Retirement Answer Man

This is the fourth and final episode of the Healthcare Before Medicare series. On this episode, we discuss two more options to consider when thinking about healthcare before Medicare: taking on a part-time job for the insurance benefits and COBRA. We also answer some listener questions and comments in the practical planning segment of the show. Learn more about which companies are the best for part-timers to receive healthcare benefits as well as whether COBRA may be a good option for your healthcare coverage needs listen in to gain more knowledge about how to maneuver our complex medical insurance system.

Have you thought about pretirement?

Will you take a pretirement phase of retirement? Would you enjoy finding low-key meaningful work to ease yourself into full-blown retirement? I often refer to this option as pretirement. A part-time job can be a fun way to work your way into retirement and it could also provide you with insurance benefits. You could find something fun that you enjoy doing as a part-timer. One example of this is if you enjoy handy work you might enjoy a part-time position at Home Depot. You’ll definitely want to factor in your physical limitations and you certainly don’t want to go back to the grind of full-time employment. Listen to this episode to find out which companies offer benefits to part-time employees.

Would COBRA work for you?

You can maintain COBRA coverage for up to 18 months after leaving your work so if you are close to Medicare age you may want to consider COBRA. COBRA is also a good option if you don’t qualify for ACA subsidies. The good news is that you have 60 days to notify the insurance company that you would like to elect COBRA coverage. COBRA is probably the closest you will come to your current healthcare coverage, so if you have many healthcare needs you may want to consider this option. There are a lot of great benefits when choosing COBRA, listen to this episode to hear them all.

How do you decide what the right choice is for you?

Are you curious to find out which healthcare option I will choose? This entire series has come at a great time for me since my wife recently left her job and we are seeking alternative healthcare options. The ACA is a nonstarter for my family due to the exorbitant costs for us without a subsidy. We have narrowed our choices down to Medishare and COBRA. Planning for every eventuality is challenging, especially since no one wants to think about a catastrophic medical event happening to them, but that is the point of having medical insurance. Listen to this episode as I walk through my thought process in making this decision for myself and my family. Who knows, maybe my process may help you with a difficult decision of your own.

Who do you turn to help you figure out health insurance?

As usual, my listeners have some fantastic questions and comments. One listener asks, who can help you figure insurance out? An insurance broker, a financial planner, a tax consultant? That’s a tricky question! Listen to the answer to this question and a few others during the practical planning segment. There are so many different factors to consider when choosing the right healthcare option for you before Medicare kicks in, be sure to listen to the whole 4-part series to help you make your healthcare before Medicare decision.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

  • [1:22] April’s theme will be all about bonds

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [3:55] Will you take a pretirement phase of retirement?
  • [5:12} What kind of work might you enjoy?
  • [9:12] Would COBRA work for you?
  • [12:24] What are my options?
  • [22:21] How do you decide?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [24:46] A listener comment from a health insurance broker
  • [28:55] Who is the best person to talk with about healthcare?
  • [31:48] A customer comments about their Medishare experience
  • [34:41] What are some other options and ethical questions?

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [38:30] Check out the think up affirmation app

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [40:14] Identify one area where you need to be healthier

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

careerpivot.com

Forbes Article on benefits for part-time workers

Think Up App

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Intro music by bensound.com

Direct download: RAM214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Over the past few weeks on the Healthcare Before Medicare series, we have been exploring the different ways to solve the question of how to pay for medical insurance before you reach Medicare age. On this week’s episode, we are getting creative. We are thinking outside the box of regular insurance and we are exploring medishare arrangements. Medishare is not typical insurance, so we will learn what the difference is between these programs and traditional medical insurance. I continue my discussion with Keith and Linda to hear more about their research into healthcare and I also have Michael Gardner from Christian Healthcare Ministries on to get the details on this medishare program. If you are thinking of retiring before retirement age or simply interested in insurance alternatives you will want to see if this is a good option for you. Listen to this episode as we explore all the options on how to get healthcare before Medicare.

What is medishare?

Medishare is an alternative to traditional health insurance. Medishare is a medical cost-sharing program, an arrangement between a group of people to share medical expenses. Although it is not traditional health insurance, there are some similarities between the two. There is a monthly fee similar to a health insurance premium and there is a yearly out of pocket portion that your family is expected to reach before asking the medishare community for help. Listen to this episode to hear about the medishare option when researching healthcare before Medicare.

Medishare is not insurance, it’s a community

The biggest difference between health insurance and a medishare ministry is that the money you pay each month goes to help another member of your community. When you pay your monthly share amount this money goes directly to another member who needs care. Healthcare sharing companies are nonprofit Christian based cost-sharing programs. Being part of this community is just one benefit of the medishare model. Listen to this episode to hear Michael Gardner discuss all of the benefits of joining the Christian Healthcare Ministries community.

What about the ACA?

If this isn’t insurance, how do people stay in compliance with the ACA? Medishare communities are insurance alternatives that have been around for about 30 years. Being as such, there is a provision in the ACA for these health sharing communities. Since these organizations are faith-based they can get around the religious loophole in the law that was put in place. These faith-based organizations require a statement of faith that must be signed as well as certain agreements to live a healthy lifestyle. Listen to this episode of Retirement Answer Man to hear all the details about medishare programs and how they can help in your search for healthcare before Medicare.

Why would you not want to participate in a medishare community?

During the Practical Planning segment, I continue my discussion with Keith and Linda. They were on the show last week to discuss their research into the ACA. This week Keith shares all that he has learned about medishare communities in his research into the subject of healthcare before Medicare. Keith discovered many great reasons to use a medishare community, but he also encountered some downfalls. I know you’ll want to hear why they decided not to go with this option, so listen to the show to discover the lowdown on medishare communities.

 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [2:32] Alternative to health insurance
  • [6:06] Michael Gardner shares the basics of what medishare is
  • [9:09] What are some distinctions between the Christian Care ministry and insurance
  • [15:52] How efficient is the system?
  • [22:28] Extra perks from medishare

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [26:15] What does Keith think about medishare?
  • [31:42] What was the application process like?
  • [35:43] Why did they not choose it?
  • [41:55] What are the benefits of each company?

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [52:50] My book Rock Retirement is officially out!

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [54:30] If your mom is around, call her!

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Healthcare Ministries

Medishare

Liberty Health Share

Samaritan Ministries

BOOK - Rock Retirement by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Intro music by bensound.com

Direct download: RAM213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

John Leland is a New York Times columnist and best-selling author of Happiness is a Choice You Make. He spent a life-changing year talking to six really old people. John thought that the year would be somewhat depressing, but it turned out to be quite different than he expected. He gained a lot of insight from his interactions with his subjects. Each person was quite different and they came from all walks of life. But even though they were such different people they shared the knowledge that they defined themselves by the choices they made. He learned so much in writing his book, mostly he learned how to live in the present moment and not worry about the future. His book is a fascinating insight into the wisdom of people that have so much life experience. You’ll want to hear this interview with John as he discusses some of the more memorable subjects in his book. Listen to this great interview to hear wonderful tips on happiness from those who know how to enjoy life.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

  • [1:22] On this special bonus episode I chat with John Leland
  • [3:25] What was it like hanging out with really old people?
  • [5:44] John discusses one of his subjects, John
  • [10:42] Lessons from Ping, who worked hard her whole life
  • [13:48] Lessons from Fred who really chose happiness
  • [16:48] Jonas was a fascinating case filled with wisdom
  • [19:10] Some commonalities between the subjects in the book
  • [21:12] John used this experience to make a choice to be happy

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

BOOK - Happiness is a Choice You Make by John Leland

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Intro music by bensound.com

Direct download: RAMBonus001.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

This is the second episode in our Healthcare Before Medicare series and one you will not want to miss! This episode covers ACA and COBRA and we have a lot of ground to cover. The whole point of this series is to help you guys (and myself) figure out how to afford medical insurance before Medicare kicks in. If you have ever considered early retirement this is an important series for you to listen to since the healthcare system in the United States can be extremely confusing. So grab your headphones and a pen and paper to take notes because you’ll want to take in all the information you can in this important episode on the ACA and COBRA.

The ACA is a mess! But is it a mess that you need to consider?

The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is a mess. I mean a political mess, no one knows what the next year, or 2, or 5 will bring for this attempt at healthcare reform. Even with the political turmoil that surrounds it, the website is actually quite good and the support staff is very well trained. The ACA is set up differently in each state. All the plans have gold, silver, and bronze categories. Obamacare covers young adult kids up to age 26 and chronically ill people or those with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied. The cost of premiums depends on a person’s modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. Listen to this episode to hear how your MAGI drastically affects your premiums when dealing with the ACA.

How does the ACA work?

The ACA was created to help people that couldn’t afford health insurance be able to afford it. This is why 85% of ACA users have some sort of subsidy or advanced premium tax credit. The amount a person pays for coverage depends on how much they make. Take for example a random couple aged 55 that lives in Texas and makes $100k annually would pay $1660 per month, reduce that income to $75k and they would pay $1440 per month, but if you reduce that income to $50k then the couple would pay only $350 per month! The trick here for retirees is all about where your money is coming from. Listen to this episode to hear the details about how where you should be taking money from to fully benefit from the ACA tax credits.

Have you considered balancing self-insuring some things to help keep costs down?

My guests Keith and Linda have been down this road recently. They are aged 53 and 58 and recently retired. Keith started researching the ACA two years ago and has learned a lot. As an engineer, it was only natural that he tried to break down this decision into a spreadsheet, but he soon realized that part of this health care decision is emotional and doesn’t simply come down to numbers. He and his wife had to decide how important it was to them to keep all of their beloved doctors. Keith also considered the costs in self-insuring some procedures since convenience and familiarity come at a high cost with the ACA. Listen to this episode to hear Keith’s insight after two years of painstaking research into the ACA and COBRA.

What do you need to consider when checking into the ACA?

After all his research Keith feels that spending lots of time on the ACA website really helped him find clarity in the muddy pool of the U.S. healthcare system. What Keith realized is that there is no one size fits all solution to the healthcare system. The biggest factors in premium costs are your income, whether you’re rural or urban, and which state you live in. If you want to get the best deal that works for your family it will take a lot of diligent research. Listen to this episode to get started in your research into the ACA and COBRA and hear about all the things you need to consider.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

  • [1:22] I want to make sure that you can afford healthcare before you get to Medicare age

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [3:22] The ACA is a mess!
  • [5:12] Here’s what I can explain to you about how ACA works
  • [12:53] Here’s an example of a hypothetical couple that wants to sign up for ACA
  • [15:43] Here’s what it would cost me to be insured through ACA

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [18:20] Keith and Linda have been down this road
  • [22:12] How important was keeping their Dr. or self-insuring
  • [24:03] Have you ever tried to get a quote for a procedure?
  • [28:13] Keith’s perspective on the ACA
  • [36:10] What do you need to consider with the ACA

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [40:23] Nicole’s cell phone fast has really made her happy

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [41:58] What is one step you can take to better your health

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Intro music by bensound.com

Direct download: RAM212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

This is it, the long-awaited beginning of the Healthcare Before Medicare series!! I’ve been meaning to cover this topic on the show for awhile and the timing couldn’t be better because I’m now deep in the search for my own insurance. So as I dive in to research this topic for all of you I will be looking to cover my wife and I as well. I think together we can get this insurance quandary all figured out. I am no insurance expert so you’ll have to take everything I tell you with a grain of salt. If you are one of the 67% of Americans that retire before the age of 66, or even if you are part of the 100% of Americans that are confused about the insurance system then you will want to listen to this episode and the whole series to come about insurance before Medicare.

What are all the health insurance options?

Searching for insurance can be so confusing! So, what are the options that are out there for those of us looking for medical insurance before we reach Medicare age? Basically, there are 4 options for people that haven’t reached Medicare age and need to find insurance solutions. We will be delving into some of these options in greater detail over the next few weeks. The ACA or ‘Obamacare’ is the first option. There are also alternative Medishare programs out there as well. Another option is to work part-time for a large company primarily for the health insurance. The fourth option isn’t much of one, but some people choose it, and it’s simply being uninsured. Listen to this episode and the rest of the episodes in this series to hear greater details about all of the healthcare options that you have available to you before you reach retirement age.

Are you one of the 67% of Americans that will need alternative insurance solutions?

Health insurance is a big issue for so many people. 67% of the American population retires before the Medicare retirement age of 66, so that means that 67% of Americans will need alternative insurance solutions at one time or another. The ACA can be a quagmire for just about anyone, but thankfully the website is much improved from the early days. There is actually some great information on there that can be very helpful. When choosing to go the ACA route there are many considerations. Listen to this episode to hear about what you need to think about when considering the ACA.

What are some of the challenges facing the ACA?

The ACA is a challenge to plan for since no one knows what the future of the health exchanges will look like. This brings up so many questions when one tries to plan for the future. There are plenty of ways to improve the program, but unfortunately, no one knows what the politicians and insurance companies will choose to do with the program.The different health insurance companies involved in ACA either drop off or raise their rates sky high each year. There is no clarity as to the future of the program, and no one is quite sure as to what will happen in the next year or two. The average cost of an ACA premium is a staggering $1000 or more a month. Listen to this episode as we discuss the ups and downs of the health insurance beast.

What types of insurance are there for the nomads?

Our listener questions are all about health insurance. The first one is about what type of health insurance is available to retirees without a permanent address. More and more retirees are hitting the road and choosing to enjoy the nomadic life for a while after retiring. Is there any sort of insurance available to those who wander? Another listener wonders if there will be a multi-state health exchange in the future. If you have any questions of your own or perhaps some helpful experience to share make sure to leave a comment on our website so that we can address it during this month as we explore healthcare before Medicare.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

  • [1:22] Time stamped outline according to the “segments” of Roger’s show

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [3:36] My own search begins for health care before Medicare
  • [5:02] What are all the options that we have before Medicare?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [11:12] What sources or funds are not included in the calculation for ACA
  • [12:52] What health insurance is available to retirees without a permanent address
  • [17:45] Will there be a multistate exchange in the future?

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [19:27] Try and figure out whether you should fix it or feel it

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [21:04] Send us an email with your comments and questions about health care before Medicare

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Healthcare.gov

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney (Pre-Order this book now!)

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Intro music by bensound.com

Direct download: RAM211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

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