-2016, 01:17 PM   #18
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Doctors will negotiate. An adult grandson was hospitalized in FL. The bill was $15,000, they happily took $1,500.

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Old 08-23-2016, 01:33 PM   #19
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 978
Long history of health care regulations, but worth the read

Sometimes it's good to know how we got to this point.

Charlie Y

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Old 08-23-2016, 02:24 PM   #20
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Name: Leonard
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If somehow you find yourself paying out of pocket for a prescription, for whatever reason, and you have AAA auto insurance, you might get a substantial discount if you mention the AAA insurance. I've gotten a $250 emergency refill on an antibiotic at CVS for $150. Surprised me. The clerk simply asked if I had a AAA card, , I said yes, showed her the card, and saved a bunch.

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Old 08-23-2016, 04:07 PM   #21
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Name: JD
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I am 68 and my wifr is almost 65 and I have been planning on waiting until 70 to max out my SS for the extra 32% benefits.
As I get closer and tireder of putting up with disrespectful youngsters I am not so sure.
The wait until the wife is 65 takes care of the Medicare and waiting til 70 would go a ways towards the medical costs.
We have bought a smaller house in North Florida near (but not too near) the kids and grand kids.
We have sold the bigger house we have been in for a while and until I finally retire we are full timing in a nice Travel Supreme 5th wheel. The Scamp is ready to travel and just needs the outside sanded, smoothed and painted.
After working for so long I worry about retirement, but I am getting readier all the time.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:44 AM   #22
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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I suggested you contact the Escapee insurance providers because beyond brokering Obamacare and private policies, they are familiar with policies that are multi-state in nature, Escapees rarely stay in one state.

Our first 18 months we did get Cobra, at the time it was good coverage for the cost.

Lastly under Medicare part A and part B we have never had to pay a deductible for anything except prescriptions which is usually $10 or less.

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Old 08-24-2016, 06:58 PM   #23
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Name: Sid
Trailer: Parkliner 2014 V6 Jeep Cherokee
Posts: 361
Thank you everyone for your thoughts and experiences! You have opened my eyes to a few possibilities, confirmed some of my fears, and given some very sage advice.
I met with our financial planner today and found that God willing and the creek don't rise I am financially good to retire at 60, even better at 62. Now more than ever is the time for careful planning and realistic expectations.
See you on the road soon!
Thanks again
Don't quit your daydream.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:45 PM   #24
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Name: Dennis
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When I retired at 62, the company for whom I worked paid my insurance premium until I became Medicare eligible. It was indeed a nice perk, and a great early retirement incentive.
1999 Scamp Fifth Wheel, pulled by a 2014 Nissan Frontier Pro4-X
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:27 PM   #25
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Name: Ellpea
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About working past retirement age, etc.

My DH, whose family owned auto dealerships (and who did sportscar racing in his spare time), looked for a *retirement* gig after the family sold the business. As a result, he discovered that driving a log truck, was a hellofalotta fun. So much fun that he did so until he was 79 years old (last December).

So, for him, Medicare was secondary, but dear Wifey had medical coverage that would otherwise have cost us a fortune. During this time he was diagnosed with lymphoma (stage 4, into bone marrow due to faulty diagnosis), but CONTINUED to drive through chemotherapy.

He's now in remission and let his company, Sierra Pacific Industries, know that he was not planning to return.

Being a *family* kind of company, and with its own group plan, SPI has generously kept him on their employee roster. They placed him on Family Medical Leave, and then just recently placed him on COBRA *with premium reduction*, so he continues with their plan primary, AS DO I.

They can only do this for another nine months, but I consider this an incredible blessing. When we speak to their benefits department about any issues, it's like speaking to dear friends. In another nine months I'll be 64, so very close to Medicare.

When his previous employer sold the company and the drivers were all *let go,* I had just been downsized from my 11 year community college teaching gig. Ironically, my 20 y/o son, working at Best Buy, was the only one in the house still employed!

Ron considered calling SPI, but heard they were laying drivers off.

I was stunned, then, to hear this fellow on the phone, looking for *veteran* drivers. It seems they had too many applicants who could not pass a drug test, and too many who could not safely drive on mountain roads. Ron was 73 at the time, and they wanted him, and we needed them. They have taken wonderful care of us, and I appreciate them deeply.

Just a little bit of sharing about working past retirement age, and the shocking generosity of a capitalist corporation.
Ellpea in CA
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:22 PM   #26
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Might as well hold off making any decisions now; in four years the health-insurance landscape could look completely different. Republicans generally want to repeal Obamacare and institute free-market reforms, HSAs, etc., that should materially rationalize and reduce the cost of health insurance. The Democrats are looking at the (predictable) disintegration of the insurance industry under Obamacare, and hoping to move to 'Medicare for all', i.e. socialized medicine, paid out of taxes, which many think was the intention all along.

Might as well just invest as wisely as you can (get good advice) and see what the situation is four years from now. The more you have socked away, the better off you'll be.

/Mr Lynn

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Old 08-24-2016, 10:28 PM   #27
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British Columbia
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Watched Michael Moore's latest documentary last night, "Who do we invade next". Part of it addressed medical care and taxes in countries other than the US. Apparently 59 per cent of US taxes go to military.
I doubt anything will change no matter who you elect.
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:08 PM   #28
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Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 302
Originally Posted by Dennis mn View Post
When I retired at 62, the company for whom I worked paid my insurance premium until I became Medicare eligible. It was indeed a nice perk, and a great early retirement incentive.
Same here. An excellent perk that I am so glad that I have. In my case, it is the municipality where I worked.

Not only do they pay the premium, but when they decided to change the plan to one that had a larger deductible, they opened a health savings account for each employee and they deposit the deductible amount each year into the account. I now have close to $8000 in my account. They claim it is still cheaper for them than the old, low deductible policies were.

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