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health care insurance after COBRA

March 27th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

When I retired in August 2008 I immediately signed up for COBRA. The COBRA benefits ended February 28, 2010 so I had to get new health care insurance this month. When I worked I paid about $32 a month for health care insurance with a $400 deductable and $20 co-pay plus drug benefits. I kept that same coverage for the rest of 2008 and 2009. In 2008 I paid 182.26 a month for COBRA health care. In 2009 it went up to 212.28 a month. In 2010 my company changed providers and I went to a $1000 deductable and the price went to 372.00 a month. But I only had 2 more months to stay on COBRA and I would be HIPPA eligible so I stayed on.

Being HIPPA eligible is a big deal if you need health care and have pre-existing conditions like I do. It's basically the only way you can get health insurance in my state. Around December 2009 I started looking for my replacement health insurance for when COBRA ran out. I called a health insurance broker that a friend of mine recommended. She was terrific. After talking to me awhile about my sitution she made some calls and found out that in Colorado my only option was to go on the Colorado government health plan - CoverColorado. No private insurers offer HIPPA plans in Colorado at this time. The goverment plan is not cheap and tells you so right in the literature. They basically say this is your only option and you're going to pay for it.

For a plan with a $1000 deductible the monthly payment is 572.03 - $6864.36 a year. The $2000 deductible plan is $440.52 a month. I chose to take the HSA (Health Savings Account) option of $2000 deductable and a monthly premium of 379.45 or $4553.40 per year. With the HSA I can open a tax savings account and leave the money in there until/if I have a major medical expense. Or until the new health care plan starts taxing the plans. I read somewhere that is in the new bill.

It's a ton of money - over one third of my annual expenses will be going to medical care. At least I have it, but I very much doubt things will get better with the new Obama plan, although I might eventually have more options than the government plan.

I finished reading my book Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs. Supernatural - very good.

5 Responses to “health care insurance after COBRA”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I hate that your premiums went up so much. I finally just dropped by health insurance after paying in $90,000 and never getting one penny back.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    We are paying 25.6% of our income for insurance. Taking savings out of the income,that is 35.6 % of our expenses spent for insurance. I know people probably think we're crazy, but it is the best we can do, until we can separately put together a monster huge medical savings account and then try to find the most useful high deductible insurance plan.

  3. elisabeth Says:

    Health insurance is such a difficult topic. I want everyone covered and yet one of the great things about my job is the health benefits not the pay. This year they cut our pay so everyone could keep their jobs. No change to our health care coverage or payments. When they start taxing health care as income I will have to reassess my job and whether I can afford to stay. It will be like getting another pay cut. It will mean I can't contribute to my retirement plan anymore. I wish they would phase it in over a 3-5 year period for people who are low income.

  4. Analise Says:

    Hopefully, the Obama plan will give people better (affordable) options for health care.

    I am grateful we currently have good insurance, but it won't last. I recently received notice that the "free health insurance for life" provided by my former employer through a trust, will begin to cost $450 a month for myself and dh, once I reach 65. The cost will only go up.

  5. Retired Syd Says:

    You should be ok on the tax issue after the health bill takes effect. Only plans that cost over $10,200 (for an individual, more for a family) will be subject to the excise tax, specifically to encourage the kind of high-deductible plan you have chosen (and that tax doesn't begin until 2018--you may be on Medicare by then--I can't remember how old you are).

    Also, the additional medicare tax on investment income will only apply to couples making over $250k/year (that begins in 2013).

    In the meantime, you should be eligible to shop for a new plan if you don't want the government one, because insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions under the bill.)

    Unless of course, the Republicans carry through on their promise to repeal the bill . . .

    Here is a good summary of the bill: http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/managingyourmoney/archives/2010/03/tax_implication.html

  6. elisabeth Says:

    Thanks RetiredSyd, your information is a load off my mind and purse.

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