Jump to content

"OK"..you retire. But what about Health Care if your under 65???


BMWRich58

Recommended Posts

"OK"..you retire....GREAT !!!!

But,....what about Health Care if your under 65/66?

I,myself can go next April (35 yrs of service).

 

What are "early retirees" doing till they reach Medi Care age??

Link to comment
Patallaire

They either pay out of pocket or they choose not to retire. If they are "Downsized" they are picking it up through Cobra. Health care is a major expense to be calculated into the retirement decision. IT is estimated that a retiree will consume upwards of $250,000 in retirement for medical expense and care. That does not include Long Term care costs which can easily double that number, unless people become impoverished and go on Medicaid. The three biggest enemies of retirement planning are Longevity, Inflation and Medical Expense. So, when you are going to make the choice to retire if you don't have Long Term Care insurance or good medical insurance, set aside between $250,000 and $350,000 for future delivery of health expense. Think it through, as the river of de-nile is deep, cold and unforgiving as you can't go back, so it usually ends in unpleasant surprises.

Link to comment
John Ranalletta
What are "early retirees" doing till they reach Medi Care age??

Pray the Supremes uphold the health care legislation. Not stating for or agin....just saying.

 

Also, don't count on Medicare in the long run. My proctologist billed Medicare $2,800 for exam and facilities. Medicare paid $500. How long until physicians say "no thanks" to Medicare patients? Not long.

 

Doesn't help that Medicare is broke(n) and unsustainable. That which is unsustainable (Medicare, SS, et al) will cease to exist in their present form for more than 5 years.

 

Prepare for long waiting times with a limited number of docs who are low bidders and who are willing to work for everyday wages.

Link to comment
Paul Mihalka

"The three biggest enemies of retirement planning are Longevity"......

I found this funny, but so true.

Link to comment
"OK"..you retire....GREAT !!!!

But,....what about Health Care if your under 65/66??

 

You pay through the nose for less care than you ever got through the company. This applies to self employed people too (I'm not retired yet unfortunately) Health care insurance is by far my biggest expense, and I'm paying all of my Medicare & SS contributions myself instead of 50% at the corporation. I need to raise my rates...

Link to comment

A few options discussed here.

 

I'm a mere youth ( :P ), looking to retire in the next three to five years (or more), and I'm personally in pretty good shape with regard to health care, as I am a military retiree. But, it's a real concern for many.

 

Am I correct in guessing that you don't have any retirement health coverage options through your employer? I know those benefits are few and far between anymore, but if that's an option, it seems that it almost always makes the most financial sense.

Link to comment
CoarsegoldKid
"OK"..you retire....GREAT !!!!

But,....what about Health Care if your under 65/66?

I,myself can go next April (35 yrs of service).

 

What are "early retirees" doing till they reach Medi Care age??

Pay it yourself is all I can add. We have been for the last 7 years. Each year the premium climbs about 10% for a high deductible 30 bucks a visit plan with Kaiser. At $1016 per month provides discounts on health services like x-rays, tests and such that presumably the uninsured person would actually pays. No eye or dental coverage. So for a bit over 12K per year plus whatever else happens it's basically a catastrophic insurance plan, a choice, so we don't lose it all in one hospital stay and go on welfare.

Link to comment
A few options discussed here.

 

I'm a mere youth ( :P ), looking to retire in the next three to five years (or more), and I'm personally in pretty good shape with regard to health care, as I am a military retiree. But, it's a real concern for many.

 

Am I correct in guessing that you don't have any retirement health coverage options through your employer? I know those benefits are few and far between anymore, but if that's an option, it seems that it almost always makes the most financial sense.

 

You are correct.

And, for many state workers in Florida, classified as OPS, they have no health or retirement benefits.

Fortunately that is offset by the low pay.

Link to comment

And, for many state workers in Florida, classified as OPS, they have no health or retirement benefits.

Fortunately that is offset by the low pay.

 

It seems this is the way things have gone in the past couple of decades. I just lucked into a career path that will (hopefully) work out in this regard, but we baby boomers generally started working at a time when the traditions and assumptions regarding retirement were much different. :(

Link to comment

When I retired, my answer was to have a wife who was still working and had coverage through her employer. My former company offered retirees a a version of their "benefits allowance" and "menu of options" that I'd had while working. The difference was several hundred more a month for much less coverage. Turned out it was cheaper and better coverage for my wife to get coverage and add me to it; even though she had free coverage from the retirement package of her previous employer.

 

Well, she's re-retiring again this week and I've had to scramble back to my company's coverage; and I've added her for dental and eye care. High deductable, lesser coverage, downright punitive co-payments if you go out of network. And, of course, every year the "allowence" will go down and the payments go up. Still, I need at least catastrophic coverage if I don't want to end up pushing a grocery cart from dumpster to dumpster looking for supper.

 

-----

 

 

Link to comment
Harry_Wilshusen

And, for many state workers in Florida, classified as OPS, they have no health or retirement benefits.

Fortunately that is offset by the low pay.

 

It seems this is the way things have gone in the past couple of decades. I just lucked into a career path that will (hopefully) work out in this regard, but we baby boomers generally started working at a time when the traditions and assumptions regarding retirement were much different. :(

 

So true. When we started working we were expected to work until 65 and die at 67. Now thanks to expensive medical care we can expect to live much longer. On top of this we want to retire before 65. Fine, but it costs. The person who chooses to retire before 65 needs to pay these costs. When these costs are passed on to 3rd parties (be it the former employer or the taxpayer) it hurts the rest of society.

Link to comment
Don't even get me started...

 

Ken, I in no way am presuming to dis your system or country, so I'm asking out of curiosity: Don't you have nationalized health care in Canada? Without getting you started :) can you share some information? What's not to like?

Link to comment

 

The person who chooses to retire before 65 needs to pay these costs. When these costs are passed on to 3rd parties (be it the former employer or the taxpayer) it hurts the rest of society.

 

Thankfully, I worked for a great company for over 30 years and was able to retire at 58 and that hurts the rest of society? Not being confrontational but that sounds like socialistic crap to me. Good companies that have sound business models that also retain critical skills by giving good retirement packages are NOT hurting society,they are enabling society to maintain a high standard.

Link to comment
When we started working we were expected to work until 65 and die at 67. Now thanks to expensive medical care we can expect to live much longer. On top of this we want to retire before 65. Fine, but it costs. The person who chooses to retire before 65 needs to pay these costs. When these costs are passed on to 3rd parties (be it the former employer or the taxpayer) it hurts the rest of society.

Not trying to be cynical (I will be 66 in less than 4 weeks, and I have a mother and father-in-law approaching 91), but if it costs too much to live past 67, you can always opt out. Just because expensive medical care is available doesn't mean you have to make use of it.

 

I may feel differently when I'm 80.... :P

Link to comment
Don't even get me started...

 

Ken, I in no way am presuming to dis your system or country, so I'm asking out of curiosity: Don't you have nationalized health care in Canada? Without getting you started :) can you share some information? What's not to like?

 

I'm daring to answer for him (at least initially). The answer is yes; we have a single-payor system which we pay for through our income taxes. Health care in Canada is governed by five broad principles enshrined in a federal law know as the Canada Health Act. The Federal Government, however, does not deliver heath care (save for federal prisoners, the military etc). Health Care is delivered by each of ten provinces and three northern territories. If a province does not adhere to the principles contained in the federal law, they do not get a federal financial contribution towards their health care costs. Given how significant that contribution is, no province has decided not to follow the federal law. I retired in 2006 at age 55; I did not think about heath care whatsoever when deciding when to retire. Speaking personally, I and my family have been very well served by our health care system. Perfect? Hardly, but I can't think of another system I'd rather have.

Link to comment
Dave McReynolds

Fine, but it costs. The person who chooses to retire before 65 needs to pay these costs. When these costs are passed on to 3rd parties (be it the former employer or the taxpayer) it hurts the rest of society.

 

I agree with you in concept. The time to raise this issue is at the bargaining table. If an employee, in good faith, agrees to accept $1 less now in exchange for a promise to pay $2 later in post-retirement medical insurance or whatever, then that promise should be (and legally has to be) honored.

 

Unfortunately, in so many cases, the people doing the bargaining for the employer really don't care what the costs will be down the road. They will only be judged on what the cost are during their time in office, whether it be an elected office, an appointed office, or an executive position for a private company. It is only the owners (stockholders) of the business or the taxpayers who care what the cost is down the road, and they don't have a seat at the bargaining table. People who bargain for employees know this, and have used it to the max in the past. Whether it will still be an effective negotiating tool for employees in the future is uncertain, as municipalities run out of money to pay current bills because they are paying retirement and medical benefits instead.

Link to comment
Don't even get me started...

 

Ken, I in no way am presuming to dis your system or country, so I'm asking out of curiosity: Don't you have nationalized health care in Canada? Without getting you started :) can you share some information? What's not to like?

 

I'm daring to answer for him (at least initially). The answer is yes;

Mark summed it up better than I would have anyway. Canada, like all G20 countries (and many others) in the world, except the USA, has Universal Health Care. (It's not nationalized, or even socialized, it's UHC. Big difference.) Everyone in all of Canada is covered. It’s a basic human right, just as crystal clear as is the right to vote is.

 

While there are grumblings about our system (isn’t there about most everything everywhere?) one thing is certain, no one in Canada need worry about being bankrupt and out on the street pushing a grocery cart from dumpster to dumpster due to health care expenses. (Unexpected heath care expenses being the #2 reason for bankruptcies in the USA. It was #1 for many decades until loss of job overtook it recently.)

 

And just as importantly, maybe even more so, no child in Canada is ever denied needed treatment because their parent(s) lost (or never had) health care insurance.

 

The US’s for-profit health care system is a global disgrace that, IMHO each and every one of you there should be deeply ashamed of. The way it puts profit over people is despicable. What retirees are and more and more will discover is they are a small part but personal victim of just how poor it is.

 

 

 

But then I told you not to get me started!

 

Link to comment
Paul Mihalka

"Just because expensive medical care is available doesn't mean you have to make use of it.

 

I may feel differently when I'm 80.... :P "

 

Selden, you might not. This coming from somebody who is already there. It is not so much the cost, but how you feel about it and what it does to people who care about you.

Link to comment

"The US’s for-profit health care system is a global disgrace that, IMHO each and every one of you there should be deeply ashamed of. The way it puts profit over people is despicable. What retirees are and more and more will discover is they are a small part but personal victim of just how poor it is."-Ken H.

 

Ken I'm deeply disappointed you took the low road of cheap shotting the U.S. once again. It's offensive to me and classless on your part. I certainly didn't think getting you started would be an invitation for your exercise of that dislpay of "moral superiority". Marcopolo answered well. You, however, did not. Sorry I asked.

 

 

Link to comment
Bill_Walker
"The US’s for-profit health care system is a global disgrace that, IMHO each and every one of you there should be deeply ashamed of. The way it puts profit over people is despicable. What retirees are and more and more will discover is they are a small part but personal victim of just how poor it is."-Ken H.

 

Ken I'm deeply disappointed you took the low road of cheap shotting the U.S. once again. It's offensive to me and classless on your part. I certainly didn't think getting you started would be an invitation for your exercise of that dislpay of "moral superiority". Marcopolo answered well. You, however, did not. Sorry I asked.

 

 

So, OK, you're offended. That's a start. The next step should be outrage. Did Ken say anything that wasn't true? Did you read all the other replies about paying too much money for too little coverage?

Link to comment
moshe_levy

There is something to what Ken says, and it's proven by the replies we see here. I'm 37 and I don't want to think about all this yet, but it is scary.

 

Let me explain: I've got some family in Israel. A few years ago, an uncle there developed severe dementia. It was a slow road, but eventually he essentially lost all but the most basic functions. Rather than wait for the family (basically, his wife since the kids are grown) to go completely destitute before help arrived - as we do here in the US - the government there simply stopped collecting taxes from my aunt as she continued to work, and also provided a degree of free medical care to help ease the situation along the way.

 

This allowed:

 

1) The family to keep its dignity rather than go on welfare in the later stages of their lives

2) The family to stay intact and focus on the health of my uncle rather than go through the stress of being completely broke at the same time he was degenerating

3) An ongoing program of health care that slowly changed throughout the situation's stages, rather than the quick triple-shock system of SICK-BROKE-GOV'T ASSISTANCE as we have here.

 

I personally believe there is something to learn from that. I have no experience with Canadian health care, or any foreign country's health care system for that matter. I'm sure they have pros and cons, just like our system does. If our system was functioning well we wouldn't have Supreme Court cases and legislation and political warfare dedicated to the subject, because most people would be happy enough with it.

 

What I find when I ask people from other G20 countries and elsewhere about the US's for profit system of health care is that, whether they put it in strong terms as Ken did, or even stronger terms as a coworker of mine from Sweden does, or more diplomatic langauge - is that they just think our system is regressive, and thus plain immoral.

 

Whether that is true or not is an argument to be had, but I'm reading some posts from guys who are where I'm going to be in 30 years, and after putting in that kind of time it leaves me wondering about the issue.

 

-MKL

Link to comment

Good topic guys...makes me rethink my opinion about our health care system. Regarding the Canadian system...a few years back my uncle in Ontario died waiting his turn for an operation. It seems as though there is a great number of seniors crossing over the boarder for cataract surgery because those dr's in there region have quota's to stay within and once its reached they are not allowed to perform any more for the year. Closer to home here in Cal my dad (late 80's) has increasing dementia and parkinson's...his convalescent home costs are off the charts, while my mom is moving into an assisted living facility and will have to sell the family home to afford about 5 years of cost. While i'm about 13 years from considering retiring @ 65 I am astounded at what the costs of long term care can be.

Looks like there is a silver lining to having to wait until 65 or more to retire...can get plugged into Medicare. Seems to me there has to be a better way without making the system more unsustainable than it is.

Link to comment
Patallaire

while my mom is moving into an assisted living facility and will have to sell the family home to afford about 5 years of cost. While i'm about 13 years from considering retiring @ 65 I am astounded at what the costs of long term care can be.

 

Please consider finding an elder care attorney, one that can help you with getting your parents on Medicaid and may be able to protect part of their assets. Secondly since you are painfully aware of what Long Term Care actually costs and does to the family, take a look at a Long Term Care policy for yourself. You are young enough that the cost for transferring this risk to an insurance company may be affordable. The cost of these policies won't ever be less expensive for you then they are now and the actual cost of long term care goes up at a rate of between 6 and 8.5% per year!

Sorry you are going through this.

Link to comment
Marty Hill

MT/Ken is 100% correct. You are as well, He has bashed the US since the day he showed up here and it is rather boring. Give him credit tho, he left. I usually ignore people like that. Who know's what the real problem is?

Link to comment

I don't think anyone can reasonably claim that our health care system in the United States is anything other than terribly broken. There are a number of places where you can find (sometimes competing) statistics, but this is a good overview.

 

Personally, I'm not a "big government" advocate, but this is one area where we can look to the experience of a number of other affluent countries and find unanimously positive results in moving away from the model in the United States that we now lament. Can you find anecdotes where individuals have suffered at the hands of such a system? Yes, undoubtedly. But, the per capita costs are a fraction of ours and the overall measures of health--infant mortality, life expectancy, etc.--are, almost without exception, significantly better than in the U.S.

 

We should be working diligently to leave a better system behind for our children and grandchildren, but we're failing them.

Link to comment
Couchrocket

Don't think that going on Medicare is going to save you a dime.

I just turned 65 and was forced to go on Medicare. I had been paying for my own health insurance since retirement. Big bucks, but glad to be able to pay my own way and provide for myself this important protection.

 

So I get my Medicare card. I still pay my ins. company the same monthly hit, minus $50, as my supplemental, and I pay Medicare $99 a month. Net out of pocket increase to be part of a government system that is doomed to failure eventually. I'm thrilled.

Link to comment
Ken I'm deeply disappointed you took the low road of cheap shotting the U.S. once again. It's offensive to me and classless on your part. I certainly didn't think getting you started would be an invitation for your exercise of that dislpay of "moral superiority". Marcopolo answered well. You, however, did not. Sorry I asked.

 

MT/Ken is 100% correct. You are as well, He has bashed the US since the day he showed up here and it is rather boring. Give him credit tho, he left. I usually ignore people like that. Who know's what the real problem is?

My intent is not it insult / “cheap shot”, my intent is to continue to try to get the US population to wake up to the fact that there is a better way. Donna & I still have lots of people in the USA we care about who don’t as easily have the luxury of being able to leave that we had.

 

Label it “bashing” if you want, but it is clear your health care system is failing millions and millions of people. Real actual people enduring real actual suffering at the hands of your for-profit system. I can’t think of any other words to describe it but - deeply immoral.

 

I grimace when I read the complaints stated in this thread about looming retirement health care cost and how it’s going to interfere with what should be the most calm worry-free portion of a person’s life. But at the same time I feel like sticking my head out the window and screaming across the 49th – THEN WAKE UP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT PEOPLE! As Bill said, where’s the outrage?

 

The planet is ripe with examples of countries that abandoned their for-profit system and without exception (except maybe the UK which is borderline with its a quagmire of a mish-matched system) the outcome has been positive. Better results for less cost. Who can argue with success?

 

It can be done. Get past stupid labels like “nationalism”, “socialism”, “government control”, “death panels” (I like that one in particular, like in Canada somewhere there’s a panel that sits in a dark room all day every day reviewing every single doctor’s appointment for 30 million people, with a red stamp in one hand labeled “Live” and one in the other hand labeled “DIE!” or something. :rofl: ) and other thinly veiled thought control sound bites.

 

Just do it already!

Link to comment
except maybe the UK which is borderline with its a quagmire of a mish-matched system

 

Even so my 83 year old mother can go to the doctor and get tests at the hospital without worrying about whether it will bankrupt her. Sometimes she has to make a fuss to get seen quickly it's true, and that's not right, but she gets what she needs.

 

I agree that the for-profit concept of health care in this country is a national disgrace. Universal health care would be an excellent goal for a society to have, the well-being of its members being a basic reason for having a society IMHO.

Link to comment

Marcopolo and Moshe's responses were more of what I thought I might hear from Ken H. a comparison of our systems or a critique of the Canadian system such as on the long waits and or availability of care, but no, no criticism of his system only a good bashing of ours. I was not intimating that our system was without any flaws obviously it has them. If you read the press(media) the whole system is a victimizing for profit system preying on the least able to fight back sick destitute people. The press doesn't see profit in writing about good news. Lest I get political here we are all paying too much for private insurance and it's the governments fault!! (My government so I get to bitch)

We used to have a system in this country of good health care and it didn't cost an arm and leg. If you're under 50 you don't remember it nor did you experience it. When I was a kid in the 1950's I went to the General Practice doc in town and I got my shots, got occassionally stitched up or had an infection my mom paid all of $5 at most for the visit and the doc gave me an envelope of medicine to take home with me! I even spent a night in the hospital before getting my tonsils out and it didn't break my single working shoe clerk mother. The doc didn't have malpractice concerns or lawyers waiting to get rich over the next slight misstep.

Along comes the 1960's and Medicare. A good thing conceptually. The longer medicare was around the more things politicians kept adding to it.You figure the who. I recall one old doc telling a TV interviewer that in the early days there were no fee schedules so they just submitted a bill (for groundbreaking surgery in this case) and they paid it!! Of course some docs pushed the limits to see what they'd get and eventually fee schedules came into existence for almost everything. In the early days AMA fought Medicare big time but eventually bought in by creating CPT codes and advisory boards etc.and yes they made money by doing so. I digress. At some point Congress decided it was being defrauded and passed oversite legislation and the program got more expensive. Congress did it again and wrote laws to address "unfair" medical practices and again it got more expensive. There's a pattern here.Every time the Congress and by extension the Medicare administration trys to fix something they screw it up worse. It's my opinion so I'm entitled to it. Private insurance(PI) companies look to Medicare to see the trend Medicare will set. In most cases if Medicare pays the PI will soon also pay for the same procedure codes. Maybe more $ or maybe less. If Medicare cops an attitude so do the PI companies. So in the 1990's I saw an attitudanal shift on the explanation of benefits (EOBs) There was a small section of the BC-BS eobs that(BC-BS regionally administered Medicare) advising patients that a/ the doc was charging more that the reasonable and customary fees and b/ to report all fraud to a 1-800 number. My thought was "really, my docs trying to screw me?" Remember this was during the time of the 1st big debate on nationalizing health care. I saw the start of defensive medicine about the same time or sightly earlier than this. And, you guessed it, health care costs increased. I was now, or my insurance company was, now billed $70-90.00 for that visit that used to cost $5.00 and I didn't get any medicine to take home. But, what the hell, I had PI and I wasn't paying for it so who cared. Not me. Fast forward to now because you all know what has happened since then. Costs have gone loco and the recently passed health care law in this country is(my opinion) like everything else congress does isn't going to work. It's going to cost us all more and we'll get less because politicians did it. I would have prefered to have had the program modeled after the most efficient all encompassing PI model out there rather than politicians try to appeal to all constituents for a little vote getting. I have more to add but maybe later..my fingers are tire. :)

Link to comment
I have more to add but maybe later..my fingers are tire. :)

 

You're tellin' me . . . they couldn't even eke out that final "d". :rofl:

 

Really, though, an interesting perspective, Richard. Our system wasn't always this busted. My family had very limited means when I was young and we certainly seemed to have access to good health care. Now, it's financially burdensome even for those who have a good income.

 

This tells me that you either need to go back to the old days--including, not incidentally, an acceptance of the fact that we won't all have access to cutting-edge technology like MRIs, robotic neurosurgery, and ever-evolving pharmaceuticals--or you adopt an entirely new model.

Link to comment

Mike I'm glad you got the humor. When I did the editing for another couple of errors I left that one alone.

 

Bob, Yeah, I did realize that the adjusted for inflation value was higher but $50 is still a far cry from 90. and, of course, I wanted to make the point of it being a different time, different delivery system.

Link to comment

MT

cost for most things have gone up.

 

Costs for anything that lawyers have their hands in have gone up quite a bit.

Many doctors can't afford malpractice insurance in Florida so they close up shop.

 

No single cause, but the result is an inefficient and costly system.

 

That said, I think we lead the world in the development of new/effective medications and it costs waayy too much to do so and bring those meds to market.

 

I'm prolly just going to work for a long time so we can keep insurance related costs lower.

 

I too think we could do a better job providing health care in general in this country, but I'm one of the fortunate ones who has decent coverage and has benefitted from it.

Link to comment
Marcopolo and Moshe's responses were more of what I thought I might hear from Ken H. a comparison of our systems or a critique of the Canadian system such as on the long waits and or availability of care, but no, no criticism of his system only a good bashing of ours.

Ok, but it’s going to be hard to do without coming across as “bashing” because reality is in every measureable parameter the Canadian system beats the US one, but I’ll try. Our cost per capita per year is about 2/3 that of the USA. In outcome measurements, things like life span, infant mortality, cancer rates, heart disease, the list goes on, % instances of every diseases there is, availability of care, preventative action programs, % of GDP on medical research, and more Canada beats the USA. We live longer healthier for much less medical cost than our counterparts in the USA. The one glaring exception is teenage suicide prevention.

 

Now I fully recognize there are factors other than just the direct health care system at work in all this, lifestyle differences are a big factor, Canadians are more active, less obese, smoke less (but drink more) than US Americans, but even in these factors prevention programs are a part of the reason why. When’s the last time you saw a public service message about the hazards of eating too many high calorie snacks on US TV?

 

If you are asking more about the mechanics of the Canadian system (I’m not totally clear on what level you are asking for a comparison) then in that respect there’s not a whole lot of day-to-day difference. We all have (or can get) a family/primary care physician. I work with mine on managing my overall health, check ups, recommended tests based on age and other related factors, get them, review them with him, plan courses of action, etc. If I need to see him about a specific something I call and make an appointment, and go. All sound familiar? Usually I can get in to see him the following Thursday (the day he is at the facility closest to me).

 

If I need to see a specialist about something (for me personally I have some cardiac challenges so have two cardiologist) he does a referral, that office calls me with my appointment and I go. Most specialist it takes anywhere from 3 – 4 weeks to get in to. (What is the wait time to see a specialist in the USA? About the same I suspect.)

 

If someone has an emergency they call 911. An ambulance transports them to the nearest facility. Non life treating ER wait times are indeed a big subject of much discussion. Currently Alberta has a goal of getting it down to 4 hours and they are missing that. Last statistic I saw it was about 5.5 hrs. I can’t speak without doing some research as to other provinces in Canada; I think I heard somewhere Alberta’s is about middle of the pack.

 

All of this happens with zero direction, approval, interference, control, whatever word you want to use on the part of the government. My health care path is between me and my doctors. End of story. And of course there are no insurance companies requiring pre-approval for something, limiting payments, denials, or any of that nonsense.

 

Wait times for ‘elective’ surgeries are indeed long. Cataract and joint replacements in particular. Up to 7 – 9 months. There is indeed a priority review system of sorts administered by the provider facilities. There are only so many slots and dollars to do so much. A 96-year old waiting for a knee replacement will indeed be further in the queue than a 56-year old all else being equal. Unfair a bit? Perhaps, but reality. I think that’s from where a certain US politician picked up the whole “death panel” hyperbole and ran with it a couple of years ago. But remember, the things in this category we are talking about are life quality impacting, not life existence impacting.

 

MRI’s, CAT scans and the like for non immediate needs have a wait time too. My doctor ordered one for me about a year ago. I expected to wait for weeks. Months even maybe based on the horror stories. Instead in 10 days or so they called me and said they had an opening at 1:30 AM (or something like that) if I could make then. (They run 24X7.) Needless to say I was there.

 

And of course the one giant difference about all of this vs. in the USA is the total direct out of pocket cost is $0.00. (Some prescription drugs have a small co-pay. I’ve never seen one over $15.) As mentioned, our UHC is paid for as part of our taxes. But the key is its single payer (federal taxes) not for profit.

 

And of course relevant to this particular thread OP topic, none of this changes because you happen to retire from working.

 

The only thing the entire Canadian health care system is beholden to is its customers. The big giant philosophical difference is there money is to be made off of people being sick vs. here money to be saved by people being healthy. It’s the core difference between the USA and virtually the entire rest of the planet. Yeah, I know, there I go with that “bashing” thing again but it’s true. The USA stands alone in it being an advantage (to a select some, e.g. shareholders) to have a sicker population.

 

There is also the big subject of job portability. Health care coverage is not part of that discussion in Canada. Anyone can move from job to job, or even more importantly decide to start their own business or something, thus potentially creating more opportunity for others; without the ‘what if I, or a member of my family get’s sick, what will I do?’ concern hanging over the decision. How many people in the USA are ‘job prisoners for health care’?

 

Now I do have the luxury of living in a big city. Rural areas, small towns across Canada (in particular northern Canada) have bigger challenges due to staff shortages, smaller faculties, travel time to big cities for specialist and/or some treatments, etc. But is that any different than in any small town in the USA?

 

Now throw in the whole overarching concept of the advantages to society as a whole of having as healthy a populous as possible and what do you have? Win-win-win.

 

Some of those of you who read my diatribes here think I am anti-profit. Not true. While I do admit to having more and more socialist tendencies/views (it’s hard not to when you live in a system seeing some of it work well) as I get older, I do believe some things being for-profit is just fine. Make a killing selling big screen TVs and luxury cars all you want, go for it. But health care? No. There is a select list of basic core human values that I think should be above profit. Caring for and curing one another is one of them.

 

Really I have to come back full circle to the core question – Why on earth do you put up with the system you have?

 

Link to comment

If you retire before 65 I assume you have done well in life's lottery so get a plan with a very high deductible and deal with it.

 

;)

Link to comment
"OK"..you retire....GREAT !!!!

But,....what about Health Care if your under 65/66?

I,myself can go next April (35 yrs of service).

 

What are "early retirees" doing till they reach Medi Care age??

 

Just a gentle reminder but above is the OP's original post. I know national health care debates are entertaining and in vogue today but, given my personal situation, I was actually looking forward to something informative that might apply to his question. Maybe a separate thread could be started to serve the current "off" topic?

Link to comment
"OK"..you retire....GREAT !!!!

But,....what about Health Care if your under 65/66?

I,myself can go next April (35 yrs of service).

 

What are "early retirees" doing till they reach Medi Care age??

 

Just a gentle reminder but above is the OP's original post. I know national health care debates are entertaining and in vogue today but, given my personal situation, I was actually looking forward to something informative that might apply to his question. Maybe a separate thread could be started to serve the current "off" topic?

 

My apologies Al you're right. I thought about framing the original OP at the top of my rant but didn't because I was on a roll and unfortunately technically challenged.

 

I'd have no objection to a discussion on another thread.

 

Back to the OP. Over the years I've been without coverage. In some instances I was healthy and younger and it was my choice. In another we used my wife's insurance because the cost and coverage was better. She lost her job, had a pre-existing condition and developed a fatal disease. Our strategy was to extend COBRA coverage. In the meantime we explored options. We found we could get into a group insurance(same carrier). So explore if you can get into a group. Consider high deductible insurance, HMO or PPO. In the town I used to live in there is a free clincic-find one near you. Consider walk ins at a dental school or clinic run by a medical school or rural outreach. Get on the wife's insurance. If you are having an emergency go to the emergency room. They HAVE to treat you. It's the law. They can work out payment plans. Collection generally happens if you can't or don't make payments. Is it scary without insurance?-damn right! I'd settle for at least catastrophic coverage over none at all. If I had a decent post retirement job offer with Insurance........I'd probably take it until 65 and medicare. Good luck.

Link to comment
Patallaire

This was just published in one of my professional journals! It is food for thought, knowledge is power,

 

After expenses covered by Medicare are taken into account, many of your clients retiring this year are likely to incur about $240,000 per couple in out-of-pocket health care expenses during retirement. In 15 years, this amount will consume about 61 percent of their Social Security benefits. And some will live longer, incurring expenses above and beyond this quarter-million-dollar average. These figures cannot be ignored when you are working through estimated retirement cash flows. The reality for most of your clients is that relying on Medicare will not be enough. Medicare will not cover a huge chunk of the health expenses that today’s retirees will encounter during retirement.
Link to comment

Very good arguments....even if we "strayed a little". And many good "sub topic's" worth their own thread.

 

I also know "some folks here" had to "really" fight the urge to refrain from becoming "political"..... :thumbsup: you done good!!

 

Currently,I've been asking this same "question" to recently retired or close to retirement "folks".

 

I am so "surprised" at how many people have chosen to gamble 5-7-9 years with "no coverage" what so ever, and wait it out till they reach Medicare age 65/66.

 

Some claim they're general health needs like glasses/dental/doc visit for a sore throat etc., they'll payout on an "as needed basis" whether it's a "Doc-in-the-box" or cheap eye glass store at the Mall etc....

 

And then some who are lucky were former military or have working spouses and use these alternatives. (not fair to make the wife work if your out playing all day) I know depends on who you ask...hehehe.. :P

 

 

Link to comment
If you retire before 65 I assume you have done well in life's lottery so get a plan with a very high deductible and deal with it.

 

;)

 

:thumbsup: That's what we do.

 

Link to comment
And then some who are lucky were former military or have working spouses and use these alternatives. (not fair to make the wife work if your out playing all day) I know depends on who you ask...hehehe.. :P

 

 

 

Good point; if you're a vet, you may qualify for some medical benefits at VA hospitals even if not retired or service related problems. Drugs are a lot cheaper I understand. Worth checking into.

 

-----

 

 

Link to comment
And then some who are lucky were former military or have working spouses and use these alternatives. (not fair to make the wife work if your out playing all day) I know depends on who you ask...hehehe.. :P

 

 

 

Good point; if you're a vet, you may qualify for some medical benefits at VA hospitals even if not retired or service related problems. Drugs are a lot cheaper I understand. Worth checking into.

 

-----

 

 

They are. I pay about half of what the discount on-line drug importers charge. Renew on line with the VA, and it shows up within a week for 90 days' worth. The bill shows up the following month. Easy-peasy.

Link to comment
Husker Red

Yes, if you are a veteran it's definitely a good thing. I doubt many 18 year-olds are enlisting for the health care but those benefits are HUGE. 18 year-olds are thinking about college benefits but the medical is worth much more in the long run. As others have mentioned, you don't have to be disabled or injured in the war to claim healthcare benefits. There are some income requirements, but if I understand correctly any veteran can get services but may have to pay co-payments and facility fees, depending on their income. No matter, it's still way cheaper than outside insurance.

 

I work for the VA and we have seen an explosion of veterans in the age bracket and situation that you describe - guys 55-65 looking for health care coverage. I started 12 years ago and my department saw about 3200 patients that year. Last year we saw over 18,000. Outsiders often assume we are seeing so many more patients because of recent wars, but we honestly don't see many of those soldiers. Most of them are still young and healthy and not thinking about health care yet. They will someday. But now it's the the 55-65 group coming in droves, and they aren't leaving when they can get Medicare. The care at the VA is good (despite some understandable complaints) and once they start receiving care here most don't leave.

 

That explosion in demand has caused the the VA to be somewhat overwhelmed. Wait times for non-urgent appointments can be long. As you can imagine the government is reactive, not proactive so we don't get the extra employees to serve the veterans until we are already behind. That said I still think we provide an excellent option for healthcare.

Link to comment
My apologies Al you're right. I thought about framing the original OP at the top of my rant but didn't because I was on a roll and unfortunately technically challenged.

Sorry, I too contributed to the mini-hijack, although I was responding to a specific inquiry. We've beath the private vs. UHC subject to death (no pun intended) perviously in other threads anyway.

 

Back to the OP question, and I know someone will probably label this as USA bashing again, but I think it’s a serious alternative – think about / start planning for retiring outside of the USA. And I’m not talking just about Canada; it’s hard for retirees to immigrate to Canada anyway. All Central and South American countries have Universal Health Care. And in many of them the cost of living is still quite reasonable. In many you don’t even have to change your citizenship to qualify, just meet the residency requirements.

 

Keep your place in the USA if you want, establish your primary residence, live comfortably if not lushly, and get your primary health care in your ‘adopted’ retirement country of choice. The best of both worlds.

 

Link to comment
My apologies Al you're right. I thought about framing the original OP at the top of my rant but didn't because I was on a roll and unfortunately technically challenged.

Sorry, I too contributed to the mini-hijack, although I was responding to a specific inquiry. We've beath the private vs. UHC subject to death (no pun intended) perviously in other threads anyway.

 

Back to the OP question, and I know someone will probably label this as USA bashing again, but I think its a serious alternative think about / start planning for retiring outside of the USA. And Im not talking just about Canada; its hard for retirees to immigrate to Canada anyway. All Central and South American countries have Universal Health Care. And in many of them the cost of living is still quite reasonable. In many you dont even have to change your citizenship to qualify, just meet the residency requirements.

 

Keep your place in the USA if you want, establish your primary residence, live comfortably if not lushly, and get your primary health care in your adopted retirement country of choice. The best of both worlds.

 

Not a bash in sight just an intelligent alternative. :)

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...