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Re: AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 11 of 38

I am quite aware of the costs of Medicare at present, and I sure hope AARP is getting out there to keep the benefits we have worked so hard for and paid so much over decades of work history to have!

 

It just seems that people in the 50 to 65 group who are self-employed should have some kind of reasonable option in this country for healthcare. I was lucky enough to be able to handle the exhorbitant costs of the past decade, and perhaps those who cannot can get better rates from Obamacare. But the company that I had signed up with first doubled their rates in one year, then decided to cancel the plan altogether, forcing me to go with Obamacare, which was even more expensive yet.

 

One of my prescriptions was about $90/quarter when I was working for a corporation, and when I became self-employed, suddenly the same drug costs me $425/quarter. Why don't they just consider us part of some kind of group of self-employed people so we can get a reasonable price on prescriptions?

 

Honestly, many poorer and smaller countries (like Vietnam, Thailand, and Rwanda) have managed to provide solid basic healthcare to their people without causing financial distress. The medical insurance industry and precription drug providers here are surely raking in the profits on the backs of sick people (and even those who are NOT sick, but still have to pay crazy rates, like me.)

 

Anyway, as you can see, this is a hot button for me. It feels terribly unfair, and I just wish AARP was able to do something to help people in our position.

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Re: AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 12 of 38

@ellenb640249 wrote:

BTW, once I'm on Medicare, it looks like I'll be able to get EVERYTHING covered with Medicare plus a supplemental plan for less than $400/mo. That's close to a $1000/mo difference for me!


You do have to remember that you have years and years of you and and your employer paying into Medicare Part A with payroll deductions and the employer match.

 

Are you also considering the Part B Medicare premiums that Medicare beneficiaries have to pay.  For most everybody for 2019, that is $ 135.50 per month.  Unless you are a higher income senior and then the price goes up based on your income of $ 85,000 per year and over.

 

Part B cost are shared with the government - currently 25% of the cost of the program is paid by beneficiaries in premiums and 75% is paid out of our governments General Fund.  With the huge number of baby boomers getting older and using more card, this premium can go nowhere but up.  Same will be true of any Medigap premium (Supplemental ins - Medicare GAP insurance) which increases with whatever rating method is used + medical inflation or cost of healthcare.

 

Then there are the Part D premiums too.

Add in a hundred or more in monthly cost for a Medigap plan.

 

And don't be late in signing up for Part B or Part D when eligible because then there are premium penalties assessed which go on forever.

 

Sure it will be cheaper hopefully but it is not in very good financial shape so who knows what may happen in the future.

 

 


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 13 of 38

@ellenb640249 wrote:

Easy to say that ACA will take care of everything. Not for me. I am in my early 60s, self-employed, and do not have any serious medical conditions (such as diabetes, cancer or cancer history, heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.) Yet I have to pay $912.07 just for my health insurance premium, plus a $5600 deductible, plus co-pays for any doctor visits. My few prescriptions are not covered at all until the deductible is met and a couple are not cheap. This is a rip-off, plain and simple, since anyone who works for a corporation or the government pays so much less. I did not want to go without insurance because at my age, something unexpected could happen. I'm just sorry that AARP cannot do anything to help people who are 50+ but less than 65. Can't wait for Medicare to kick in!


It sounds like you aren't getting a tax credit premium subsidy on your current health insurance.  That could be for a couple of reasons - either you are making over 400% of the Federal Poverty level and are income disqualified for receiving a tax credit premium subsidy under an ACA plan, which is a BIG problem with Obamacare, OR you are buying your coverage OFF the Exchange.

 

I just don't understand why you or anybody else thinks if AARP set up some sort of Association health insurance plan for those 50+ but less than 65 would make premiums less expensive considering that many in this category maybe disabled or just with the 3X age rating which Obamacare permits for this age

group.

 

It is having younger and healthier people in the mix to balance out the older and/or sicker that helps keep premiums constrained.

 

It is not like this subject age group of 50+ but under 65 would get Medicare Advantage rates.   

 

Association plans like any other private insurance needs a mix of healthier and younger to balance out the older and perhaps sicker individuals.

 

Open enrollment in Obamacare is now going on, why not check for another ACA plan on the Exchange to see if you can get a policy that better serves your health needs.  Healthcare.gov can give you your options or your state's own Exchange if they have one.


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 14 of 38

BTW, once I'm on Medicare, it looks like I'll be able to get EVERYTHING covered with Medicare plus a supplemental plan for less than $400/mo. That's close to a $1000/mo difference for me!

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Re: AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 15 of 38

Easy to say that ACA will take care of everything. Not for me. I am in my early 60s, self-employed, and do not have any serious medical conditions (such as diabetes, cancer or cancer history, heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.) Yet I have to pay $912.07 just for my health insurance premium, plus a $5600 deductible, plus co-pays for any doctor visits. My few prescriptions are not covered at all until the deductible is met and a couple are not cheap. This is a rip-off, plain and simple, since anyone who works for a corporation or the government pays so much less. I did not want to go without insurance because at my age, something unexpected could happen. I'm just sorry that AARP cannot do anything to help people who are 50+ but less than 65. Can't wait for Medicare to kick in!

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Re: AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 16 of 38

The only program that was available to those under 65 is ending as of December 31, 2018.  We suspect that it is a condition of an upcoming merger between two large health care players. We were hoping that AARP would have been able to negotiate another similar program, but it was available prior to the full roll out of the ACA, and now the ACA addresses many of the issues that made such a program attractive to pursue.

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Re: WHY NOT - AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 17 of 38

@GailL1 wrote:

@DonF503732 wrote:

I think Ellen (@ellenb640249) is correct. Why wouldn't AARP members have offers of insurance, similar to those receiving medicare benefits?

 

Ellen knows, as I assume it would be GAIL replying in a somewhat "wise-guy" tone, that AARP is not an insurance company. HELLO..... what do you think we're stupid?

 

I have been self-employed since 1989, paying my own health insurance for our family of six.  Do the math, the total premiums I paid in health insruance alone would provide for a pretty nice pension, huh?

 

I think the real disconnect here is that AARP member that are 60 years, with kids at home or in college, that are being quoted $2,500 to $3,000 for monthly health insurance premiums, a middle of the road Obamacare Plan is $2,600.

 

Most membership organizations are the same.  They do anything for a buck, to keep money coming in.  Why not receive allow AARP to get their $20 or $30 per month commission on a well put together health insurance plan for the members that are under 65 years old.  And please keep in mind that most of us don't need all the coverages afforded in the ACA.  The members are in need of a "lower cost alternative."  That was the whole point of Ellen's question.


I (and my husband), like you, Don, was self-employed for the vast majority of my working careeer - since 1979.  We stayed insured via small group, association plans or individual coverage and we were NEVER Un-insured or Under-insured.  Husband died in 2006 and when I retired, I was paying a hefty premium for coverage.  Thank goodness, that all ended before Obamacare went into effect after being grandfathered for 12 months..

 

I know you aren't stupid, Don, but I fail to see how this would save too many people in premium cost.  Maybe you can explain it to me but do consider these facts -

1.  People who are the younger members here can get a big premium subsidy for their heathcare coverage if theybuy a policy on the exchange and their income is less than 400% of the Federal Poverty level - State or Federal.  So they probably won't be interested in association coverage.

2.  People in this age group tend to be less healthy than younger people so there will be few younger folks interested in this coverage to help balance out the health risk of the older crowd..  The younger folks could be the disabled - who need coverage for that 24 month SSDI period before they can go on Medicare.  So it sounds like to me, the association group might be on the UN-healthier side - driving up private insurance premiums.

3.  The main culprit in premium increases since Obamacare took affect is that insurers have to accept everybody regardless of health condition - before, remember, insurers could deny peoply coverage based on some pre-existing condition or at the very least deny coverage for the condition for a specific amount of time.

 

It sounds like our President is considering sanctioning these type of association plans - now whether or not there will be some way which he can change the (by law) essential health benefits coverage - and offer many of them to only those who need them, like by riders, or allow insurers to deny coverage for some pre-existing condition, I don't know.

Perhaps AARP/UHC will consider offering them but I don't think it will be a panacea for high premium because here we are dealing with those higher in age with a lot of chronic health conditions and perhaps some very, very costly conditions to treat.

 

If we want to get premium cost down (for everybody) it will have to be at the source - we use a lot of healthcare, we use a lot of unnecessary health care, we use a lot of health care that has to be reapeated again because it failed the 1st time because of conditions going into the procedures, we have many type diagnositic test and other medical infrastructure at our beckoning in some areas and then deserts areas in others.  We use a lot of medications for a lot of chronic conditions - we do not approve medications based on efficacy - INCLUDING COST.

 

Until we start controlling these cost - health care coverage cost, including Medicare, will continue to rise faster than our pocketbooks. 

 

We can continue to play these games with health care coverage when the main culprit for high and higher premiums is the system itself and how we use it for what and when.

 

You do know how Medicare and its various parts work - don't you.  Meaning it is vastly subsidized by the government out of the General Fund.  The only part of it that is premium and subsidy free is Part A (HI insurance) - that's where those working year's tax withholding go and it is going broke very fast.

2018 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report Summary

 

Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing.. . . . .

. . . . Social Security and Medicare together accounted for 42 percent of Federal program expenditures in fiscal year 2017. . . . Social Security and Medicare together accounted for 42 percent of Federal program expenditures in fiscal year 2017. . . .

. . . .

The Medicare program has two separate trust funds, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund and the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund. HI, otherwise known as Medicare Part A, helps pay for hospital, home health services following hospital stays, skilled nursing facility, and hospice care for the aged and disabled. SMI consists of separate accounts for Medicare Part B and Part D. Part B helps pay for physician, outpatient hospital, home health, and other services for the aged and disabled who have voluntarily enrolled. Part D provides subsidized access to drug insurance coverage on a voluntary basis for all beneficiaries, as well as premium and cost-sharing subsidies for low-income enrollees.

 

The Trustees project that the HI Trust Fund will be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than projected in last year’s report. At that time dedicated revenues will be sufficient to pay 91 percent of HI costs.  The Trustees project that the share of HI cost that can be financed with HI dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 78 percent in 2039, and will then rise gradually to 85 percent in 2092. The HI fund again fails the test of short-range financial adequacy, as its trust fund ratio is already below 100 percent of annual costs, and is expected to decline continuously until reserve depletion in 2026. 

 

read MORE at the link provided

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Re: WHY NOT - AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 18 of 38

@DonF503732 wrote:

I think Ellen (@ellenb640249) is correct. Why wouldn't AARP members have offers of insurance, similar to those receiving medicare benefits?

 

Ellen knows, as I assume it would be GAIL replying in a somewhat "wise-guy" tone, that AARP is not an insurance company. HELLO..... what do you think we're stupid?

 

I have been self-employed since 1989, paying my own health insurance for our family of six.  Do the math, the total premiums I paid in health insruance alone would provide for a pretty nice pension, huh?

 

I think the real disconnect here is that AARP member that are 60 years, with kids at home or in college, that are being quoted $2,500 to $3,000 for monthly health insurance premiums, a middle of the road Obamacare Plan is $2,600.

 

Most membership organizations are the same.  They do anything for a buck, to keep money coming in.  Why not receive allow AARP to get their $20 or $30 per month commission on a well put together health insurance plan for the members that are under 65 years old.  And please keep in mind that most of us don't need all the coverages afforded in the ACA.  The members are in need of a "lower cost alternative."  That was the whole point of Ellen's question.


I (and my husband), like you, Don, was self-employed for the vast majority of my working careeer - since 1979.  We stayed insured via small group, association plans or individual coverage and we were NEVER Un-insured or Under-insured.  Husband died in 2006 and when I retired, I was paying a hefty premium for coverage.  Thank goodness, that all ended before Obamacare went into effect after being grandfathered for 12 months..

 

I know you aren't stupid, Don, but I fail to see how this would save too many people in premium cost.  Maybe you can explain it to me but do consider these facts -

1.  People who are the younger members here can get a big premium subsidy for their heathcare coverage if theybuy a policy on the exchange and their income is less than 400% of the Federal Poverty level - State or Federal.  So they probably won't be interested in association coverage.

2.  People in this age group tend to be less healthy than younger people so there will be few younger folks interested in this coverage to help balance out the health risk of the older crowd..  The younger folks could be the disabled - who need coverage for that 24 month SSDI period before they can go on Medicare.  So it sounds like to me, the association group might be on the UN-healthier side - driving up private insurance premiums.

3.  The main culprit in premium increases since Obamacare took affect is that insurers have to accept everybody regardless of health condition - before, remember, insurers could deny peoply coverage based on some pre-existing condition or at the very least deny coverage for the condition for a specific amount of time.

 

It sounds like our President is considering sanctioning these type of association plans - now whether or not there will be some way which he can change the (by law) essential health benefits coverage - and offer many of them to only those who need them, like by riders, or allow insurers to deny coverage for some pre-existing condition, I don't know.

Perhaps AARP/UHC will consider offering them but I don't think it will be a panacea for high premium because here we are dealing with those higher in age with a lot of chronic health conditions and perhaps some very, very costly conditions to treat.

 

If we want to get premium cost down (for everybody) it will have to be at the source - we use a lot of healthcare, we use a lot of unnecessary health care, we use a lot of health care that has to be reapeated again because it failed the 1st time because of conditions going into the procedures, we have many type diagnositic test and other medical infrastructure at our beckoning in some areas and then deserts areas in others.  We use a lot of medications for a lot of chronic conditions - we do not approve medications based on efficacy - INCLUDING COST.

 

Until we start controlling these cost - health care coverage cost, including Medicare, will continue to rise faster than our pocketbooks. 

 

We can continue to play these games with health care coverage when the main culprit for high and higher premiums is the system itself and how we use it for what and when.

 

You do know how Medicare and its various parts work - don't you.  Meaning it is vastly subsidized by the government out of the General Fund.  The only part of it that is premium and subsidy free is Part A (HI insurance) - that's where those working year's tax withholding go and it is going broke very fast.

2018 Social Security and Medicare Trustee Report Summary

 

Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing.. . . . .

. . . . Social Security and Medicare together accounted for 42 percent of Federal program expenditures in fiscal year 2017. . . . Social Security and Medicare together accounted for 42 percent of Federal program expenditures in fiscal year 2017. . . .

. . . .

The Medicare program has two separate trust funds, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund and the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund. HI, otherwise known as Medicare Part A, helps pay for hospital, home health services following hospital stays, skilled nursing facility, and hospice care for the aged and disabled. SMI consists of separate accounts for Medicare Part B and Part D. Part B helps pay for physician, outpatient hospital, home health, and other services for the aged and disabled who have voluntarily enrolled. Part D provides subsidized access to drug insurance coverage on a voluntary basis for all beneficiaries, as well as premium and cost-sharing subsidies for low-income enrollees.

 

The Trustees project that the HI Trust Fund will be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than projected in last year’s report. At that time dedicated revenues will be sufficient to pay 91 percent of HI costs.  The Trustees project that the share of HI cost that can be financed with HI dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 78 percent in 2039, and will then rise gradually to 85 percent in 2092. The HI fund again fails the test of short-range financial adequacy, as its trust fund ratio is already below 100 percent of annual costs, and is expected to decline continuously until reserve depletion in 2026. 

 

read MORE at the link provided

 

 

 

 

 


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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WHY NOT - AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 19 of 38

I think Ellen (@ellenb640249) is correct. Why wouldn't AARP members have offers of insurance, similar to those receiving medicare benefits?

 

Ellen knows, as I assume it would be GAIL replying in a somewhat "wise-guy" tone, that AARP is not an insurance company. HELLO..... what do you think we're stupid?

 

I have been self-employed since 1989, paying my own health insurance for our family of six.  Do the math, the total premiums I paid in health insruance alone would provide for a pretty nice pension, huh?

 

I think the real disconnect here is that AARP member that are 60 years, with kids at home or in college, that are being quoted $2,500 to $3,000 for monthly health insurance premiums, a middle of the road Obamacare Plan is $2,600.

 

Most membership organizations are the same.  They do anything for a buck, to keep money coming in.  Why not receive allow AARP to get their $20 or $30 per month commission on a well put together health insurance plan for the members that are under 65 years old.  And please keep in mind that most of us don't need all the coverages afforded in the ACA.  The members are in need of a "lower cost alternative."  That was the whole point of Ellen's question.

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Re: AARP and health insurance for members under age 65????

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Message 20 of 38

@ellenb640249 wrote:

Valid points, but this does not address the fact that even normal, healthy individuals aged 50-64 have to pay extreme premiums and deductibles because we don't have the benefit of a group. AARP could provide such a group for us to join. Even if it helped lower our premiums and deductibles by a fraction, that would help.

 

Please do something about this. AARP is supposed to be our organization too. It's not just for people over 65. We're hurting out here!

 

Thank you,

 

Ellen


Now let's think about how this might work -

1.  AARP is NOT an Insurer - even for Medicare Advantage pland and Medigap (Medicare Supplemental) plans which are currently offered under their name umbrella, they are NOT the actual insurer - they are affilliated with United Healthcare for this coverage.  They do make money from this arrangement as they do with other affilliations.

A national insurer like UHC would still be setting up the networks and formularies, deductibles, opays, etc.

 

2.  Group coverage is not a panacea for lower rates because it still depends on the age makeup of the group - Under the ACA rules, there is still a 3X age up-rating allowed.

The only reason why Group coverage like the Employer type is beneficial is because the employers shares in the cost of the policies and may I add BOTH the employer and the employee save on taxes too. 

Plus they also have a wider age group of employees to help balance out the risk especially from chronic conditions which seems to be concentrated in greater numbers in the age group of 55 - 64.

 

I posted this yesterday on this very forum - notice the red highlighted area..

The Price Tag To Help Make Health Insurance Affordable For Americans? Nearly $700 Billion A Year
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Message 1 of 1

 

Bloomberg 05.23.2018 - It Costs $685 Billion a Year to Subsidize U.S. Health Insurance

 

It will cost the U.S. government almost $700 billion in subsidies this year help provide Americans under age 65 with health insurance through their jobs or in government-sponsored health programs, according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

 

The subsidies come from four main categories.

  • About $296 billion is federal spending on programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which help insure low-income people.
  • Almost as big are the tax write-offs that employers take for providing coverage to their workers - $ 279 billion
  • Medicare-eligible people, such as the disabled, account for $82 billion.
  • Subsidies for Obamacare and for other individual coverage are at $55 billion.
 

In total, the subsidies are equivalent to about 3.4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

 

We already have income based subsidized coverage in the individual marketplece - Obamacare - to compare with this employer group coverage - that is what the subsidies in Obamacare were based upon.

 

Employer Group coverage is also climbing in cost - both premiums and deductibles/copays.

 

I could go on and on.  But tell me, anybody, exactly how/why do you think an AARP sponsored health Group for those age 55 - 64 would save money for those who would enroll??????

 

We have a problem with the cost of healthcare -

We have a problem with the amount and cost of healthcare which we use - (as compared to other countries)

We have a problem with the cost of medicine - especially of the newer type.

Fixing these things and more in order to reduce our health care cost would help everybody but there maybe winners and losers compared to what we have now - based on how other countries do it.

 

 

 

 


* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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