Author Topic: Advice Needed: Estimating Medical Expenses - + & - of Golden Handcuffs  (Read 964 times)

Secretly Saving

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Hi All,

We are in our late 30s and FI.  We are currently in a holding pattern due our assumption that fully covered medical golden handcuffs from our Mega-corp is worth waiting for...(we'd have to wait until about age 50 so another 10+ years from now.). We don't have a good way of estimating what the value of free medical for 2 adults will be per year.  (kids will be gone if wait for this).  Free medical would last for 15 years until age 65.

Anyone have advice on how we best go about attaching an appropriate number to this?  I'm not sure it's worth waiting for these handcuffs, so i need to be able to use some reasonable numbers to make a decision. 

Anyone care to share what their medical expenses have been around middle age?

Any advice welcome!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 07:50:28 AM by Secretly Saving »

GettingClose

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Re: Advice Needed: Estimating Medical Expenses - + & - of Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 12:31:35 PM »
The biggest expense is usually health insurance premiums, even in your early 50's, assuming that you take good care of yourself.  The out-of-pocket max for an ACA plan is something around $6800, much less than premiums.

You could try going to https://www.kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/  and filling it out for your state, not that you would be interested in the subsidy information, but it also lists average premium (from what I can tell it is for someone around 50) in your state/zip code.   I'd multiple the premium x 24 (12 months for 2 people) and then add in $5k each, just to account for something like developing insulin-dependent diabetes which is expensive in an ongoing way.

So for a conservative number, say, $18k for insurance premiums and another $10k for out-of-pocket costs.

However, there is no knowing at all what things are going to look like 10+ years from now.  It could be anything from what it was 10 years ago (essentially completely unlimited power to the insurance companies, many prohibitions to getting coverage as a non-employed person, and no out-of-pocket max - but with lower premiums) to single payor.

Hopefully others can refine further on this.

GettingClose

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Re: Advice Needed: Estimating Medical Expenses - + & - of Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 12:41:16 PM »
https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/Age-and-Gender.html

You could also go to this site and drill down into the specific data - unfortunately it's from 2012 when premiums were lower.  However, might still give you some idea of costs.

Peachtea

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Re: Advice Needed: Estimating Medical Expenses - + & - of Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 07:05:00 PM »
You should read the DOL pamphlet linked below and then your Summary Plan Description carefully when deciding the value of your golden handcuffs. Many companies put in terms that they can change or stop the benefit at anytime. No matter how great your megacorp is doing now, it might decide in 10 years that it needs to cut costs or that it no longer needs the retiree benefit as a recruitment measure.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/publications/can-the-retiree-health-benefits-be-cut.pdf