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WeaselFire
09-11-2013, 12:30 AM
As I look forward to potential retirement and supplementing my meager pension with writing, one of the costs I have to figure in is replacing company health insurance. My current insurance will run about $800 a month after retirement (about $360 while employed...) so it's always an option.

So, are there any professional writer's groups that can supply or provide discounted health insurance?

Thanks,

Jeff

Jamesaritchie
09-11-2013, 03:17 AM
None that let me get it where I live, certainly. I have to just buy my own. But I wouldn't count on anything, or make any moves, until ObamaCare goes into full effect. It's already doubled my premiums, but if may help you. Who knows?

juniper
09-11-2013, 11:55 AM
The Writer's Guild provides health insurance, but there are specific qualifications for becoming a member. It's for radio-tv-film only, I think.

http://www.wga.org/subpage_whoweare.aspx?id=84

I don't know anything about the organizations on this list, but here's another resource. http://www.pen.org/health-insurance-writers

Or, move to Canada. I hate the US lack-of-healthcare system. :rant:

My spouse is self employed which means ... I work for a corporation that provides the insurance. Yuck.

Terie
09-11-2013, 12:42 PM
My current insurance will run about $800 a month after retirement (about $360 while employed...) so it's always an option.

Is that the price now, or is that the price after the ACA goes into effect? Things are going to change dramatically in the next few years.

bearilou
09-11-2013, 03:19 PM
There is a discussion in the comments along these lines in a recent blog post by Chuck Wendig (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/09/09/uh-oh/), if any of that will be of help to you.

James D. Macdonald
09-11-2013, 08:12 PM
You might also join your local Chamber of Commerce (as an independent business person). They may have group health insurance.

ralf58
09-11-2013, 08:27 PM
AARP has had health insurance for people between 50 and 65, but that's going away because of the Affordable Healthcare Act. It's very pricy anyway. (22 percent of our income for this year is going toward health insurance--and we each have a $5,000 deductible. Self insuring is not for the faint of heart.)

On October 1, you can create an account on www.HealthCare.gov and they will keep you updated with the news about the health insurance exchanges. You'll also be able to buy from private companies, not just the exchangse. As of January 1, they can't rate you on pre-existing conditions. They can and will base your price on your age and on the average cost of healthcare where you live.

If your income is lower that 400% of the federal poverty level, then you can get a subsidy toward the cost if you buy on the exchange.

WriterBN
09-11-2013, 09:19 PM
(22 percent of our income for this year is going toward health insurance--and we each have a $5,000 deductible. Self insuring is not for the faint of heart.)

Consider yourself lucky. It's more like 50% for me and my family.

James D. Macdonald
09-11-2013, 09:53 PM
That's why, for many full-time working writers, their health plan is "Don't Get Sick."

dangerousbill
09-11-2013, 10:47 PM
So, are there any professional writer's groups that can supply or provide discounted health insurance?


Unless you're living in four states, the Obamacare health insurance exchanges are opening business about now, or real soon. The costs are turning out to be far less than Fox News would have you believe.

Then hold on tight and wait for Medicare, which is the best health insurance I've had since leaving Canada.

National Writers' Union offers, or used to offer, group health insurance, but you had to be a full member.

Jess Haines
09-11-2013, 11:35 PM
There is a discussion in the comments along these lines in a recent blog post by Chuck Wendig (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/09/09/uh-oh/), if any of that will be of help to you.

Ahh, you beat me to it. Was going to suggest this post, too! :)

Tirjasdyn
09-12-2013, 03:34 AM
Hey, guess who is sitting at work selling health insurance.

The exchanges open Oct 1st for the new HCR plans starting January 1st, 2014. You may qualify for a cost sharing reduction (re: discount) if you make less than 250% of the poverty level for your state. If you make less than 400% of the FPL then you may qualify for a tax credit to pay for the health care. The credit is the amount of the second lowest silver plan (there are four levels of plans, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, but not every state has Platinum plans) but you can use it towards any plan. Many states have published pricing on their Department of Insurance websites but the plan details won't be available until Oct 1st.

Couple of notes:
If you make less than 138% of FPL you get medicaid except in some states which did not expand medicaid and then it's below 100%.

If you have group insurance you will not be allow to purchase other insurance unless you can get a voucher from your place of employment AND prove that it costs more than 9.5% of your income for ONE person.

If you qualify for medicare, you get medicare. If you don't(haven't worked in the US for 10 years) then you cannot be charged more than 3 times what the average 21 year old is charged for the same plan.

None of this applies to Native Americans or Alaskan Natives or to prisoners, they have their own rules.

jimbro
09-12-2013, 04:26 AM
There is also this (lots of choices/alternatives):
http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/individual-family-health-insurance

Tirjasdyn
09-12-2013, 05:00 AM
There is also this (lots of choices/alternatives):
http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/individual-family-health-insurance


Things to keep in mind about individual insurance for the rest of the year:

For the rest of this year (2013) you can still be denied or charged more because of your health.

At the end of the year, depending on the state your are in, you will be either moved into a new HCR plan or forced to reapply for a for a new HCR plan. After March 2014, you will no longer be able to change your insurance or buy indivdual insurance unless you have a qualifying event (moving, marriage, death, divorce, birth, adoption, loss of insurance but not through non-payment or fraud) or it is during open enrollment Oct 15 - Dec 7. Otherwise you will be uninsured and if you are uninsured for more than 3 months you will be penalized on your taxes. During open enrollment, new coverage will not start till the January of the following year.

lizbeth dylan
09-12-2013, 05:21 AM
Things to keep in mind about individual insurance for the rest of the year:

For the rest of this year (2013) you can still be denied or charged more because of your health.

At the end of the year, depending on the state your are in, you will be either moved into a new HCR plan or forced to reapply for a for a new HCR plan.

I currently have a private insurance plan that has a permanent exclusion rider for a pre-existing condition. I've been told that in order to get rid of the rider, I will have to apply for a new policy during the open enrollment period instead of what i expected...which was keeping my current plan and rate with the ACA voiding the exclusion rider.

Do you know if that is true?

Tirjasdyn
09-12-2013, 08:39 AM
I currently have a private insurance plan that has a permanent exclusion rider for a pre-existing condition. I've been told that in order to get rid of the rider, I will have to apply for a new policy during the open enrollment period instead of what i expected...which was keeping my current plan and rate with the ACA voiding the exclusion rider.

Do you know if that is true?

It depends on the state that you're in and how long you've had the plan. If you've had the plan since before March 2010, you're in a grandfathered plan and they can do whatever they want. Most states require that you be moved in a new plan but that doesn't mean riders go away either, depends on the laws in that state. Also if your old plan doesn't cover required benefits for some reason you could still pay a penalty.

Even if you keep your current plan, especially if it is a grandfathered plan, your rates and can and probably will go up. They do get to discriminate.

I'd plan to buy a new plan. Though...it is possible you won't find a plan that matches your current one.

For those that are curious and full disclosure: I'm a licensed agent and have licenses for more that 30 states. I'm currently selling insurance for Kaiser Permenante. I have sold insurance for United Health Care and I have worked for Wellpoint (BCBS, Anthen, Empire, Many federal and state programs etc). And for those of you scratching your head at other posts I've made on the subject, yes, I do have insurance as of Sept 1 2013. First time since 2009. Most companies I've worked for didn't offer it...including insurance companies.

kaitie
09-12-2013, 08:45 PM
I have a concierge doctor, and while in some locations that can be an expensive service, I'd definitely say it's worth looking into. Where I am, I pay $50 a month and that's it. If I'm ever sick, I can just stop in (no wait times, either!). I can call if I have a question, and so on. He also makes house calls, which is good for older patients who can't get around very easily.

It's much cheaper than insurance was going to be. He said most of his patients just buy insurance to cover major expenses, which is much cheaper. I'm covered by my job now, but I keep going to my doctor because he's so much more convenient. It's just nice to be able to have an actual conversation and not have to wait for an hour for every appointment and so on. I'll keep paying the $50 a month just for the convenience.

It's another option that's worth looking into. It might be a little scarier than having full-coverage insurance, but it might suit your needs at a better price if you have that sort of option in your area.

WeaselFire
09-12-2013, 10:37 PM
Is that the price now, or is that the price after the ACA goes into effect? Things are going to change dramatically in the next few years.
That's the current price. So far, we don't have info on future costs. Though it may not change much for my particular insurance.

Also, changes after October 1 may make it possible to get insurance through a state plan for a little less than the private plan may go to. At least that's the current speculation.

Jeff

WeaselFire
09-12-2013, 10:44 PM
I have a concierge doctor, and while in some locations that can be an expensive service, I'd definitely say it's worth looking into. Where I am, I pay $50 a month and that's it.
Holy cow! I currently have a concierge doctor as well, and he costs me $600 a month. Plus I still need insurance to pay for anything he doesn't provide, prescriptions, dental, vision, etc.

Having had cancer, I'm also currently a major issue for most plans. ACA fixes that for me, or by staying with my current plan after retirement I'm grandfathered in.

Thanks for all the info.

Jeff

Jamesaritchie
09-12-2013, 10:54 PM
Unless you're living in four states, the Obamacare health insurance exchanges are opening business about now, or real soon. The costs are turning out to be far less than Fox News would have you believe.

.

You wrong. Unless you're dirt poor, the costs are double to triple. My premiums have doubled because of this idiotic plan. Just more of those who won't being taken care of by those who will.

Tirjasdyn
09-12-2013, 11:10 PM
Also, changes after October 1 may make it possible to get insurance through a state plan for a little less than the private plan may go to. At least that's the current speculation.

Jeff

Always a possibility right now.Though current price speculation posted by the states puts prices staying just a little higher than this year, not including surcharges for age and smoking.

kaitie
09-13-2013, 12:08 AM
Holy cow! I currently have a concierge doctor as well, and he costs me $600 a month. Plus I still need insurance to pay for anything he doesn't provide, prescriptions, dental, vision, etc.

Having had cancer, I'm also currently a major issue for most plans. ACA fixes that for me, or by staying with my current plan after retirement I'm grandfathered in.

Thanks for all the info.

Jeff

Mine also gets us prescriptions for much cheaper, has various equipment in house, and is working to get things like an x-ray machine. Basically the only thing he doesn't do is major surgery, and in cases like that or when you need a specialist, he has arrangement with local doctors to take patients at a discounted rate.

I'm very, very lucky.