Early retirement and medical insurance - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-29-2016, 11:11 PM   #41
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I am single and (thankfully) my children have become competent self supporting adults. Last summer my doctor, who is a lot younger than I am, sent me a letter stating that he was discontinuing his practice at the end of August. (He later confirmed it was because of the difficulties of dealing with Obamacare and the expense of insurance red tape.)

Two weeks later my insurance company, Assurant Health, sent me a letter stating that because of financial losses brought on by Obamacare they were going out of business on December 31st. I was 63 years old and I am totally dependent on myself for my medical insurance and expenses. My first reaction was stress followed by a deep seething anger toward the president, his cronies and supporters.

(If you like your insurance you can keep it. If you like your doctor you can keep him. Your insurance costs will go down $2,500 per year.)

I was paying $435 per month for an HSA policy with a $5,000 per year deductible then 100% coverage (no co-pay) over that amount. I also deposited $300 per month into my Health Savings Account. That plan was tested in 2012 when I had $36,000 in medical expenses. It paid every dime over $5,000 and I paid the $5,000 out of the health savings account. The insurance premium had risen from $178 per month in 2004 so I knew it was subject to large increases.

So I began searching for medical insurance. I found annual premiums well in excess of $5,000. Even Obamacare was well over $5,000 per year. All with large deductibles and co-pays.

Then a couple of things happened. I went in to see my doctor for the final visit. I suspected he was planning to start a concierge medical service, so I ask him. Yes he was. He and two other doctors were opening their own office. No insurance red tape or Obamacare involved. The fee, a flat $60 per month. No long waits for appointments. Unlimited visits. Of course they would not be set up to do major hospital procedures. I told him I wanted to be his first client.

Next I went on line and researched the three Christian health share organizations I had heard advertized. I settled on Christian Healthcare Ministries:

chministries.org

They have three levels of "coverage" per individual (husband and wife would be two), "bronze", "silver" and "gold". I chose the gold plan at $150 per month plus I enrolled in their "Brother's Keeper" program at $140 per year. Between the two the "coverage" (or as they call it "sharing") is unlimited. The "gold plan" has a $500 deductible per incident. In other words if I were to have say three separate medical expense illnesses or accidents then I would have to pay $1,500. If I have to go back several times for the same broken arm or whatever then I only have to pay the first $500.

There are a couple of kickers: The first is you have to take advantage of any other insurance or compensation available. For example; if you are in a car wreck and the other car is deemed "at fault" and they have liability insurance on that car, then you would need to collect or at least exhaust that before you could be reimbursed from CHM. Also when you reach age 65 you MUST en-roll in medicare. Then when you are on medicare you must collect from it, then any remaining balance can be reimbursed from CHM.

The chministries.org web site explains this better than I can. It takes some time to study it. They do have a phone number you can call and ask questions.

All I know is my cost for medical "coverage" went from the $800 per month range down to less than $250 per month for now. When I turn 65 I will have to take out medicare parts A and B and that will cost over $500 per month.

I intend to stay with CHM as my "medicare supplemental" insurance after that. I really like the organization and the fact it enables me to participate in genuinely helping people who need it.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:22 PM   #42
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Sounds a lot like a miracle to me.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:42 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
No Medicare anything for me yet and I'm paying COBRA rates for the next 14 months. Any insurance is better than no insurance because if you get seriously ill (every day is a gift), everything you have ever worked for goes out the window in very short order.


Stay well, eat well and exercise. Keep your heads out of the clouds and more down to earth. Your physical future may depend on it.
Don't be without it. While in Henderson, NV in the middle of February, I became ill, passing out. The doctors didn't know what caused what, but I had Acute kidney injury; Anemia; Coronary Artery Disease; Critical illness myopathy; Dysphagia, (difficulty swallowing); Hypertension (High blood pressure); Hypokalemia, (Low potassium); Ileus; Pneumonia; Rhabdomyolysis, (muscle breakdown); and Supraventricular tachycardia (rapid heartbeat).
I was in the hospital emergency room, regular room, ICU, from February 19 until March 9. I don't remember much of what went on since I was in an induced coma for 10 days. Then I transferred to the rehab unit for therapy, where I was until finally released April 6 when we had to fly home. Our son flew down and drove our rig back to Washington.
Nearly half a million dollars spent. I felt fine and didn't want to go to the hospital, but my wife could see that I wasn't fine. I am still recovering and have increased my daily walking distance to 1.5 miles which is part of my therapy. It was a life-changing experience.
So, don't be without insurance. One day I felt fine and the next I was down for the count.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:03 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Scamper Jim View Post
Sid,

That $50,000 for 5 years of medical coverage starting in 4 years may be on the real optimistic side. $50,000/60 months = $834 per month premiums for husband and wife. I know some couples who are paying over a $1,200 a month right now.

Take the COBRA and you may want to delay retirement or find a job that has at least some insurance coverage at that time. It would be real nice to have that $50,
+100 I think your estimate is off the charts overly optimistic.

My wife and I pay over $1300 per month, with NO dental and NO vision (and a big deductible). Our premiums have been going up a minimum of 10% a year.

Lets see, four years from now, we will be paying close to $1800 per month.

And we are still five years away from Medicare.

Non-smokers, excellent health.

Its by far our largest single expense, nothing comes anywhere close.

No pension, retired early, all based on "estimates" on how expensive stuff like medical insurance was going to get.
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:30 AM   #45
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Roger, Did they ever find the cause of your problems?

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Old 09-01-2016, 08:19 AM   #46
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I am 68.5 and my wife turns 65 in October.
Currently I work full time and have good insurance for both of us.
Since our policy meets the requirements for not having to start the Medicare insurance part ? we don't have any Medicare coverage.
My question is when should we apply for the coverage?
The company policy covers us pretty well and I can see each policy fighting among themselves to have the other pay.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
I plan to work for another 18 months until I am 70 and max out my SS benefits.
I think the extra 32 % might come in handy on a fixed income, but wh knws if I can make it the next year and a half.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:36 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I am 68.5 and my wife turns 65 in October.
Currently I work full time and have good insurance for both of us.
Since our policy meets the requirements for not having to start the Medicare insurance part ? we don't have any Medicare coverage.
My question is when should we apply for the coverage?
The company policy covers us pretty well and I can see each policy fighting among themselves to have the other pay.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
I plan to work for another 18 months until I am 70 and max out my SS benefits.
I think the extra 32 % might come in handy on a fixed income, but wh knws if I can make it the next year and a half.
Red, I just posed your question to my health insurance guru daughter. But wanted to share that my husband worked well past retirement, was insured by his company and also by Medicare. Companies are required by law to insure all employees equally in spite of age, etc., and this includes Medicare coverage. Therefore, Medicare is your secondary insurance. He was treated for lymphoma for severral years (very costly). The company covered most of this, and Medicare also covered much of what was left.

So, in our experience the two do not duke it out, they seem to play together nicely and to your benefit.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:20 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Red, I just posed your question to my health insurance guru daughter. But wanted to share that my husband worked well past retirement, was insured by his company and also by Medicare. Companies are required by law to insure all employees equally in spite of age, etc., and this includes Medicare coverage. Therefore, Medicare is your secondary insurance. He was treated for lymphoma for severral years (very costly). The company covered most of this, and Medicare also covered much of what was left.

So, in our experience the two do not duke it out, they seem to play together nicely and to your benefit.
It's called 'Coordination of benefits', and in most cases, if you have private insurance, Medicare would be 'secondary', meaning they would pay after the primary insurance. See here:

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordin...ary-Payer.html

/Mr Lynn
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:54 AM   #49
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It's difficult to discuss health insurance in the USA without getting into the politics of it - not impossible, but difficult.
Regardless of which party is in office, I make it a point to be completely supportive whenever they are right, and to keep quiet the other 95% of the time.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:45 AM   #50
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Early retirement and medical insurance

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Regardless of which party is in office, I make it a point to be completely supportive whenever they are right, and to keep quiet the other 95% of the time.
Ever the optimist, eh?
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:36 AM   #51
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Ever the optimist, eh?
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:17 AM   #52
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Roger, Did they ever find the cause of your problems?

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The doctors never stated a cause, but since I read that Phoenix was experiencing a run of pneumonia at the time, I suspect that that was the original cause.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:32 AM   #53
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I have believed for a long time that the entire medical costs and health insurance business is a huge scam that is dragging down the middle class in this country. Everything from the $12 box of tissues in the hospital, the unnecessary tests to increase the bill on insured patients, the pharmecuedical costs with sales reps knocking down serious $$, the insurance companies making record profits, to even the hospital employees. A friend of mine with a high school diploma, hired on at a hospital as an aide, gets certified in this and that but no college degree, and now knocking down $80K per year when I know for a fact that she barely made it out of high school. Personally, I went to the doctor for another reason but mentioned I also have sleep apnea. He wants to give me a $1200 sleep study test (out of pocket with my deductible) when I know what sleep apnea is, have had others tell me that I stop breathing in my sleep, I have all the symptoms, and yet I have to spend $1200 for doc to tell me what I already know. Same thing with a common cold or sinus infection - I have to pay $75 for an office visit to be told what I already know so I can get my prescription of antibiotics.


I don't know if Obamacare works or doesn't work, is good or bad, but at least somebody tried something to fix the system. It is a shame in this country that the cost of health insurance is the biggest obstacle to someone retiring. It is a shame that the majority of us are one catastrophic illness or injury from the poor house. It is a shame that I will have to spend 30-40% of my monthly pension on one month's insurance cost.


I have no problem with doctors making lots of money. I appreciate that they are more intelligent than 99% of the people. But it is the other people in the entire medical/insurance business that are making a fortune on a system that designed to make money ahead of treating the sick and injured.

The USA needs universal free health care, but big business will never allow it.
thank you for allowing me to vent.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:07 AM   #54
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The US has the highest health care cost of any industrialized nation and ranks around 27th on the quality of that expensive care.
Something is not right when an MRI costs at least 10 times more here than in France (the leaded in quality 5th in cost).
I suspect the profit based medical system may have a little to do with it.
The Epipen "scandal" and others point to the problem.
The CEO has to justify her $18,000,000.00 salary somehow and no one will notice the cost going up a couple of hundred per cent.
I think it is time for a single payer system, but the clout the health industry has it would be unlikely.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:14 AM   #55
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We are no longer a democratic republic as a nation. Big money and lobbyists control this country and politicians. WE THE PEOPLE no longer exist.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:44 AM   #56
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It isn't so much the doctors and nursing staff getting rich. It is the fact that your health insurance is a publicly traded commodity. All those stockholders expect to make a profit. All those insurance company employees need to be paid, and well. And if there is anything left it goes to provide care
The reason we don't have single payer care has more to do with money equaling political influence than anything else
Single payer would stop the gravy train for a lot of leeches on the system. And they wouldn't like that


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Old 09-09-2016, 10:55 AM   #57
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You are exactly right, Denece. The last time the single payer legislation was brought up in Congress, only 20% of Congressman supported it. Why?? In the words of Deep Throat, "Follow the money".


Bernie Sanders suggested that the single payer system would work along with a universal flat tax of 38% in US. Anyone I have talk to would have no problem with paying 38% if it included health care.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:05 AM   #58
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Flat tax is an excellent way to go. Get rid of the IRS and the tax code completely.

My major concern is the concept of the government running our health care. Face it. Government doesn't do anything well, and they wouldn't make this better either. Anything they get their hands into winds up costing 88% more than it should (as in Welfare).

So we would likely be in the same place, only with fewer choices.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:27 AM   #59
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This is far too complex a subject for a forum on trailering. But the principles are simple enough:

- Health insurance and medical care are not the same thing. The idea of an insurance plan covering routine and minor medical treatment is like having your homeowner's insurance pay for repairing a leaky faucet.

- Anything a third party pays for (whether government or a private company) will require a multiplicity of rules and regulations, and an army of managers and clerks to administer them. Medicare some years ago was said to have 40,000 pages of regulations, probably double that now. Imagine a 'Medicare for all'!

- Health care, like auto (and trailer!) repair, or home repair, is a service, and like any other service, is best managed between provider and consumer, in the free market. Free-market competition keeps prices low and allows consumers to shop for quality.

- There is no necessary connection between employment and medical insurance. It was an accident of history (a way of getting around wage-and-price controls during WWII). You don't expect your employer to pay for your home, life, and auto insurance.

- The best way to encourage free-market (as opposed to third-party) medical care and insurance in the 21st century is to use tax-free Health Savings Accounts, which can be used for all routine health care and also to pay for catastrophic medical insurance, which will become inexpensive.


/Mr Lynn
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