Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Finding Health Insurance In All The Right Places

Whether you are trying to figure out a plan to eventually retire (regardless of your age), just lost your job or if you are independently employed, everyone in the Unites States is baffled on what to do about medical insurance (except, firemen, teachers and other public sector employee's).  So what about the rest of us?

Many tell me they could retire now, but by the time they add the company's retirement medical insurance plan costs they simply can't retire.  For those of you in that last Group, you may want to read a previous Fidelity Article outlying great places to retire outside the USA that may just solve that problem for you.  Many of my Baby Boomer Friends have that as part of their plan, moving outside the USA.  Sad as that may be, retiring outside the United States may be an option if you are selective and get the medical coverage you need at a reasonable price.  As one Baby Boomer told me, "To hell with it, I am not working until I am 80!  I'd rather quit working and enjoy myself now, if that means moving outside the USA..I am there!"  Many are doing just that, where each dollar simply goes farther and decent medical at an affordable price.

For the rest of the working world, we all know medical insurance is important but what is one to do if they don't have it or were just laid off?  Hopefully these links will help you and I credit the LA Times Author, Scott J. Wilson for the following information links published from his article on Sunday, March 18 2012 with some of my own verbiage added to his:

  1. U.S Uninsured Help Line: This service is from the Nonprofit Foundation for Health Coverage Educations.  Call 800-234-1317 or coverageforall.org.
  2. COBRA: most of you who have been laid off know that you can carry your companies health insurance at your own expense for 18 months.  In the state of CA you are entitled to an additional 18 months.  This is quite pricey, but you should buy it...you do not want a gap of insurance to happen, keep it seamless to make it not an issue to buy another policy or have full coverage issues with a preexisting condition (see no. 5 below) The cost will vary given your former companies program, but many of you have indicated that a family of 4 typically can cost from $2,200 to $2,800 per month for Cobra.
  3. Healthcare.gov: This is a Federal Government website where you can review a selection of individual insurance plans.  EHealthInsurance is a similar COMMERCIAL site.
  4. Independent Agents: Your Auto or Homeowner's insurance broker may offer health insurance.  You can also find a licensed agent through the National Assn. of Health Underwriters website.
  5. Preexisting Conditions: The 2010 healthcare reform law made preexisting condition insurance plans available nationally for people who can't get private coverage.  To qualify for this Federal Government Plan, you must have been without health coverage for at least 6 months.  Go to www.pcip.gov

I realize none of these options are as great as a big company paying for your medical insurance, but it is better than nothing!  If the extra expense of buying a plan (and let's face it, an extra 2K to 3K a month is lot) you may want to have your spouse or significant other (yes, most plans do allow significant others on their medical policy) who may not be working (like a stay at home wife) swallow the bullet and pick up a part time non-glorious job that offers solid medical and even dental in some cases (yes part timers get full benefits).  These plans often take 6 months to kick in after employment; Costco and Starbucks to name a few.  Some of you have shared that their wives, who have not worked in a number of years, were able to find full time employ at 9 to 5 office jobs (ironically some at insurance companies) that were low end pay, but the money helped and they had full medical/dental benefits for the entire family.  

Some more ideas for a low cost program could be Kaiser Permanente's Insurance Program (if you live near a clinic or hospital).  Granted, Kaiser is not up town, BUT it certainly can take care of your major health needs.  For those of you who are older, I understand AARP also has some nice supplemental insurance plans in addition to your Medicare.

I hope this article can shorten up your search for coverage that will be the best for you and your family.  If anyone else has links or additional information for us, please do make comments on this Blog! 

 

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