Has any would-be early retiree in the... - Prostate Cancer N...

Prostate Cancer Network

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Has any would-be early retiree in their 50s priced health insurance?

Ribotom
Ribotom

Before I was diagnosed last year at the age of 55, my wife and I were planning to retire a bit early -- in our late 50s, maybe 60.

We've been too busy over the last year to revisit this wish, but now that my PSA continues to be undetectable I am starting to wonder just how expensive health insurance might be for us, if we both retire before 65.

Obviously the quote will depend on a lot of factors, but I am wondering if anyone has any general comments about the price of health insurance for a PCa survivor who had RP and who continues to have an undetectable PSA at, say, five and ten years after RP.

31 Replies

You need to get Obamacare insurance.

You can look up the prices on your local insurance exchange.

Because the no pre-existing conditions provision has not yet been killed off by Republican law suits, and legislation, you will not be rejected or penalized for having had cancer.

This is the one feature of Obamacare that has put opponents on the defensive......finally dealing with the unfairness of screwing folks who have pre-existing conditions. Previously, insurers treated you as though your problems were all of your own making.....so either heavily penalized or uninsurable!!! Obviously, certain habits, eg smoking and overeating, contribute to early and excessive medical problems..but for so so many of us, our habits did not contribute to our illnesses! Obamacare far from perfet of course...but back to the way it was? Large majority of population eventually has pre-existing conditions......Medicare has always covered those !!! Though switching Medicare plans can be problematic with pre-existing conditions. Coverage will be big $$$..but you are fully insurable if the numbers work for you. Should be able to find rates on your state's website ..or at least find a link there...just Google your state and ACA rates/plans. Good luck!!!

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to maley2711

And you don't think people purchasing insurance right before a medical procedure and dropping it some time later had anything to do with the pre-existing conditions clause?

I didn't think that clause was enforced if one already had insurance but I'm not positive on that.

Anyway, many government controlled health systems are coming under tremendous financial stress with the aging populations and it will result in coverage reductions. Be prepared is all I can suggest.

maley2711
maley2711 in reply to XPO1

yes, you are correct in some cases.....one reason ACA had a modest penalty/tax on those who qualified but didn't purchase ACA coverage. Rs, in their zealotry over "freedom", repealed that penalty/tax......so for some folks, what you warn about can happen. Original ACA had a reason not to play that game......it was Romneycare before it was Obamacare, and it had alot in common with healthcare reform earlier proposed by an R conservative group...can't remeber their name. I had a insurance license for 30 years. In the "good old days", in many/most states, pre-existing condition would either exclude you from ANY coverage, or often prohibitively raise your premium if they would cover you. Only a few states required insuring evryone...and at same rate. Bigger problem than the debate about the pros/cons of single payer vs what we have now is.......the cost of our healthcare system.....which is he primary driver of insurance premiums of course, whether a single insurer, ie single payer, or multiple private insurers. No, I don't have THE answer to lowering costs..especually as someone who may face big $$$ bills for cancer treatment..fortunately, much will hopefully be covered! But not all!!

Dialing back the political rhetoric a bit, I will offer a dose of reality on insurance that comes from my sister in law and her husband who retired in their mid 50's. They were covered by their employers plan for a couple of years then went on the open market and were shocked at what they found. You don't mention your general income level but I'd say cancer or no cancer be prepared for a shock. The two of them have been paying together around $25K per year for a policy with a deductible of $7K. Basically it is good for catastrophic concerns. The ACA website does a good job of laying out your options.

But, don't give up on your dream just figure out how that factors in. Maybe it forces you to work a year longer than you might otherwise have worked but hopefully it just becomes a sizable expanse you can manage.

My brother in law turned 65 last year and sister in law this year so their medical expenses are more under control. I don't think they would do things differently though being forewarned they might have at least had a lower stress level. She by the way is also a cancer survivor and that didn't factor in to their policies.

Biden & the Democrats want to expand Medicare to 60 & up .... hopefully this gets done. Medicare expansion would be good for the economy because:

----at least some jobs held by 60-64 year old's would open up (due to retirement) leading to greater employment.

----TOTAL Medical Costs are less on Medicare as Medicare has been better at holding costs down vs Traditional Insurance. As a result, there would be more money available for other areas of the economy. What is happening with Medical Costs taking over more & more of the economy is unsustainable.

----Costs for Corp's paying for insurance would go down for those who are 60-64 & remain employed.

----Medicare IS a type of National Health Care but right now is limited to those 65 & up (the sickest portion of the USA population) .... expanding Medicare to a less sick potion of the population might put off the future predicted Medicare insolvency problem.

This would also be good on a personal level as Medicare with Supplemental Insurance is less expensive vs Traditional Insurance AND Medicare does not have long wait times. Whereas, some other countries have National Health Care Systems which commonly involve long wait times.

GOP, Democrat or Independent, there are things to like about an expansion of Medicare.

My wife is 61 & I am retired at 69 ..... we would welcome this change!!!!

Many other good comments here.

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to rscic

Hospitals will close and my taxes will go up. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Not a good solution IMO

rscic
rscic in reply to XPO1

Hospital closings may be true .... IMO we shall likely see. IMO some Regional reorganization of care might occur .... again, we shall likely see. More on my opinion on hospital finances below.

Taxes might not go up or significantly go up as the 60-64 yr. old age group is much healthier vs the 65 & up age group now being served by Medicare ..... it all depends on how the legislation is constructed which remains to be seen .... I have not seen any print declaring taxes would go up ..... probably because there is not yet a bill proposal.

Lowering exorbitant costs is a good thing IMO. If payment to Paul results in lower costs IMO this usually is a good thing. It remains to be seen if Peter will be "robbed" ..... the devil will likely be in the bill details .... we shall likely see.

IMO if a Hosp. requires a doubling of fees (vs other countries) it is not viable anyway. Just an opinion. Remember, on average the US pays around 2x more per patient than the #2 payer in the world (I think Switzerland) ..... the rest of the world pays even less .... AND in many of these countries the life-expectancy is more. The USA is ranked 46th in the world in life-expectancy ..... worldometers.info/demograph...

There are areas, e.g. the upper peninsula of Michigan, which currently receive a large portion of their income from Medicare.

IMO if a Hosp. cannot exist on ONLY Medicare they have problems which might eventually be terminal regardless of whether or not Medicare is expanded a mere 5 years to a healthier segment of the population (60-64) vs the segment currently being served (65 & up).

An expansion of Medicare to 60-64 year old's ..... is a relatively small segment of the population which has a better health profile vs the currently served 65 & up population.

We shall see the details when an actual bill is submitted.

The idea Health Care costs will only go up & health care will end up being worse for the country if the Government foots the bill is not supported by the data. ALL national health care programs in other countries are MUCH less expensive vs the USA and in many of these countries life-expectancy is greater vs the USA. Even USA limited national health care (aka Medicare) has been shown to hold down medical care costs better vs traditional insurance.

My point is, Health Care costs for those who want to retire early might go down .... we shall see.

Just some thoughts .....

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to rscic

All gov't programs rob from peter to pay paul...it's called government transfer payments. Adding additional people to medicare will not change the cost but worsen the program for all and costs for younger generations. That is unconscionable. I'm sorry that you and your wife may not be on equal financial footing as some in this country but it's not the governments role to make you financially stronger by making other financially weaker. You and your wife should have planned better...like when you got married for the day you would retire and or possible health issues. My retirement plan shouldn't include putting aside money for those who didn't plan in advance. By taking care of me any my family, I place less financial strain on the government.

And before you reply that things must be great for me...My wife was diagnosed with Head&Neck Cancer at 32 and my daughter has scoliosis...Both required thousands of dollars out of pocket medical cost for various treatments not covered by insurance. QoL issues that exists for life.

I don't complain and I'm not looking for the government to provide. It's my job to provide for my family and it's something I continue to do with pleasure.

BTW...the NHS is getting worse by the year...just ask any UK resident...the moneied people purchase private insurance for their medical care. I know this for a fact because my wife works daily with two women from the UK. RonnyBaby didn't have nice things to say about the Canadian Health system either...I'm sure there are similar complaints about other government run health systems as well.....the VA never gets awards and is constantly under investigation for poor treatments.

rscic
rscic in reply to XPO1

" .... Adding additional people to Medicare will not change the cost ...."

---the costs for many services under Medicare would be less vs the same costs under Traditional insurance.

"....I'm sorry that you and your wife may not be on equal financial footing ...."

---I only mentioned my wife as we also experience the differences between private insurance & Medicare .... I thought this experience might be relevant to the original question. An equal financial footing had nothing to do with my answer other than to acknowledge we have also seen the cost differentials.

"....but worsen the program for all and costs for younger generations."

---I've not seen data on these 2 ideas .... you might have??? .... the details of any bill have not, to my knowledge, been released for cost analysis. Maybe you have add'l, more complete data???

.... You and your wife should have planned better..."

---about my financial planning .... you really have no data to compare me to anyone.

"...the NHS is getting worse by the year...just ask any UK resident...the moneied people purchase private insurance for their medical care. I know this for a fact because my wife works daily with two women from the UK. RonnyBaby didn't have nice things to say about the Canadian Health system either...I'm sure there are similar complaints about other government run health systems as well....."

----And yet there are many examples of greater life-expectancy in other national health care countries. Just compare USA Health Care to other, more successful, health care in other nations (....more successful at least from a health care cost & life expectancy perspective).

----additionally note, an individual's opinion often reflects their experience and might not reflect the overall experience and more importantly (IMO) the results of a particular health care system. Opinion's can be helpful if they are the only feedback available but they can also be wrong.

----furthermore, please note each national health care system is different and weighs their priorities differently. I expect Medicare (a type of limited national health care) is different vs many of these other national health care systems, particularly from the service perspective. I think most retiree's are happy with Medicare.

----BTW the

----60-64 age group will involve about 20.57 million people (2019)

----65 & ups total about 54.49 million people (2019)

----total US population is about 328.2 million (2019) .... Sources include: United States Census Bureau, Eurostat, World Bank

SEE ALSO:

statista.com/statistics/241...

Again, my point is, Health Care costs for those who want to retire early might go down .... we shall see.

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to rscic

You seem so certain of the outcome....so let's take education for an example...

the US spends the most per capita on education (K-12) with abysmal results..

The government basically has a lock on the education system...married to the teacher's unions. Why is education any different than healthcare...government run is government run. And why not extend this model to every industry...if the government is so efficient at running industries like education and healthcare why not steel, energy production etc...

The reason medicare taxes is only 6+ percent of wages is because people are eligible at 65 and soon 66. If medicare eligibility decreases to 60 then medicare taxes will absolutely go up...so you want a system enacted that only benefits you at the expense of the younger generation...how much more debt are you willing to heap on the younger generations? It has to stop. Printing more money only pushes the problem down the road...it solves nothing...unless you believe this current system will continue forever? do you?

maley2711
maley2711 in reply to XPO1

It will continue if the citizens want it to continue.....yes, ultimately, if EVERYONE is covered from day of birth, Taxes of course would increase big time.......while out-of ocket premiums and employer insurance costs would decrease drmatically. Also, perhaps Part B coverage might cost more, and would be subsidized for poorer citizens and kids> should we each decide whetehr or not to pay for fire protection on our homes?

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to maley2711

Given your age, 70+, you are amazingly cavalier with other peoples money. And the system will go bust sooner than later and you appear convinced it will not when all signs say it will.Its a fact that 49% of the US pay 0 in Federal taxes. Have no doubt..money will travel where it's treated best

maley2711
maley2711 in reply to XPO1

yes, any program will go bust if citizens don't want it and refuse to pay for it...and elect politicos who feel the same. what system? Thanks for labeling me. Obviously you have a problem with contributing to something that also helps others? Others don't feel that way. Are you referring to Medicare and/or SS? You oppose those programs?

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to maley2711

Typical response....not having this exchange with you.

maley2711
maley2711 in reply to XPO1

GOOD!!!

rscic
rscic in reply to XPO1

We are all entitled to our opinion. However, I would suggest one would look at the history of other nations health care programs (an overall look not just individual opinions) and compare the DATA (not just opinions) to the US health care system. Additionally, remember each country has an at least slightly different emphasis &, IF the US were to go in the Medicare Expansion direction (60 & up instead of the now 65 & up), the emphasis would be different from other countries in at least some respects.

For me (IMO ..... yours may differ), the bottom line is other countries similar to the US (for example, Australia) have demonstrated Health Care can be done much less expensively (a concept which IMO seems to elude so-called fiscally responsible conservatives) with better results. Less costs & better results is an idea I like.

Just my perspective .... yours may differ.

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to rscic

I get it, you want your neighbor to take care of you. I don't.I'm done with this thread.

rscic
rscic in reply to XPO1

I do not believe I said I want my neighbor to take care of me ........ what I did say was to examine the DATA .... I do, for one, want to live longer at a lower, per person, cost (how that cost is distributed is a different issue and one I have not discussed). For example, Australians live, on average, about 4 years longer than those in the US ... at a lower cost per individual. SEE LIFE EXPECTANCY HERE: worldometers.info/demograph...

Just my perspective ....yours may differ.

rscic
rscic in reply to maley2711

Fire protection is dictated by insurance companies ..... less protection results in higher insurance premiums.Reguarding health care, most of what you talk of does not exist in any bill I have seen and is not seen in other countries ..... I'll examine a bill before I pass judgement on what the US Government might do.

maley2711
maley2711 in reply to rscic

I was referring to local fire department protection....personally, don't want to rely on paying a private company...... and if I miss a payment, they let the house burn. But, seems that may be your ideology? Other things I mentioned ..I did not claim part of any bill.....just hypothesizing how a more inclusive system for all, from birth, might function. There are many different alternatives obviously> right now, we are only all-inclusive for old folks.....and have a patchwork of programs for lower-income folks. The imperfect ACA did result in more folks being covered. Insurance premiums were already sky high before ACA......I got the bills for private coverage!

rscic
rscic in reply to XPO1

K-12 --I am well away from in school expertise & have no recent knowledge as I am well above parenting age.

It remains to be seen whether health care Gov costs will be passed to the younger generation .... the bill could be crafted (IF it is crafted ... no bill yet) to be a self-supporting option run by the government using Medicare prices. I've not yet seen a bill. However, it appears other nations are doing FAR better than the US at least in the cost & life-expectancy categories. What MIGHT be done in the US, IF anything, remains to be seen.

maley2711
maley2711 in reply to rscic

yes!

CalBear74
CalBear74 in reply to XPO1

Surely your taxes will go up but why will hospitals close? It might be a good thing for rural hospitals which have an aging population encircling them with limited funds. A certain percentage of what was bad debt will now be paid for by the government on the 60 to 64-year-old population. That will be a good thing for hospitals, especially rural. Please explain.

XPO1
XPO1 in reply to CalBear74

Are you kidding me? Did you actually read what you just posted?

There is not a single hospital in this country that can remain open on medicare reimbursements rates. The primary reason private health insurance is so expensive is because the government reimburses so low. The system is made worse with medicaid re-reimbursements. The biggest lie ever told by left wing politicians is every one has the right to access healthcare..the lie being that they mean the right to health care...YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO HEALTH CARE, YOU ONLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCESS HEALTHCARE. A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

maley2711
maley2711 in reply to XPO1

Only if here excess beds. Then, hospital closings make sense...wasteful.

Amen! I am 60 and would also welcome this change.

Back to the main question IMO there are two lower cost health Insurance alternatives.

- Health Sharing Ministries wellkeptwallet.com/health-s....

- Self Insure, line up a credit line (50K or even 250K max) that you could gain easy access.

Having gone this latter path, you need to know that once you hit 60 years and more, the classis Insurance rates will rise sharply.

Also everything is negotiable if you are paying the bills. But no one will give you Medicare Rates which are the best. My total PCa episode start to finish cost me $50K at Hopkins.

I will post personal experience with a private plan purchased in Illinois from Blue Cross. For a monthly premium of about $900, I have a $6,500 deductible plan that pays any BC provider in network. Few are not in network. I previously had coverage so no lapse in insurance. No physical or forms on preexisting conditions. If you lapsed coverage the rules change and you

Sorry for the truncated post. If you don’t have or lapse employer coverage you may not be eligible for a private plan and will have to look to the exchange options in your state.

My nephew in good health but with genetic heart condition pays around $18,000 a year for him and his wife at 60 years old.

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