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Old 12-01-2011, 04:34 AM   #1
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Health insurance pre 65 yrs old.

I am 62 and would like to retire. I can live on SS but paying for health insurance would be an expence I may not be able to afford. Anyone here selfpay health insurance? How much and from who. High deductible would be okay. Working part time would supplement my income and my wife is already retired. jim
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:34 AM   #2
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WE're self-employed and in our mid-50's. Blue Shield PPO, high-deductible runs us just over $1,000/month.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thanks, jim
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:23 AM   #4
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Mid 50's here as well, self employed (or self unemployed as I like to call it) and I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO with a $5k deductible, and my premium (single person) is $211/month.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:33 AM   #5
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Pre 65 Medical

We were turned down by Blue Cross in Florida. We are self employed mid 50's but with some pre-existing conditions. Aetna wrote us a $5000 individual, $10,000 family deductible policy. We pay Aetna $496 per month for the two of us. We do get the insurance company negotiated rates at the doctors and for pharmacy prior to meeting the deductible. So far our out of pocket costs, even with paying for office visits and drugs, has been less than when we were covered by an employer policy.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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Medical before 65
I think you'll find differences from state to state. I am in Tennessee, healthy 58-year-old female. I have Tennessee Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance, $5000 deductible, with a Health Savings Account. I do get insurance company negotiated rates. I get one wellness physical per year at no additional charge to me. This costs me just under $160 per month. If you can do it I think high deductibles and Health Savings Accounts are the way to go. Finding a good agent who could explain all this to me was the key. I would agree that our healthcare system is a mess. I feel very fortunate to enjoy good health and am doing everything within my power to keep it that way!

Debbie
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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This does not answer your question and probably qualifies as changing the subject but you hit a sore point with me.

My wife and I both just turned 65 and waited to retire for that magic date. It's my opinion that if the Medicare age were reduced to 55 the economy of this country would soar. The age group between 55 and 65 have the "good jobs". Those jobs could go to the 40-50 year olds who are struggling in this economy.

Medicare is not free, there is a premium not to mention the fact that by age 55 you've paid into the system for perhaps 30+ years.

/rant
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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Just a reminder to stay on topic and please refrain from bringing politics into the discussion.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
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Without political commentary, I would like to address one aspect of the “off-topic” posting above, and then comment on the initial question. The off-topic comment noted that “…Medicare is not free, there is a premium not to mention the fact that by age 55 you've paid into the system for perhaps 30+ years.”

Medicare is divided into 4 parts, viz., Part A, hospital care; Part B, doctors and outpatients services (labs, x-rays, MRI’s, etc.) (aka “traditional Medicare); Part C, Medicare Advantage (essentially private plans underneath the Medicare umbrella); and Part D, prescription drugs. Only Medicare A is paid by workers during their working careers through a portion of their “payroll tax”. When a person becomes eligible to sign-up for Medicare, the Medicare A portion is without premium cost, i.e., “free”, since it was paid for over the course of a working career. Parts B, C, and D were not paid for during a working career, and all have premiums associated with them.

As to the initial question, “I am 62 and would like to retire. I can live on SS but paying for health insurance would be an expence I may not be able to afford.” I would suggest that one cannot afford NOT to have the health insurance. Many people have private pay insurance plans, and as others have suggested, a qualifying high-deductible plan, coupled with a MSA can be an attractive approach.

Access to contract pricing, along with catastrophic protection may be the most important elements, and the key reasons why I said that “one cannot afford NOT to have the health insurance”. The price differential between the insurance company’s “contract price” for medical services from network providers and the “street price” for “cash customers” can be a factor of 4 or 5 times. In other words, if a given provider billed, say, $25,000 for medical services, the contract price between the provider and the insurance company may be “only” $5,000. And payment on that $5,000 contract price would be divided between the insurance company and the individual according to the terms of the policy. But even if you had a $5,000 deductible, I’d rather face that $5,000 than to be on the hook for the whole $25,000 retail price of the services that you’d face with no insurance at all.
I would encourage investigating a MSA-qualified, high-deductible, broad-based policy from a reputable insurer that is well-represented by medical service providers in your area, or nationally. The key numbers to look at are the annual premium, coupled with the maximum-out-of-pocket amount. The sum of these two numbers is your theoretical maximum annual medical expense for covered services, though there’s often some fine print associated with that maximum-out-of-pocket amount amount.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:47 PM   #10
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Actually the race - language thing is a myth. Federal law requires that anyone be treated at an ER.

With that said, the level of care given to the uninsured is not the same. It is supposed to be by law, but in the real world doesn't happen that way. Also, follow up care is a whole different issue.

BTW- the majority of the uninsured in America are working class people. The poor/low income are covered under medicaid programs. ( I do not care to get into the working poor debate. The various government entities set the guideline-not I).

RE: OP question-

That is the main issue keeping us from "real" fulltiming. DH can add medicare B and D and also get a Medigap Policy to cover what all of the alphabet soup Medicare does not. The lack of coverage in the Medicare plans is substantial which often comes as a surprise to many.

I am in my 50s and have hypertension. Even if I were to get an affordable policy any major health event or diagnosis can lead the provider to raise my rates to an exorbitant amount or just cancel my policy. This has been their mode of operandi for quite sometime. Therefore I keep plugging away at my job and enjoy the AS when we are home.

I guess I should not complain. Our employers coverage of my DH's medical/dental/vision is only a few dollars more than he would pay for part B alone. I guess I will just have to remain a working stiff.

FWIW

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Old 12-04-2011, 06:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kamiak View Post
Without political commentary, I would like to address one aspect of the “off-topic” posting above, and then comment on the initial question. The off-topic comment noted that “…Medicare is not free, there is a premium not to mention the fact that by age 55 you've paid into the system for perhaps 30+ years.”

Medicare is divided into 4 parts, viz., Part A, hospital care; Part B, doctors and outpatients services (labs, x-rays, MRI’s, etc.) (aka “traditional Medicare); Part C, Medicare Advantage (essentially private plans underneath the Medicare umbrella); and Part D, prescription drugs. Only Medicare A is paid by workers during their working careers through a portion of their “payroll tax”. When a person becomes eligible to sign-up for Medicare, the Medicare A portion is without premium cost, i.e., “free”, since it was paid for over the course of a working career. Parts B, C, and D were not paid for during a working career, and all have premiums associated with them.

As to the initial question, “I am 62 and would like to retire. I can live on SS but paying for health insurance would be an expence I may not be able to afford.” I would suggest that one cannot afford NOT to have the health insurance. Many people have private pay insurance plans, and as others have suggested, a qualifying high-deductible plan, coupled with a MSA can be an attractive approach.

Access to contract pricing, along with catastrophic protection may be the most important elements, and the key reasons why I said that “one cannot afford NOT to have the health insurance”. The price differential between the insurance company’s “contract price” for medical services from network providers and the “street price” for “cash customers” can be a factor of 4 or 5 times. In other words, if a given provider billed, say, $25,000 for medical services, the contract price between the provider and the insurance company may be “only” $5,000. And payment on that $5,000 contract price would be divided between the insurance company and the individual according to the terms of the policy. But even if you had a $5,000 deductible, I’d rather face that $5,000 than to be on the hook for the whole $25,000 retail price of the services that you’d face with no insurance at all.
I would encourage investigating a MSA-qualified, high-deductible, broad-based policy from a reputable insurer that is well-represented by medical service providers in your area, or nationally. The key numbers to look at are the annual premium, coupled with the maximum-out-of-pocket amount. The sum of these two numbers is your theoretical maximum annual medical expense for covered services, though there’s often some fine print associated with that maximum-out-of-pocket amount amount.
What do you mean by MSA? What do the letters stand for?
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #12
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My mind was thinking HSA while my fingers were typing MSA. Health Savings Account.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
I am 62 and would like to retire. I can live on SS but paying for health insurance would be an expence I may not be able to afford. Anyone here selfpay health insurance? How much and from who. High deductible would be okay. Working part time would supplement my income and my wife is already retired. jim
I retired early from a city position. I receive a pension which includes health coverage. The problem is health insurance is regulated by the state and companies don't offer the same coverage across state lines or even across zip codes. The coverage offered by my pension is not available where I live. Fortunately I can receive a subsidy and purchase my own individual policy.

Now the fun part. As an individual the insurance you can buy is very different from what a business can buy. It varies greatly not only in cost but also the coverage offered. Where I live every time the state or the federal government mandates a change in minimum coverage the insurance company implements the required change and of coarse that comes with a change in premium.

Two years ago the premium for my wife and myself reached $1900 a month. This is for the minimum deductible, and minimum annual out of pocket expense. First our premium policy was discontinued and our deductible was doubled and annual out of pocket tripled while the premium dropped to $1400 a month. We are currently at $1600 a month still at the high deductible and annual out of pocket. The other day my wife went to fill a new prescription and the uninsured price was $197. Her cost with the insurance was $195.

The bottom line is the insurance companies are going through a lot of changes with the new laws and coverage and costs are changing also. The area you live in also has a great effect on cost and coverage available. Do lots of checking around and expect lots of changes.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:57 PM   #14
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Health Care

Check-out Alliant Health Plans. It is a Georgia based company and if available in Florida may be an option for you. They offer employer based plans as well as indivual plans. The indiviual plans are called SoloCare and offer different rates based on age and deductibles.
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