Search found 619 matches

by plnelson
Fri May 29, 2015 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

I'm an LLC registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Secretary of State, and with my local town; I have my own EIN from the IRS and my own business banking account, HSA, 401(k) plan, etc. So even though I'm just me and have no employees I meet the requisite criteria for being a business. So...
by plnelson
Thu May 28, 2015 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

I'm sympathetic and, like you, wish there were a single site with a complete listing of options. But apparently there's not. So if I were you, I'd just resign myself to the fact that it's going to take awhile. Two or three days doesn't actually sound that bad. How long did it take you to research a...
by plnelson
Thu May 28, 2015 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

Resolved it , thanks to a tip from a fellow engineering contractor . . . There's an organization in Massachusetts called the Small Business Service Bureau that allows small businesses and self-employed people who meet certain criteria to buy health insurance at group rates and they offer many compa...
by plnelson
Tue May 05, 2015 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

If you make too much to be eligible for the premium subsidy, there's no reason to shop through the public exchange as their premiums will actually tend to be higher. In 2015, the private exchanges are a better bet, and anecdotally, I personally was able to move from a Bronze HSA to a Silver HSA for...
by plnelson
Mon May 04, 2015 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

FWIW, I've also been checking for available PPO plans in MA. IIRC, the MA Connector listed exactly one, a plan intended for HSAs. http://www.ehealthinsurance.com also shows only the same one. In startling contrast, however, http://www.healthpocket.com yields 49 PPO options in response to the same q...
by plnelson
Mon May 04, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

http://health.usnews.com/health-insurance/massachusetts Jan 15, 2015 - Find the best health insurance plan for you in Massachusetts Tried that. All it asked for was my age (62), zip, gender and whether I'm a smoker (no) and it said: "Sorry, no plans have been rated that fit your search." ...
by plnelson
Mon May 04, 2015 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

I was surprised, too. The PDF file from the Division of Insurance shows that only about half the plans available in Massachusetts are available through the exchange. I spoke to a manager at Mass Heath Connector who confirmed it and said it was up to the carriers, not them. Given your later posts, i...
by plnelson
Fri May 01, 2015 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

As for how to find a broker - all insurance products (including health insurance products) must be approved by your state's Department of Insurance. The MA Division of Insurance hosts a portal for consumers to find insurance professionals - http://agentfinder.doi.state.ma.us/ You can enter the type...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

The OP has not explained their health situation, so it's hard to say if a spreadsheet type comparison would make sense for him/her or not. In my last post I did, but I think we posted at about the same time. Like the HIV meds that you mentioned, I have a fairly predictable base rate of burn. I have...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

Yes, comparisons can take time. I didn't realize you were currently working - you said you were on COBRA . So I guess you went from W-2 employee to contract work. In that case, you may not qualify for tax credits, so going directly to the carriers or through an agent rather than through the exchang...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

Are you looking for sites like https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/ ? Those sites are WAY too limited. When I put my zipcode in there it found just 9 plans by two carriers (Harvard Pilgrim and Fallon) . And they were all HMO's. Granted, they were cheap - the most expensive one was about $300/month. Bu...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

Can your employer cover you in a group plan? Are you an alumni of any U? Do you belong to any professional org? Sometimes you can getva better group rate thru one of those avenues. I'm not looking for a "deal". There's no problem getting insurance. My question is simple: Faced with such a...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

Do you know someone who owns a small business and uses a broker? A friend of mine uses the same broker she used when she dropped group insurance and went to an individual plan. Some of the insurance agents I called today sell business insurance, and group health insurance, but have no familiarity w...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

The MA state exchange is at https://www.mahealthconnector.org/ OP had a qualifying event and can apply there. And as the OP has mentioned several times, the only plans that are available at that site are low-end HMO plans, mainly for people seeking sudsidized health coverage. The Massachusetts Divi...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

Do you know someone who owns a small business and uses a broker? A friend of mine uses the same broker she used when she dropped group insurance and went to an individual plan. Some of the insurance agents I called today sell business insurance, and group health insurance, but have no familiarity w...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

I went on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield website and scrolled through the many plans and picked one for us. We are not eligible for any subsidies with the ACA but I did get on their site and the plans offered were identical to the Blue Cross site. Who did you mean by "their" site? (emphas...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

I don't know about Massachusetts specifically, but under the ACA, the expiration of COBRA qualifies you for a special enrollment period, so you could purchase an ACA plan through your state exchange. I believe if you are eligible for a tax credit an want to claim it, you must buy through the exchan...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

Re: How do you buy health insurance these days?

contact an insurance broker. at least here in AZ, Brokers can sell any insurance plan and the insurance company pays the broker the commission. It does not change your premium for using a broker. The broker will be able to assist you with your questions regarding deductibles, premiums, coverages et...
by plnelson
Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you buy health insurance these days?
Replies: 46
Views: 3599

How do you buy health insurance these days?

I live in Massachusetts. My wife passed away almost 3 years ago so I've been on her COBRA ever since but that runs out on the last day of June. So I need to buy new health insurance. I've never bought health insurance directly before and I'm wondering what the process is, and how to do it systematic...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

I have NEVER heard of a place in private where they did not offer standard of care treatment options. If it is in NCCN I am surprised if it wasn't offered everywhere outside of small community hospitals. Good luck. Phlebotomies, aspirin, and hydroxyurea ARE the standard of care and have been for 20...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

If you have other reasons to move I would say go for it, because of the OTHER reasons NOT because of your condition. The treatment needed can be had anywhere and don't think it makes much difference where it is had especially with your diagnosis. That hasn't been true in my experience. All the subu...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

Before I make any changes I would sincerely ask your hematologist if ANY of these changes are even warranted (sorry did not see if you mentioned this previously). My hem/onc estimates that if I keep my counts well controlled my risk of a thrombotic event is about 2X an age-matched control. This is ...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

Back Bay besides the costs also has very uneven sidewalks and is probably not such a good area for someone anticipating mobility issues. Back Bay has another interesting issue. Boston is at much higher risk of earthquakes than most people think. We get 3's around here every few years but a 6 or mor...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: Move slowly

Paul, 1. Take your time. 2. Do lots of research and expect much of it to be useless. 3. Consider another city/state. ,dave 1. My tentative decision date in Spring 2016 2. Right now I'm trying to identify good tools and resources for the research. 3. All my friends live in the Boston area. Research ...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

Moving itself is all about planning and logistics. Thanks! I totally agree that I won't find perfection - everything is a tradeoff. I want to do my planning as systematically and methodically as possible because there's no rush and I'm good at projects (I'm an engineer with years of experience runn...
by plnelson
Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

You said "Almost all my friends live in the city." This seems the logical place to start. Talk to them about their neighborhoods and what they'd recommend. My overriding question since my original post is what kinds of resources exist to help me do this efficiently and systematically? The...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

I live in one of the communities you mention, just north of the Charles and on the red line. Single family stock in Somerville and Cambridge, especially within 3/4 mile of a T stop, is quite expensive - often about 1.5x or more per square foot even compared two families - because supply is so limit...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

[quote="WhyNotUs"] [url]If you can narrow to a couple neighborhoods of Boston, minimum bd/ba, Max. price, proximity priorities, accessibility needs, and any special interests you have (large modern kitchen, higher ceilings for artwork, etc.) , then just type up a list and take it to a meet...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

We made the move to downtown from the far out suburbs several years ago. PLEASE rent first, before buying. Once you are in the city, you'll learn what is most important to you. It is a big lifestyle change, something we love. Condos have all the issues you've heard about, and then some. We rented f...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

Since your current house is paid for, maybe you could consider renting for a while. This would literally allow you to "try before you buy". You might not even need to put your house on the market until you find a place where you'd like to settle down. Assuming you have the funds to afford...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

And just being physically closer to a hospital downtown that is a stroke center, may not get you there quicker for treatment (nor does it mean you get better treatment). I'm not concerned about emergency treatment, and yes, I have one of those little buttons. Regarding hospitals I'm concerned about...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

It sounds like you don't really want to move? Do you think you need to be closer to medical care, or is this a financial decision? Or did you just move up the "aging-in-place" decision by a decade or two? It sounds like, from your post, that you love this house and it's set up, so how abo...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 3963

How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

I live 35 miles NW of Boston in a large, very private, contemporary, open-concept 2 floor house on 1.5 acres, surrounded by forest. I was recently diagnosed with a form of cancer that increases my risk of stroke so, at 60, I'm looking to move closer to the city into a single-floor place with handica...
by plnelson
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Now what? - Lost check to IRS
Replies: 9
Views: 1268

Re: Now what? - Lost check to IRS

... given this, for an Estimated Tax Payment, i would give them a few more weeks to clear the check. Thanks. But since this means my original payment is late should I mail them a new one right now? In the future, you can pay your Estimated Tax Payments directly to the IRS from your checking account...
by plnelson
Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Now what? - Lost check to IRS
Replies: 9
Views: 1268

Now what? - Lost check to IRS

Back in September I mailed estimated tax payments to the IRS and to my state (MA) DOR. I sent them both by certified mail (that's where the post office puts a tracking number on each letter). I do this every quarter using pre-printed envelopes to minimize any risk of getting the address wrong. A few...
by plnelson
Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Update

Today I saw the oncological hematologist at my local community hospital and it was very frustrating. He said my JAK2 mutation level was high enough (and my EPO level low enough) for a very confident diagnosis but not too high in the grand scheme of things (whatever that means). I asked how well the ...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

Even then, the test is hardly more effective than a coin toss. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/opinion/10Ablin.html My father died of prostate cancer and I've had two (negative) biopsies and I get a DRE and PSA every year and my take on the PSA is similarly skeptical - with one exception: Many pa...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Social Security

Several people have suggested taking SS early and I don't understand that. With the savings I have I could sustain a pretty high burn rate for quite a while without touching SS. Furthermore lots of my savings is not in IRA/401K, which means I can withdraw it and stay in a 0-tax bracket for the first...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

Best wishes to you for a long and healthy life. I would suggest that you start collecting social security retirement benefits as soon as you are eligible (age 62). See, I was thinking just the opposite. My thinking was to delay SS as long as possible. By doing that I could use it as possible insura...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

What do you currently spend/year? If are happy today living on $50,000/year, I don't see and issue of ramping up the bun rate to $150,000/year for the next 7 years and spending about half of have saved thus far. You asked more about spending/burn rate, knowing what you need today will help. Earlier...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

I'm sorry to hear about your illness and admire you greatly for already planning new adventures. I'm not certain what you mean about how to think about "stuff like this financially." Do you mean immediate retirement, financing your travel, or costs of medical treatment, or house sale, por...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

Consider a cruise to Antarctica. A cruise to Antarctica is absolutely on my "bucket list", but for purposes of this question I'd like to stick to the financial planning aspects of this. It's true that, as another poster observed, I can't rule out a miracle cure after I've blown through my...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 86
Views: 12057

Rather macabre but necessary question

I'm 61 and still working (for the moment) and I recently received some grim medical news. I have polythycemia vera, a condition where your bone marrow produces an extreme excess of red blood cells. It's incurable and invariably fatal although with treatment it can be held in abeyance for some years....
by plnelson
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I buy insurance against bank failure?
Replies: 12
Views: 1142

Re: Can I buy insurance against bank failure?

Access Multi-Million-Dollar FDIC Insurance CDARS® – the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service® – is the most convenient way to access FDIC insurance on multi-million-dollar CD deposits and to earn CD-level rates, which often compare favorably to Treasuries and money market mutual funds. M...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I buy insurance against bank failure?
Replies: 12
Views: 1142

Can I buy insurance against bank failure?

OK, this is a weird question but here's the deal: I have lots of money in CD's and finding good CD deals is hard and I'm very particular about what I'm looking for. It would also simplify my life if I can deal with as few institutions as possible. The problem is that I'm forced to spread my CD holdi...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I find bump-up/raise-your-rate" IRA CDs?
Replies: 0
Views: 191

How do I find bump-up/raise-your-rate" IRA CDs?

I have a pile of retirement (tax-deferred) cash that I want to put into 2-5 year CD's ladder-wise. But because rates are low and may go up during that time I'd like to put them into CD's that have an option to raise your rate if rates go up. For example Ally Bank offer 2-year CD's where you can rais...
by plnelson
Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1797

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

By contrast, a brokered CD is like a bond in terms of interest-rate risk, and large bid/ask spreads make it worse (compared to treasuries). The value of your CD could drop by much more than 1% if rates rise much in the near future I've never bought a CD through a broker before so this could be an i...
by plnelson
Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1797

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

I am sure that you are aware that expectations are already built into current rates, so that timing your purchase is just as likely to backfire. I'm talking about the second-derivative. I'm aware the current rates reflect current expectations. I'm expecting that it's the expectations that will go u...
by plnelson
Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1797

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

You don't liquidate assets to convert to Roth. Perhaps what you mean is that you want to be sure the CD is divisible for conversion purposes. I believe that is the case for brokered CDs. I wasn't going to buy one CD. There's about $200K in this pile of cash, so I thought I would maybe buy five $40K...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1797

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

I have a bunch of five year CDs at credit unions. . . . Thanks, but my PS was just background information. My QUESTION is on what basis should I select between different brokered CD's? Since they're all FDIC insured the main differentiator seems to be interest rate for a given term. Also, if it hel...

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