health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby RookieIA » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:05 am

Hi Bogleheads. Yall are great.

She's 2 years younger and doesn't have medical coverage at her part time job. She's on on the family plan my employer provides. So if I retire next year and go on Medicare at age 65 but my wife is only 63 then I've got to buy an individual plan for her for two years until she becomes Medicare eligible? Is that the typical scenario?
User avatar
RookieIA
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:53 am

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby mur44 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:28 am

You are right; if your employer offers retiree health insurance
that could provide for her health insurance for two years.
Your employer may provide COBRA for spouse only.

Here are sources for finding the best insurance:

http://www.healthcare.gov/

http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/

http://www.gohealthinsurance.com/


Disclosure: I am a Certified Volunteer Medicare Counselor
mur44
 
Posts: 484
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:30 am

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby archbish99 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:32 am

Basically. COBRA may be an option, but it's generally pricey. It's a good fallback in case the private insurance market doesn't like her and you need it before ACA kicks in.
I'm not a financial advisor, I just play one on the Internet.
User avatar
archbish99
 
Posts: 1324
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby dm200 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:47 am

archbish99 wrote:Basically. COBRA may be an option, but it's generally pricey. It's a good fallback in case the private insurance market doesn't like her and you need it before ACA kicks in.


My experience on several occasions with COBRA (for me) was that the cost was not unreasonable and was the same as what the employer paid (I think they can add a percent or two). Plan ahead for COBRA, converting from the employer plan to individual coverage or finding separate insurance privately. Ask the insurance plan you have now about options for her to convert when you retire.

Do you have any choices of plans now from the employer? If so, check out which choices are more easily converted and consider switching to that choice. My experience is that HMOs are easier to convert, but that may nit be the case with you.

Because of the Affordable Care Act going into effect, the answers on this change all the time. Also, the "rules" and choices vary by state.

Finally, a last thought, might you consider not retiring so that, at least, she would have COBRA until she was eligible for Medicare? [I think COBRA is usually 18 months limit]
User avatar
dm200
 
Posts: 6875
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby cheese_breath » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:30 am

See if your employer will continue to cover her until she becomes Medicare eligible. Some do, some don't.
The surest way to know the future is when it's the past.
User avatar
cheese_breath
 
Posts: 3412
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby dbr » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:07 pm

You need to ask your employer. Until recently it would probably be typical that she would continue to be carried on the employer plan until her Medicare age. One effect of new law is that she should be able to buy private insurance without underwriting for pre-existing conditions. That means that after (or is it starting) in 2014 many companies plan to discontinue spousal coverage for retirees on Medicare and you will have to buy a private policy or bridge with COBRA. My employer has been blitzing us with endless notifications about exactly how they are handling this. Has your employer not provided you any information?
dbr
 
Posts: 14693
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby linguini » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:20 pm

It would also help to know what state you live in, because insurance markets and regulations vary by state.
linguini
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:49 pm

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby Watty » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:38 pm

Everything is changing but another option when COBRA runs out is a continuation with a HIPPA policy. (Google this)

The HIPPA policy varies greatly by state and is more expensive but for people that did not have any other way to get insurance it can be their best option.
You will likely get minimal notification that HIPPA is an option and you must make all the right applications by the right deadlines or you will be out of luck so do all your own research on this

In your planning also look at the deductible for the year. If the COBRA will run out in the middle of the year it might be best to switch to an individual policy on January 1st so that you do not have to pay two deductibles during the year.
User avatar
Watty
 
Posts: 4817
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby midareff » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:49 pm

I was lucky... retired in April and my employer allows me to retain my wife on the medical and dental insurance (at their cost) until she is 65. Seeing as it is a negotiated 25,000 employee pool the rates are as good as it gets.
User avatar
midareff
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby bluemarlin08 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:51 pm

Depends on your state. If you are in a state that allows insurance companies to medically underwrite your wife, and if she is insurable, buying an individual policy gives one many more options and often less expensive.
bluemarlin08
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:18 pm

Re: health ins for younger spouse when I go on Medicare

Postby grabiner » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:13 pm

archbish99 wrote:Basically. COBRA may be an option, but it's generally pricey. It's a good fallback in case the private insurance market doesn't like her and you need it before ACA kicks in.


Given your wife's age, COBRA may be a good deal, because your employer policy premium probably doesn't depend on her age, while private policies do.
David Grabiner
User avatar
grabiner
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 13506
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: Columbia, MD


Return to Personal Finance (Not Investing)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot] and 31 guests