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SHRED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 07:48 AM
Original message
Purchasing Health Insurance
I am 55 and my wife is 52.
We both have "pre-existing" conditions.

I have put in over 20 years at my job and can just afford to retire if I can find affordable insurance for us both (no retirement medical benefit).
We aren't wealthy but have enough that I don't want to risk everything by doing without insurance.
Probably a high deductible/catastrophic coverage plan is all we could afford if that.

One of our friends suggested looking into joining a group like the Farm Bureau.

In 2014 the "Affordable Health Care Act" supposedly will have a pool of affordable insurance?
Is this when the insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against pre-existing conditions?

My next move will be to contact an insurance agent but I don't know who to trust.

Any suggestions?

Thanks



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StandingInLeftField Donating Member (382 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm afraid the lack of responses to your OP says it all.
I don't really think anyone has a handle on what will be happening to/for the population in regards to healthcare. I'm as confused as you, but I have no insurance currently and really can't imagine someone is going to be able to offer me insurance that I CAN afford. The interim "pool" for uninsured in my State (SC) wanted $1200 a month to insure me, based upon my medical history. I just hung up the phone, laughed, then cried.
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SHRED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. I hear ya

I have the option of staying in my employer's insurance pool when I retire. This avoids the pre-existing condition dilemma however there is no price break as far as I can tell.

It would be about $1700 for Kaiser and $1800 per month for Anthem Blue Cross to cover just medical for my wife and I.


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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. Also, if you "can just afford to retire"
it sounds to me like you'll be somewhat financially on the edge. That's not a good thing. Keep on working, or find some other job, one that has health care benefits, although pre-existing conditions can be a bitch.

A couple of years ago I took a job (registration clerk) at my local hospital. The benefits are quite good, and I don't recall any physical or any attempt to screen pre-existing conditions. In my personal case, I'm very healthy, never go to doctors, so I have no trail of anything that could be a pre-existing condition. I'm also 63 at this point, so I was already over 60 when I took this job, and there was still no screening. I've only made use of the vision benefit (eye exam mostly paid for, contact lenses mostly paid for) and what was needed when I tripped in my driveway and broke my arm. I have no idea what it would be like if I were taking regular prescription medication or if I needed surgery.

I honestly think that in a few years we actually will move to a genuine single payer system of some kind, one that will allow people to buy additional coverage if they choose, but all basic and emergency care will be covered. But right now we still have this awful system. All you can do is go on-line and do a large amount of research and hope that if you do find a health care plan that you find affordable, that you don't get priced out of it within two years. Good luck.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. FWIW, I went with no insurance for about 8 years, age 57.5 to 65.
But I use little "health care" most of the time, and it would have cost me perhaps $100K or so to stay insured. Not worth it, rather just die in peace.
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StandingInLeftField Donating Member (382 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'm with you.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. See if there is an ins agent around that covers many brands.
I've one here in WA that gave me info for the local 3 companies. It took a couple weeks of going back and forth and the only one we could afford is $10,000 deductible, $400/month for 2 of us around your age. There were many different ones, covering different things. One important thing is to not have a lapse between coverage as then in many cases a longer waiting period for pre-existing conditions kicks in.

Good luck, waiting for 2014 also. Or whenever ins is supposed to change.
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SHRED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:38 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Thank you
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. Federal High Risk Option - See if you qualify
The Federal HR option is now available in many states. You can plug in your basic info and get a rate quote. You can also find agents for this program in your area.

You can buy the insurance now. And a long list of chronic conditions is an automatic "in" right now. In 2014, subsidies are supposed to come online that will help defray the monthly premium cost for you. In my case, the premium for the "gold" plan (for lack of a better term), is about 409/month. The least expensive version, the old "catastrophic care" policy is 227.

To find it, in a search engine field, type "Inclusive Health" and your state.
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SHRED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. thanks!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
10. Good luck
Right now to get the affordable policies you have to get turned down by insurers and present the documentation. The problem is that you will be told that is in adequate, check XYZ Insurance. Sure, they'll write you a policy! You'll just have to give up eating or paying the mortgage to afford the damned thing. But hey, if you live under a bridge and beg for handouts so you can eat, it's affordable!

Here there is an additional burden in that only specific diseases, those most likely to be fatal rather quickly, are covered by the affordable state plan.

So far the halfassed insurance reform helped young kids who are having trouble finding real jobs. It didn't do much of anything for those of us at the other end of the age spectrum who really need that insurance.
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