Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

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michaeljc70
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:32 pm

David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:56 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:40 pm
David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:39 pm
As I prepared to retire, I looked at the following possibilities (prices are for married couple):
1. COBRA
2. ACA
3. Medicaid Expansion
4. Short term policy
5. Medishare

1. $8000 a year. Pretty steep for a moderate income person in LCOL area.
2. My retirement payout (sick bank, vacation) exceeds ACA subsidy level (64K) so that is out for 2019, it will likely work for next year.
3. Would require that I live mostly out of my Roth accounts, depleting them.
5. About $400 a month with $10,000 out-of-pocket before start of coverage

Which leaves #4 - a short term policy (6mo, renewable) for 2019. $300 a month with a $2500 deductible per person. $2M max coverage. Policy is offered by the largest hospital network in out-state Michigan. If something came up that prevented renewal at mid-year, options 3 and 5 are available.

I will likely use ACA for 2020 and 2021 because I can keep income below $64K next year.
With 2 people that are retired paying $300 a month, there has to be so many holes in the policy you can drive a truck through it. Are prescriptions covered?
No prescription coverage below the deductible. The first $2500 you pay regardless. Like a HDHP, where you pay from your HSA.
Understood. But over $2500 they cover your prescriptions? Seems like a fantastic deal.

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David Jay
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by David Jay » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:36 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:32 pm
David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:56 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:40 pm
David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:39 pm
As I prepared to retire, I looked at the following possibilities (prices are for married couple):
1. COBRA
2. ACA
3. Medicaid Expansion
4. Short term policy
5. Medishare

1. $8000 a year. Pretty steep for a moderate income person in LCOL area.
2. My retirement payout (sick bank, vacation) exceeds ACA subsidy level (64K) so that is out for 2019, it will likely work for next year.
3. Would require that I live mostly out of my Roth accounts, depleting them.
5. About $400 a month with $10,000 out-of-pocket before start of coverage

Which leaves #4 - a short term policy (6mo, renewable) for 2019. $300 a month with a $2500 deductible per person. $2M max coverage. Policy is offered by the largest hospital network in out-state Michigan. If something came up that prevented renewal at mid-year, options 3 and 5 are available.

I will likely use ACA for 2020 and 2021 because I can keep income below $64K next year.
With 2 people that are retired paying $300 a month, there has to be so many holes in the policy you can drive a truck through it. Are prescriptions covered?
No prescription coverage below the deductible. The first $2500 you pay regardless. Like a HDHP, where you pay from your HSA.
Understood. But over $2500 they cover your prescriptions? Seems like a fantastic deal.
No pre-existing conditions. So this only covers things that arise during the coverage period.
Last edited by David Jay on Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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David Jay
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by David Jay » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:40 pm

MP123 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:19 pm
Does it cover preexisting conditions?
No.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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MP123
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by MP123 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:03 pm

David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:40 pm
MP123 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:19 pm
Does it cover preexisting conditions?
No.
So a medical issue in month 5 that needed ongoing care would be a major problem for example.

In the bad old days (pre-ACA) insurers used to go through applications after the fact and look for reasons to deny claims. I'd be pretty nervous about that still with plans that exclude pre-existing conditions.

It might be good to time it so the short-term policy expires (after 12 months) while open enrollment for ACA plans is open just in case. The open enrollment window isn't very long...

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Watty
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by Watty » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:13 pm
It seems like the cost of healthcare is prohibitive of FIRE for many people thus making the whole industry (books, blogs, advice, internet sites, magazine articles) BUNK.
In a lot of ways the unpredictability is worse than actual cost.

If you had enough to retire today except for the healthcare cost and you also knew that it would cost $25K a year and you are making $75K a year then you know that working another year will make you enough to cover your health care expenses for a few years.

With no idea of what it will cost, or if it will even be available, retiring becomes a lot more difficult to plan.

michaeljc70
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:13 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 pm
4nursebee wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:13 pm
It seems like the cost of healthcare is prohibitive of FIRE for many people thus making the whole industry (books, blogs, advice, internet sites, magazine articles) BUNK.
In a lot of ways the unpredictability is worse than actual cost.

If you had enough to retire today except for the healthcare cost and you also knew that it would cost $25K a year and you are making $75K a year then you know that working another year will make you enough to cover your health care expenses for a few years.

With no idea of what it will cost, or if it will even be available, retiring becomes a lot more difficult to plan.
If you are under the ACA subsidy cap, it is ideal. Of course, there can be changes to the law. Nobody can predict that.

michaeljc70
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:45 pm

David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:36 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:32 pm
David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:56 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:40 pm
David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:39 pm
As I prepared to retire, I looked at the following possibilities (prices are for married couple):
1. COBRA
2. ACA
3. Medicaid Expansion
4. Short term policy
5. Medishare

1. $8000 a year. Pretty steep for a moderate income person in LCOL area.
2. My retirement payout (sick bank, vacation) exceeds ACA subsidy level (64K) so that is out for 2019, it will likely work for next year.
3. Would require that I live mostly out of my Roth accounts, depleting them.
5. About $400 a month with $10,000 out-of-pocket before start of coverage

Which leaves #4 - a short term policy (6mo, renewable) for 2019. $300 a month with a $2500 deductible per person. $2M max coverage. Policy is offered by the largest hospital network in out-state Michigan. If something came up that prevented renewal at mid-year, options 3 and 5 are available.

I will likely use ACA for 2020 and 2021 because I can keep income below $64K next year.
With 2 people that are retired paying $300 a month, there has to be so many holes in the policy you can drive a truck through it. Are prescriptions covered?
No prescription coverage below the deductible. The first $2500 you pay regardless. Like a HDHP, where you pay from your HSA.
Understood. But over $2500 they cover your prescriptions? Seems like a fantastic deal.
No pre-existing conditions. So this only covers things that arise during the coverage period.
I don't know where you live, but I'd look at the policy closely. Some only cover prescription if you are inpatient. I looked at short term policies, and we are in our 40s, and for under $300 nothing covered prescriptions generally. There are many holes in these plans. I would look very closely. There is no free lunch. Being healthy and in our 40s, I wish there was.

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DWesterb2iz2
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by DWesterb2iz2 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:51 pm

In Texas you can get great coverage cheaply as a community college student. One class will make you eligible. Not so in my state, maybe in yours?

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David Jay
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by David Jay » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:48 am

MP123 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:03 pm
It might be good to time it so the short-term policy expires (after 12 months) while open enrollment for ACA plans is open just in case. The open enrollment window isn't very long...
If you re-read my original post, you will see that I have (2) alternatives for the renewal period (6 months in this case). Then for 2020 I add ACA as our income will qualify for the credit.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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gasdoc
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by gasdoc » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:48 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:45 pm
David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:36 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:32 pm
David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:56 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:40 pm


With 2 people that are retired paying $300 a month, there has to be so many holes in the policy you can drive a truck through it. Are prescriptions covered?
No prescription coverage below the deductible. The first $2500 you pay regardless. Like a HDHP, where you pay from your HSA.
Understood. But over $2500 they cover your prescriptions? Seems like a fantastic deal.
No pre-existing conditions. So this only covers things that arise during the coverage period.
I don't know where you live, but I'd look at the policy closely. Some only cover prescription if you are inpatient. I looked at short term policies, and we are in our 40s, and for under $300 nothing covered prescriptions generally. There are many holes in these plans. I would look very closely. There is no free lunch. Being healthy and in our 40s, I wish there was.
I would look at whether there is a cap on what insurance will pay. For most people, covering prescription drugs for the period of the short term policy wouldn't be a deal breaker, but if the policy only paid up to the first $X,XXX,XXX, and then stopped paying? There used to be lots of policies that had caps.

gasdoc

lostdog
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by lostdog » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:54 am

Reading this stuff makes me want to move to a country with universal health care.

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David Jay
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by David Jay » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:11 am

gasdoc wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:48 am
I would look at whether there is a cap on what insurance will pay. For most people, covering prescription drugs for the period of the short term policy wouldn't be a deal breaker, but if the policy only paid up to the first $X,XXX,XXX, and then stopped paying? There used to be lots of policies that had caps.

gasdoc
See above, $2M
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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willthrill81
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:18 am

"Don't be downhearted, I can fit it for you sonny. It won't take too long. It'll just take money."
-Alan Jackson
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

michaeljc70
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:03 am

Do these short-term plans have networks that entitle you to discounted rates before you meet your deductible? In looking at them I haven't heard of any of these companies (Independence American Insurance Company and LifeShield National Insurance Company). That can make a big difference. Currently I get around 50% off doctors and 80%-90% off lab work when going in network.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Whakamole
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by Whakamole » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:08 am

Watty wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 pm
If you had enough to retire today except for the healthcare cost
Maybe I'm not seeing something. If someone had enough to retire today "except for X" (whether that's health care, housing, post-retirement plans like travel, whatever), then they don't have enough to retire. There's not much to discuss.

SchruteB&B
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by SchruteB&B » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:20 am

4nursebee wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:13 pm
It seems like the cost of healthcare is prohibitive of FIRE for many people thus making the whole industry (books, blogs, advice, internet sites, magazine articles) BUNK.
The ones I have read are either in foreign countries or managing their income to get subsidies. And the ones with subsidies are frank that if the subsidies go away they will either relocate to a foreign country or go back to work.

Elena
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by Elena » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 am

Watty wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 pm
4nursebee wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:13 pm
It seems like the cost of healthcare is prohibitive of FIRE for many people thus making the whole industry (books, blogs, advice, internet sites, magazine articles) BUNK.
In a lot of ways the unpredictability is worse than actual cost.

If you had enough to retire today except for the healthcare cost and you also knew that it would cost $25K a year and you are making $75K a year then you know that working another year will make you enough to cover your health care expenses for a few years.

With no idea of what it will cost, or if it will even be available, retiring becomes a lot more difficult to plan.
Thank you for your message. In this particular item, "unpredictability" comes as more "expensive" than the actual cost might be.
All of your comments are giving me some anchor points, so thank you for that.

Elena
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by Elena » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:28 am

lostdog wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:54 am
Reading this stuff makes me want to move to a country with universal health care.
I am originally from Spain, and could move there just for that reason, but I resist to think that I am unable to make this work here. I am ready to pay, just tell me how much!

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JoMoney
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by JoMoney » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:55 am

lostdog wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:54 am
Reading this stuff makes me want to move to a country with universal health care.
Would that actually make it less costly, or is it just trading insurance premiums for higher taxes?
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

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gasdoc
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by gasdoc » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:23 pm

David Jay wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:11 am
gasdoc wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:48 am
I would look at whether there is a cap on what insurance will pay. For most people, covering prescription drugs for the period of the short term policy wouldn't be a deal breaker, but if the policy only paid up to the first $X,XXX,XXX, and then stopped paying? There used to be lots of policies that had caps.

gasdoc
See above, $2M
Thanks. Now I see it. That would be the deal breaker for me. If the insurance company can't handle a bill over $2M, I sure can't! Seriously, a catastrophic, long term illness hospitalization could exceed $2m.

gasdoc

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MP123
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by MP123 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:47 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:08 am
Watty wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 pm
If you had enough to retire today except for the healthcare cost
Maybe I'm not seeing something. If someone had enough to retire today "except for X" (whether that's health care, housing, post-retirement plans like travel, whatever), then they don't have enough to retire. There's not much to discuss.
The problem is that when it comes to health insurance on the individual market the X is undefined, unknown, and almost certainly different next year and the year after.

Should you plan on $10k, $20k, $50k a year? Maybe it's free to you? Maybe it's not available at all leaving you exposed to unlimited costs?

Agreed you need to cover it but how do you plan?

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David Jay
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by David Jay » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:27 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:03 am
Do these short-term plans have networks that entitle you to discounted rates before you meet your deductible? In looking at them I haven't heard of any of these companies (Independence American Insurance Company and LifeShield National Insurance Company). That can make a big difference. Currently I get around 50% off doctors and 80%-90% off lab work when going in network.
My policy will. Priority Health is a large hospital network and you get in-network discounts on the deductible amounts.

It works the same way with my work insurance HDHP now - I get the Blue Cross discounted price for, say, my ophthalmologist visits even though I pay with HSA money.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

marcopolo
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by marcopolo » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:46 am

MP123 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:47 pm
Whakamole wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:08 am
Watty wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:11 pm
If you had enough to retire today except for the healthcare cost
Maybe I'm not seeing something. If someone had enough to retire today "except for X" (whether that's health care, housing, post-retirement plans like travel, whatever), then they don't have enough to retire. There's not much to discuss.
The problem is that when it comes to health insurance on the individual market the X is undefined, unknown, and almost certainly different next year and the year after.

Should you plan on $10k, $20k, $50k a year? Maybe it's free to you? Maybe it's not available at all leaving you exposed to unlimited costs?

Agreed you need to cover it but how do you plan?
I completely agree that it is a large and unpredictable expense.
But, is that really all that much different than a lot of other retirement planning?
What will the market return over the next 10 years, is it 10% CAGR, 5% CAGR, -5% CAGR?
Maybe we will will have a Japan style decade or two, or three. Or maybe another historical bull market.

I think the best that you can do is try to make reasonable estimates based on the current situation and trends, build in some conservative wiggle room, and realize that you will need to be flexible.

Some might advocate working forever (or at least till medicare), but if one of your scenarios is 50k/yr (in today's dollars?), how much longer can employers continue to absorb that cost?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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JoMoney
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by JoMoney » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:58 am

StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:27 am
... I would personally rather see health insurance mandated for all, which would bring down prices and allow people to buy into the ACA for the same rates as group plans. Until then, the current system is what we've got...
The current system did mandate insurance for all (until next year), and while we have no idea what prices would have been had it not been, it didn't bring down prices.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

StopIroningShirts
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by StopIroningShirts » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:03 am

JoMoney wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:58 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:27 am
... I would personally rather see health insurance mandated for all, which would bring down prices and allow people to buy into the ACA for the same rates as group plans. Until then, the current system is what we've got...
The current system did mandate insurance for all (until next year), and while we have no idea what prices would have been had it not been, it didn't bring down prices.
I would argue the list of waivers and minor penalty wasn't a mandate. If they refused to issue drivers licenses, passports, or accept tax returns until proof of insurance was provided, that would be a mandate. Here were the list of exemptions in 2017, which included just not paying a utility bill until the point they sent you a shutoff notice

****

For coverage year 2017, HealthCare.gov listed the following as hardship exemptions:

Homelessness
Eviction or facing eviction or foreclosure
Receiving a shut-off notice from a utility company
Domestic violence
The death of a family member
Experiencing a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property
Filing for bankruptcy
Having medical expenses that you couldn’t pay that resulted in substantial debt
Unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled or aging family member
Claiming a child as a tax dependent who’s been denied coverage for Medicaid and CHIP, and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child; in this case you don’t have to pay the penalty for the child
As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you’re eligible for enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace, lower costs on your monthly premiums, or cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren’t enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace in 2016
You were determined ineligible for Medicaid because your state didn’t expand eligibility for Medicaid in 2017 under the Affordable Care Act
Your “grandfathered” individual insurance plan (a plan you’ve had since March 23, 2010 or before) was canceled because it doesn’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and you believe other Marketplace plans are unaffordable
You had another hardship. If you experienced another hardship obtaining health insurance, use this form to describe your hardship and apply for an exemption.

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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:22 am

I removed an off-topic post conjecturing on single-payer insurance. This requires a change in legislation, which makes this a political discussion and is off-topic (proposed legislation). As a reminder, see: Politics and Religion
In order to avoid the inevitable frictions that arise from these topics, political or religious posts and comments are prohibited. The only exceptions to this rule are:
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michaeljc70
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:21 am

JoMoney wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:58 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:27 am
... I would personally rather see health insurance mandated for all, which would bring down prices and allow people to buy into the ACA for the same rates as group plans. Until then, the current system is what we've got...
The current system did mandate insurance for all (until next year), and while we have no idea what prices would have been had it not been, it didn't bring down prices.
Only around 3% of the people in the US have an exchange plan. Most people get their health insurance from their job or Medicare/Medicaid. In reality, few people are on the ACA and it focused on getting people covered and giving them a subsidy rather than really addressing why healthcare costs so much. With the Medicaid expansion in the ACA you had some people go on that (around 5% of the population). ER visits actually went up after the ACA compared to before.

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DWesterb2iz2
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by DWesterb2iz2 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:57 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:21 am
JoMoney wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:58 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:27 am
... I would personally rather see health insurance mandated for all, which would bring down prices and allow people to buy into the ACA for the same rates as group plans. Until then, the current system is what we've got...
The current system did mandate insurance for all (until next year), and while we have no idea what prices would have been had it not been, it didn't bring down prices.
Only around 3% of the people in the US have an exchange plan. Most people get their health insurance from their job or Medicare/Medicaid. In reality, few people are on the ACA and it focused on getting people covered and giving them a subsidy rather than really addressing why healthcare costs so much. With the Medicaid expansion in the ACA you had some people go on that (around 5% of the population). ER visits actually went up after the ACA compared to before.
the individual insurance market is much bigger than the exchange. I buy compliant individual policies that are not on the exchanges, and so do many other people. Moreover, The coverage mandates (no caps, no exclusion for pre existing conditions, etc) changed every insurance policy, not just individual policies. Unless you have government program insurance, you are “on” ACA. (And people on Medicaid because of the expansion are on ACA, too.) The exchanges were part of aca, but not the point of it.

michaeljc70
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:07 pm

DWesterb2iz2 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:57 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:21 am
JoMoney wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:58 am
StopIroningShirts wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:27 am
... I would personally rather see health insurance mandated for all, which would bring down prices and allow people to buy into the ACA for the same rates as group plans. Until then, the current system is what we've got...
The current system did mandate insurance for all (until next year), and while we have no idea what prices would have been had it not been, it didn't bring down prices.
Only around 3% of the people in the US have an exchange plan. Most people get their health insurance from their job or Medicare/Medicaid. In reality, few people are on the ACA and it focused on getting people covered and giving them a subsidy rather than really addressing why healthcare costs so much. With the Medicaid expansion in the ACA you had some people go on that (around 5% of the population). ER visits actually went up after the ACA compared to before.
the individual insurance market is much bigger than the exchange. I buy compliant individual policies that are not on the exchanges, and so do many other people. Moreover, The coverage mandates (no caps, no exclusion for pre existing conditions, etc) changed every insurance policy, not just individual policies. Unless you have government program insurance, you are “on” ACA. (And people on Medicaid because of the expansion are on ACA, too.) The exchanges were part of aca, but not the point of it.
Having an ACA compliant plan (which most plans must be now) to me is different than being on Obamacare, but I guess it is semantics. I had my own individual policy for decades before the ACA. There were few changes after the ACA compared to the plans I had before- except the networks became narrower, deductibles rose and the cost skyrocketed. I never had one of those pre-ACA so-called "junk" plans they talked about. Now I have a plan with a $15k deductible, which I would call a junk plan. My point was addressed toward the idea that the mandate would lower costs. The number of additional people covered was not that great and there are still tens of millions uninsured.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wootwoot
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by wootwoot » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:08 pm

Why not work a few extra years? I always thought that the FIRE mentality was all about financial independence but this thread is convincing me otherwise. If you have to rely on subsidized healthcare you're not really financially independent and are only pushing healthcare costs up for others.

retire2022
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by retire2022 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:54 pm

All, a good audio (15 minutes) on this came out on "This American Life" and an audio will be available Sunday Dec 9, 2018 based on the ACA individual mandate and how NY is dealing with cost increases. I'm not trolling just letting all be aware this is something to be aware for "FIRE".

"Know That You Are Unprecedentedly Negative"

By David Kestenbaum

When health care premiums went up in New York State, a bunch of people got mad and wrote letters to the state. Producer David Kestenbaum takes us into the raw world of these letters.


https://www.thisamericanlife.org/663/ho ... /act-two-0

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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by marcopolo » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:55 pm

wootwoot wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:08 pm
Why not work a few extra years? I always thought that the FIRE mentality was all about financial independence but this thread is convincing me otherwise. If you have to rely on subsidized healthcare you're not really financially independent and are only pushing healthcare costs up for others.
For some (many?) Early retirees, even those who have budgeted for health insurance, it actually takes going out of your way to avoid the subsidy.

If you retire and are living of a tax-efficent taxable account, you could be spending well north of $100k/yr, and still have MAGI below the subsidy threshold.

Should such a person jump through hoops to avoid, or not take the tax break? What other tax break should they try to avoid?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:25 pm

I removed an off-topic post and a reply. As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.

...At all times we must conduct ourselves in a respectful manner to other posters. Attacks on individuals, insults, name calling, trolling, baiting or other attempts to sow dissension are not acceptable.
Update: A few more off-topic posts have been removed.
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Re: Health insurance for FIRE [Financial Independence Retire Early]

Post by StopIroningShirts » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:13 pm

wootwoot wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:08 pm
Why not work a few extra years? I always thought that the FIRE mentality was all about financial independence but this thread is convincing me otherwise. If you have to rely on subsidized healthcare you're not really financially independent and are only pushing healthcare costs up for others.
I'm going to bow out of this thread. What this poster said is accurate...and we've done just that.

I'll continue to file my taxes and pay the minimum required like any taxpayer. If that provides a tax credit for health insurance based on my income, I doubt I'll volunteer that money back to the IRS and instead continue to support human services not for profits

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