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View Diary: Why is Raising Medicare Eligibility to Age 67 a Bad Idea? Here's Why. (196 comments)

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  •  Insurance carriers raise rates based on age (6+ / 0-)

    My husband and I are both unemployed.  We pay for COBRA insurance at $1880 per month ... raised by $250 two days ago because my husband turns 60 on his birthday in August.  If we did not have COBRA which ends in 6 months, we would be asked to pay $3330 per month by our current insurance carrier, and that does not include prescription coverage.  This is insurance just for the two of us.  My husband receives $1628 a month in unemployment insurance payments.  

    My husband is basically earning $10 an hour, which is more than minimum wage.  In order to pay for non-Cobra health insurance and absolutely nothing else, he would have to earn nearly $17 an hour.  Health insurance will cost us $17 per 40-hour-work-week hour.  

    We already wish to be 65 to get Medicare.  We are wishing for old age just to survive.  And, at this point, we will not survive.  Even 65 is too far away, let alone 67.

    We are considering liquidating and leaving the country if we can find another country that will take us, is cheaper, has health coverage, and some respect for older people.

    We have always worked hard.  Just like everyone else, this is not how we expected to live.  

    •  People who are blase about some of the things (2+ / 0-)
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      Got a Grip, elfling

      being discussed simply have no personal experience that would make them more empathetic to the real world hurt that will go down with some of these "pragmatic" bean counting decisions that will result in actual deaths, hopefully conveniently out of sight.

      Litmus test - if you say "snake" when someone says "COBRA" , you're probably not as invested in the debate as someone who says "health insurance".

      A great friend whom I love dearly seems to think that anyone who needs and wants healthcare can just go buy some affordable coverage whenever they want.  A large percentage of the population is just completely clueless.

      And, most medical bankruptcies are people who have insurance, but they can't afford the out-of pockets and co-pays and some of the outlandish prices for drugs.

      The equation for everyone whether they know it or not, is:

      Lose your job, lose your benefits, get sick, lose your house, become poverty stricken, die.

    •  The pre-existing conditions pools (0+ / 0-)

      Have any of you checked out the pre-existing conditions pools in your state that were set up under the health care law as transition to the exchanges? When I checked into them several months ago, the premiums were similar to my COBRA premium, but on July 1, some major decreases in premiums went into effect in some states, including mine. I think it's the states that decided to let the feds run the pools rather than run them themselves.

      The last age-related increase comes at 55, at least in my state. Premiums for a 55-yr-old in Alabama range from $350 to $471, depending on which plan you choose: standard, extended or HSA. That's still too high for people in part-time or minimum wage jobs and a good bit more than Medicare, but it's better than most of what I'm hearing about private sector individual insurance. You have to have a pre-existing condition, and the big sticking point for many is that you have to have been without any health insurance for six months before signing up. There are also medical services and prescription deductibles ranging from $1,000 to $3,000, and 20% co-pays except for 100% paid preventive services, and there's a $5,950 max out of pocket per year ($7,000 for out-of-network) but no lifetime max on benefits.

      It's not a solution for many, but it's a lot better than some of the horror stories I'm hearing. When I first checked into it, the 55+ premium was running $720, which was about what my COBRA payment on a very good group plan with my previous employer would have been, and I thought, forget that. But roughly $400 is not totally unreasonable. If I ever got a full-time no-benefits job or more self-employment income, it would at least be a possibility. I don't know what the rates are in other states. There's a site where you can look up your state and check out the benefits, eligibility, make an application, etc.


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