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Old 03-16-2015, 03:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
I have been told by Ss employees COBRA is fine and is not. My conclusion is that COBRA is not ok if you want to avoid increased costs. The point is make sure you can support using COBRA if you have too. You will need written documentation. The question to be answered is , is COBRA considered creditable insurance by SS.
This comes from COBRA Bites, Medicare Part B Insurance Coverage Penalty - AARP Bulletin


The COBRA catch

Social Security officials explain that under the law, people can postpone signing up for Part B without penalty only while they have group health insurance provided by an employer for whom they or their spouses are still working. Therefore, time on COBRA—used after employment has ended—does not entitle them to special enrollment.

Although this rule is 24 years old, in recent months AARP and other consumer help organizations have both seen a significant uptick in the number of calls complaining about it.

The Medicare Rights Center, which tracks calls involving Part B enrollment problems, reports that this year more than 21 percent of these relate to the COBRA issue. The timing may be due to the fact that when the economic recession hit in 2008, more older Americans lost their jobs and opted for COBRA coverage without thinking to sign up for Part B—and are only now facing the consequences. Nobody yet knows how many people are affected.

not from SS so maybe it is wrong.

Your employer should give you a letter each year saying you have creditable ins. Ask if the do this if you have COBRA.


the whole thing about cora is folks get in to trouble staying on it longer than they are allowed.

many severance paxckages include paid healthcare thrown in for a number of years.

depending on your age you may hurt youyrself .

a 64 year old who stays on cobra for 2 years because it is free to them gets a penalty and loses that open enrollment point.

if you just follow the basic rule of 3 months before your birthday apply for medicare cobra is no problem.

we have a small business gold plan at work with little employer subsidy so the cheapest option for me is to cobra on it until 65 . the small buisiness plans are cheaper than the regular plans .

had i done a better job tax planning early on i could have gotten a tax subsidy on cobra since we would have been able to use more tax free sources of income the first 2 years.

this is one of those times dividends stink since i have no control over my taxable income without major tax events going more to growth funds for 2 years.

the dividends are going to throw me over the line taxable income wise for any subsidy.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:03 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,298 posts, read 15,353,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
COBRA coverage is generally the total amount that your employer pays for the group insurance. It is NOT subsidized and therefore, is much more expensive than employee coverage. In MANY cases, you can find insurance plans that are less than COBRA.

Do your employers offer any medical coverage for retirees. Unless they do, you are on the hook for the full cost.
The insurance offered us as an early retirement package through the spouse's (Fortune 50) employer would have run nearly $1,400 a month for the two of us for 2015. We have an ACA plan that is just under $900 (no subsidy) for the two of us and covers more. The ACA silver plan has an out-of-pocket max that is less than the deductible of the employer plan.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:41 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,224,402 times
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OP it's great that you want to know the healthcare "options" for retirement. And becoming 'familiar' with the rules is just the smart thing to do.

But, if I have this correct, you say you're 50....and want to retire at 62. That's 12 years from now. Who even knows WHAT the rules will be then. Just keep in mind that Congress could change them at any time.

I'm older than you, at 55. And I'm researching Soc. Sec. Medicare, etc myself. And while knowing options in advance is just being prudent. All we're doing is really learning what the rules are NOW -- which may not even be the case for US when the time comes.

My concern is that being a tail-end baby-boomer -- that with all the strain OLDER boomers are putting on the system -- WE will get screwed -- and some rules about, means-testing, eligibility, taxation and benefit levels will change before we can retire. Trust me Congress is looking at that all the time. Obama has already floated the trial balloon about changing Roth IRA rules.

I pray everyday to get old enough so that even if they DO change the rules, that by then I'll be close enough to retirement to be grandfathered OUT of the change. Just like already they've raised the FRA for Soc. Sec. from 65 to 67. Now granted they did that with about 25 YEARS notice ahead of when people would need that benefit. But who knows WHAT crazy politicians who are lobbied to death might cook up. You and I PROBABLY are close enough to to retirement to not be affected by any change -- but who knows. Talk to the millions who were perfectly happy with their insurance who've lost their coverage thanks to Obamacare about how things change change on a dime.

Last edited by rdflk; 03-16-2015 at 10:51 AM..
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
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Medicare can be available to you before age 65, but only after you are on SS Disability for two years. Most of the Medigap plans won't be available to you though, since they are provided by insurance companies, and since you are disabled, they do not want to give you coverage. I am not sure about Part D, prescription coverage.
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:44 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
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Retirement is a life changing event and Cobra allows you to take it for up to 36 months.

After that you're on your own.
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:18 PM
 
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As others have said, what health care will be like in 12-17 years is anybody's guess. But you are right in wanting to know at what age you will go on Medicare (Part A is free, Part B is $147 a month currently). One doesn't even know what your employers will offer you in 12 years or you may want to work longer than 62 as you get closer to that age. But, anyway, my suggestion is to just keep funding your retirement accounts (max out if possible) and do the best you can to save as much as possible and think about having no debt at age 62 (no car loans, home paid off, will you need to move to lower COL area, downsize your home, etc.) These are things that will give you more money each month. One can only plan so much in life as we have no way of knowing what is ahead of us (and personally I think it's better that way). But, also, enjoy the time you have right now, together, today
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:17 AM
 
71,589 posts, read 71,751,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
Retirement is a life changing event and Cobra allows you to take it for up to 36 months.

After that you're on your own.
cobra is only 18 months. unless your state like ours allows longer and few do .
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:33 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
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Just to clear up a few misconceptions about Medicare: At age 65, if you have at least 10 years of paying in to the Social Security fund (not all employment does) you will be automatically enrolled in Part A which is the hospitalization arm of the program. At age 65, unless you're still working and are covered by an employer-provided health insurance you will have an open enrollment period to start receiving Medicare Part B (physician) coverage for which a monthly premium is required. Be aware that if you decline enrollment at age 65 and later find the need to enroll you will be charged a 10% penalty for every year you were eligible but declined enrollment. If you're receiving Social Security benefits it will automatically be deducted from your SS check. If available where you live you can opt-in to a Medicare Part C (managed care) system which may or may not require a premium and may or may not provide prescription coverage. Enter Medicare Part D. This is the prescription plan which will also require a monthly premium. There are many plans out there and if you have ongoing prescriptions you have to make sure your meds are on the chosen plan's formulary.

Medicare assigns a payment for each medical procedure then pays 80% of that approved amount. You either have to pay the other 20% yourself or have a supplemental plan. Some only pay the remaining 20% but physicians may charge 20% above the Medicare approved amount and it takes a top tier Medicare supplement plan to pay that as well. These plans also charge a premium. Your best bet is to find physicians who accept Medicare assignment" meaning they don't charge the extra 20%. If you enroll in a Medicare Part C, managed care plan you will usually have only minor copays for physician services.

Are you confused yet? Now then, Social Security Disability Insurance. You can be covered by this if you are rated as disabled. It provides Social Security disability income as well as enrolls you in Medicaid for medical coverage. Once you reach age 65 you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B and Medicaid becomes you supplemental plan which includes prescription coverage. It can also pay your Part B premium. This configuration is called Medi-Medi as you are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

Every state has a Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) which is at least partially federally funded and provides free advice and counseling on Medicare-related matters to include helping seniors (they cover people from age 60 on) dealing with what can be confusing billing/payment issues as well as explaining all the coverage supplemental issues. They represent no insurers and make no specific coverage recommendations but they will tell you what's out there geared to your specific situation. Any Area Agency on Aging can link you up with them.

I hope this isn't too confusing and will be of some help.

For the record, some employer-based medical coverage plans that are continued following retirement will revert to Medicare supplement plans with prescription coverage when you reach age 65. This is particularly true for government retirees.

Mathjak is correct about COBRA (Combined Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) but it can be pricey. Plans can charge you the full, group plan premium plus up to 2% over.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 03-22-2015 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:46 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,181 posts, read 2,856,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
cobra is only 18 months. unless your state like ours allows longer and few do .
Read Q11 - Qualifying evens:

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-consumer-cobra.html
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:46 AM
 
71,589 posts, read 71,751,865 times
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if you take a medicare supplemental policy is that paid for with after tax dollars that just get lumped together with all your other medical subject to the same rules ?
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