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tgbwc tgbwc is offline
 
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How Did You Plan For Healthcare Costs?
Old 10-28-2017, 07:05 PM
 
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As my wife and I get closer to retirement (I still have a few more years), we are starting to look at when we can retire and the cost of healthcare premiums. I am wondering what some of you do to pay those costs in retirement. Do you receive enough through pensions to pay the monthly premium? Do you have a part-time job to help with the costs?

FYI, We are both teachers. Currently our monthly premium for a family is $360/month. Currently the same plan has a monthly premium of $1,449 for retirees, but for a mini-family (ex. a couple), it is $1,139. Dental would go from $11.52 to $34.61/month.


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Old 10-28-2017, 07:59 PM
 
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My state (at least for now) pays for health insurance for pre-Medicare eligible retired teachers. They do not pay for spouses or dependent children. I believe the plan cost for a family was about $800 a month last year.

That of course may change at any time.
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Old 10-28-2017, 08:23 PM
 
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My teacher contract was set up so that unused sick days converted toward payment of premiums. Each sick day is equal to a month. I had the maximum allowed so I am covered until Medicare. I do have to pay the percentage that working teachers have to contribute--- it is very minimal at this time, but I am told it is going to significantly increase with the next couple of years.
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Medicare advantage plan
Old 10-28-2017, 10:10 PM
 
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is what I have. They take the medicare premium paid to social security and have plans that either have a premium of zero or various dollar amounts (mine is $45/month for 2018) depending on the plan you choose. The most expensive is your medicare premium+ $188/month.

Before I was eligible for medicare, the state's health care premium was considerably more. We were glad when we were medicare eligible.

Health care costs go up every year. States have a variety of plans for retirees as do various districts. Some districts require retirees to use the state insurance.

You would do well to make an appointment with you state or district benefits AND pension representatives to discuss all of this. I've found them to be very well informed and helpful as have been the social security/medicare people. I signed up for medicare in person through a social security representative who knew all the ins and outs.

It's best to make an appoint before going to the social security office or bring earplugs and a thick book to read while waiting your turn as a walk in.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:50 AM
 
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Oh, my. I had no idea rates had gone up that much. I'm afraid I would enter my state's high risk pool and wait it out for Medicare. Here, premiums would be considerably less and they have to take everyone.

I don't mean you specifically but anyone reading this that is in a situation they can't afford that. I was in a situation I could only get high risk insurance ONLY because my bp was 140/93 and i was prescribed medication. I could not get private insurance after that. (Just explaining the high risk tangent)


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Old 10-29-2017, 03:41 AM
 
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For us, the key was to get out of debt completely before retirement, use savings to pay certain large annual bills (car & home insurance, taxes, etc), and work part time.

My health insurance is $1700 per month (covers me and dh), which is more than half my pension. Crazy, but now that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer, we are getting our money's worth!

The thing is, the huge health insurance cost is temporary. In less than a year, I will be eligible for Medicare, which will be far less expensive. We did a lot of careful planning before we retired so we could afford a few years of high health insurance costs.

Dh's illness might have thrown a monkey wrench into our plans, but the money he was making working part time will be nearly replaced by social security disability.

Plan, plan, plan, and think about what could go wrong in advance, and you can do it.
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:41 AM
 
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So much depends on your age at retirement. Will you be 65? Before Medicare, we were paying $800 a month for 2 people.

I turned 65 in April, joined Medicare, and retired in June. We had Kaiser (HMO that we love) for the last 10 years so elected to have Kaiser Senior Advantage as our supplemental. DH’s former employer contributes $94 a month per person toward whatever plan we choose and Kaiser Senior Advantage just happens to be $94 a month per person. Now that it’s just me, the employer continues contributing. So I pay $134 per month to Medicare. I also pay $23 per month for dental and $10 for vision. So my monthly medical expenses are about $170 for just 1 person. Lucky me!

Last edited by amiga13; 10-29-2017 at 06:11 AM..
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Old 10-29-2017, 06:31 AM
 
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I had to wait until I was 65 to retire, so that Medicare would kick in. Even so, I still pay almost $400 a month for Medicare, a supplement, and a drug plan, and that is just for me! Each year it goes up - very disheartening.
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Health care
Old 10-29-2017, 07:12 AM
 
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I am significantly younger than dh but he worked full time until last month so we had family coverage. He retired and is on Medicare and I am getting coverage through cobra for 18 months (still costs $500 per month just for me). I will have more than 18 months once cobra runs out and there is a low deductible plan for $1100 per month (yikes) through my pension plan but an economy plan with high deductible is only $600. Probably will go with that as I take no drugs and have no issues right now. I dropped dental and pay out of pocket...does not cost much for a cleaning. We saved plenty while working to pay for health care but so far I have just paid for cobra out of my pension. We just paid off our house too so that helped. I think it is unfair that I have to pay so much more just because of my age. If I was 30, iíd pay about $120! I have no health issues which I know is lucky but I also work hard to eat right and exercise to stay healthy.
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:04 AM
 
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Everyone has different financial plans for retirement so what works for me might not work for you. Here are a few tips that might help.

Just because someone reaches a retirement age, doesnt mean that retiring is a smart financial decision. Working until 65 and applying for Medicare will save a lot of money. Individuals still pay for part of their Medicare and a supplemental plan, but its far less than if they retired early and paid for a private insurance plan.

Change plans. You might have the top tier of insurance while you are working but can you really afford it when you retire? A group managed plan such as Kaiser will cost you far less and save you money. We plan according to what we can afford.

Stay healthy. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your weight down. This is no guarantee but it can help to minimize health costs and save you a lot of money.

Do all of your homework before retiring. Asking questions is a great way to learm from others. Nobody wants financial surprises because they failed to look at all options prior to retiring. A planned retirement is a happier retirement.



Last edited by MathWA; 10-29-2017 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:01 AM
 
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Medicare with Humana advantage plan is what dh and I have. I am on disability due to cognitive issues...Humana has been awesome. D h has a case manager that checks in on him once a month no charge. I hope it stays funded is all I can say.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:11 PM
 
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Medical insurance costs are daunting. I'm 63 now (still working). My birthday is July 31. I figured out that if I work this year and next I will turn 65 over the summer, get Medicare, and afford to retire. I'm not willing to take the financial hit that insurance would cost me before that!
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:27 PM
 
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Thanks all. Iíll defini be meeting with our countyís retirement counselors as I get closer. Of course the cost drops once you hit 65, but no way do I want to teach for 43 years. I will be eligible for full state retirement at age 52 and that provides 50% of my highest 3 year average. The district has a supplemental plan that provides an additional 25%, but I have to be 55 for that.
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We Have an HSA
Old 10-29-2017, 04:29 PM
 
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Over the years we have put pretax money into a Health Savings Account to be used for our health care deductibles and premiums. The maximum is $7000 a year. If you are in the 30% bracket it's like gaining $2100.00 Talk with your CPA tax preparer about this. If you are in a higher tax bracket it can save you a lot.
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Unused leave
Old 10-30-2017, 04:17 AM
 
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Something else Iíll check on is whether unused leave reduces the payment. I have about 1100 hours currently saved. Otherwise there really isnít any reason to save it (but I still do).
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:47 AM
 
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My husband and I are both 56. He was a farmer so I always carried insurance for both of us. Since I retired, I get my insurance through my state's teacher retirement system. Mine is about $300 a month. My husband has private insurance that has similar coverage except he has a high deductible. My deductible is $500. His is $3500. His cost about $350. If he had gone on my insurance we would have had to pay $1200 a month just for him. He is rarely sick and in good health. If he does have a medical issue, we have saved to pay his deductible.

Because we live in an RV and travel full-time, insurance is our biggest expense that we have to budget for. Fortunately, my husband still works 4 months of the year on the which helps really helps us financially.
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:19 PM
 
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My district pays for our insurance until we go on Medicare. I could not have retired if it wasn't for this. DH will be 67 and will retire and go on Medicare.
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Glad this was posted
Old 10-30-2017, 05:55 PM
 
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I posted a while back about feeling pressured to retire. Most people my age are gone but they qualify for health coverage. I don't because I started at an older age as a teacher. But if you have to pay for health insurance it makes sense if possible to hang in there and work. I love the work, but it is hard to do multiple things all day every day.
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Chart
Old 10-30-2017, 06:28 PM
 
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It does drop more than half once Medicare is applied. Here is the chart from which I am getting the numbers: https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/f...Premiums_0.pdf

The first page applies to teacher retirees.
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