Author Topic: Healthcare Coverage in FIRE- MA  (Read 1538 times)

applesauce

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Healthcare Coverage in FIRE- MA
« on: January 11, 2017, 10:10:39 AM »
Been following this board for a couple years. I admire all the folks here and you have inspired me to change the way I look at life and evaluating what is really important. 

Healthcare coverage - this is one of the bigger concerns I have when thinking about FIRE.
If I understand correctly, Medicare is available at 65. I’m 50, DH 55-  we are looking at 10-15 years of needing health coverage. 

News about ACA being repealed does not help my confidence - while MA will probably still have their version of the ACA-  will it be affected? the subsidies would go away?

Does anyone have experience with how to use the MAHealthConnector website for quotes?  It asks you to Apply and create an ID.   without doing that, I only got as far as it telling me:  Health Connector Plans:  “You can shop for coverage from leading insurance companies in MA…..Premiums and costs will depend on the plans Metallic tier coverage level” 
I will create an ID and just see what I get…   are there any things I should consider when looking?   If I enter in all this info and shop around, I want to be sure I do not inadvertently commit to something by mistake-   is it easy to cancel/back out?

Should I be shopping on Healthcare.gov? 

Some of our needs-  DH will need shoulder surgery in the near future.  He has arthritis- and it runs in the family -so prob meds in the future, not sure what else. 

We have 2 kids- highschool and college- hoping the option to allow them to be on our plan if needed until they turn 26 is available- but I guess that is out of my control to worry about.  Oldest has some allergies- needs presc inhaler. 

Knock on wood- we are all otherwise healthy.

Anyone who can share tips, what your costs are and type of plan you have? 
Have you already FIRE’d - any considerations with Healthcare?
Do you need to time your FIRE date with the enrollment period or can you elect to begin coverage at a specified time?   
We have an HSA and I plan to add the max to it this year. 

Since the election, all I notice are reports about how Congress is trying to repeal ACA-  and not knowing is affecting my ability to figure out how much we need in retirement and what to consider in choosing a plan.   We have always been on employer coverage- you got what you got for a plan- no choice involved- so this is a bit overwhelming.   

Gin1984

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Re: Healthcare Coverage in FIRE- MA
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 10:23:01 AM »
I would look at Romney care worked prior to ACA was passed.

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Nothlit

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Re: Healthcare Coverage in FIRE- MA
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 10:34:32 AM »
Massachusetts will likely be better off than most other states if the ACA is repealed, however it's not entirely certain what will happen given that many adjustments have been made to funding, etc. over the last 6-7 years since ACA was passed. But it sounds like just about everyone in state government agrees that the original goal of universal coverage in MA will remain in place:

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Top Massachusetts officials have said they are committed to keeping Massachusetts' 2006 commitment to providing near-universal coverage.

"The commonwealth of Massachusetts was very far down the road on its own, implementing and supporting what for all intents and purposes was pretty close to universal coverage for everyone in the commonwealth before the ACA," Baker said. "My view on this is it's a policy statement and policy totem that's held in very high regard here in the commonwealth, and we'll do what we need to do to make sure that we continue to be a national leader on this irrespective of whatever happens."

State Sen. Jim Welch, D-West Springfield, co-chair of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, said similarly, "My belief is that Massachusetts will continue on the path that we're on, even if there are changes on the federal level."

Tim Gens, executive vice president and general counsel at the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, said all the groups involved in health care in Massachusetts are committed to expanding insurance coverage, providing quality care and addressing costs. "I can say there's a broad commitment that we will fight to maintain the great programs and coverage that we have right now," Gens said.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 10:36:22 AM by Nothlit »

DoingMe

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Re: Healthcare Coverage in FIRE- MA
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 07:58:49 AM »
I can't answer all of your questions, but, hopefully, I'll shed a small amount of light on a few ...

News about ACA being repealed does not help my confidence - while MA will probably still have their version of the ACA-  will it be affected? the subsidies would go away?

I'm not good at predicting the future.  Even if MA (my home state) reverts back to a system similar to "RomneyCare" I wouldn't count on subsidies.  What subsidies would remain would likely be calculated differently than they are under the ACA.  We were residents here when Romney's plan was signed into law but we had not, yet,  retired, so I have no memory of the details of any subsidies that may have been available.  There was no exchange under the state law and we still had to join an organization in order to get health insurance for us while we were operating our business.

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Does anyone have experience with how to use the MAHealthConnector website for quotes?  It asks you to Apply and create an ID.   without doing that, I only got as far as it telling me:  Health Connector Plans:  “You can shop for coverage from leading insurance companies in MA…..Premiums and costs will depend on the plans Metallic tier coverage level” 
I will create an ID and just see what I get…   are there any things I should consider when looking?   If I enter in all this info and shop around, I want to be sure I do not inadvertently commit to something by mistake-   is it easy to cancel/back out?

Unfortunately, yes, you will have to create an account to get the type of information you are seeking.  I am quite disappointed with the way the website operates.  There should be a way to poke around and see what's available without having to create an account and submit an application.  On the bright side ... it is vastly improved over the initial rollout.

Don't worry about inadvertently buying insurance.  It's quite clear when you get to that point.  In order to get real, hard data, you will have to supply a lot of identification and income information and submit an application.  It may feel like you are committing to something at that point, but it can be changed and resubmitted at a future date.

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Should I be shopping on Healthcare.gov?

You can't.  The last time I tried to do this to see what would happen, it sent me directly to MAHealthConnector.gov as soon as I told them I lived in Massachusetts. 

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Anyone who can share tips, what your costs are and type of plan you have? 
Have you already FIRE’d - any considerations with Healthcare?

One thing to be aware of, depending on where your income falls, the decision as to what you qualify for may not be made instantaneously on the website.  Sometimes that must be made outside the system and you must wait for a letter to arrive in the mail.  Until they make the determination, your account will be locked.  Phone calls sometimes help to move things along.  This determination happens after you submit your application.

If you are thinking of creating multiple ID's to look at different scenarios, they won't allow that either.  Not even one ID for each spouse.

It can get a little frustrating.  Best of luck to you.

kristof

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Re: Healthcare Coverage in FIRE- MA
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 10:46:43 AM »
Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but if you click on 'Preview Plans' on the right on this page:

https://mahealthconnector.optum.com/individual/

You can take a look at plans and rates. You may not be eligible for all of them but you can at least get a rough sense of pricing and selection.