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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 11 of 20

When ACA premiums went up in 2017 to $800 per person for the least expensive bronze plan with a per person deductible of $6700, my husband and I dropped health insurance for a couple of months.  We are both healthy but it was still a risk.  We finally got short term insurance that cost $500 for both and had the same deductible.  The problem with the short term is that they may not cover pre-existing and may have a cap on payouts.

 

This year my husband found out he qualifies for VA benefits.  I still have to get insurance through ACA but premiums have gone up to $900 per person.  I'm not employed so it's coming out of our retirement.  I never thought I'd say this but "C'mon, Medicare!"

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 12 of 20

@kt1909 wrote:

I wish I did (have any suggestions). It seems the only feedback/suggestions are to have saved enough money when you had a well-paying job (women always have those, right?) so that until you qualify for Medicare you can afford those $600 a month premiums on your unemployment pay.

RIGHT.

I couldn't manage it making half what I did before my layoff, and unemployment doesn't even pay you half what you got when you were working. I don't know where these people live but I am obviously living in an alternate universe somewhere.


Before I officially retired, I was self-employed since 1979, so I never had an employer - what was gonna be for health insurance (individual marketplace), retirement, income, saving for a rainy day - code for when business might be down, or something else, etc - was up to me, myself and I.

Perhaps that made a difference in how I planned, budgeted, spent and saved - and yep, I am a woman.

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 13 of 20

I wish I did (have any suggestions). It seems the only feedback/suggestions are to have saved enough money when you had a well-paying job (women always have those, right?) so that until you qualify for Medicare you can afford those $600 a month premiums on your unemployment pay.

RIGHT.

I couldn't manage it making half what I did before my layoff, and unemployment doesn't even pay you half what you got when you were working. I don't know where these people live but I am obviously living in an alternate universe somewhere.

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 14 of 20

@kt1909

 

Financial emergency situation of one sort or another are just about a fact of life - as Gilda Ratner use to say as one of her characters - It is Always Something . . . . . 

So like little squirrels we put away when times are really good to prepare for those times which aren't.

 

I am happy you have Medicare now and have left the ranks of the uninsured.  You and your employer paid for Part A during your working years - Part B and Part D are paid for by premiums from the beneficiaries - these represent about 25% of each of these programs cost,  with the rest coming from the General Fund.

 

 

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 15 of 20

I was faced with a similar situation. If you are over 40 these days and need a job, you have to hope and pray that somebody will "take a chance" and hire you. I wish age was a protected class because discrimination is so blatant can go unchallenged. In the end, everybody loses. There are plenty of more experienced, older workers who don't have outrageous salary demands and who are a lot more reliable than younger employees. 

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 16 of 20

I'm "sure" it was a problem with my budget. I had had a well-paid job and got laid off when the company downsized. My expenses (like having a place to live) was based on my prior income. I'm sure I could have lost my housing so that I could afford health insurance, why not? But I made the choice to maintain my housing and not become one of the well-insured homeless I see living on the street corners. If I had expected to be laid off four years earlier I could have planned for it when I chose where to live, but unfortunately my crystal ball was down when I was making those decisions. I forgot that you always need to plan for the worst possible outcome and never forget that anything good will last. Seems like only the bad things stick around. 

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 17 of 20

@kt1909 wrote:

I was unable to have insurance for four years until I qualified for Medicare. Even with the ACA it was more than I could possibly afford if I still wanted to have a roof over my head and some food to eat. I knew I was taking a big risk but I couldn't afford anything else. I did have to pay that awful penalty tax but it was still cheaper than paying for even just a few months of insurance coverage. I was working but at very low wages, but high enough to make it that I hardly got a break at all from the ACA. It was a scary, scary time.


Sometimes, it is not the final cost of the Subsidized health insurance premium but something else is wrong in the budget.

 

The ACA insurance premium subsidy is based on the household income and should be a subsidy amount which reduces your premium cost down to about 10% of your household income based on a bench marked Silver Plan where one is located.

 

Then there is planning to cover ones own cost of deductibles, coinsurance and copays.

 

Sure sometimes even a government subsidy is not enough for ones budget - and it create financial hardship but this goes for lots of stuff where there is a government subsidy applied to help those in the covered population.

 

Insurance also is not about just ones own coverage, be that private insurance or even Medicare - we all share in the cost of others.  

 

It was not just ones own risk of being uninsured at stake but that of the taxpayers too  if an emergency occurred, there is always the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA).

 

 

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 18 of 20

I was unable to have insurance for four years until I qualified for Medicare. Even with the ACA it was more than I could possibly afford if I still wanted to have a roof over my head and some food to eat. I knew I was taking a big risk but I couldn't afford anything else. I did have to pay that awful penalty tax but it was still cheaper than paying for even just a few months of insurance coverage. I was working but at very low wages, but high enough to make it that I hardly got a break at all from the ACA. It was a scary, scary time.

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Re: How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 19 of 20

What state do you live in? In Maryland, Medicaid covers people with up to $16,753 in annual income. Maybe your state has a Medicaid expansion program too.

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How is it possible to afford health insurance if I don't have a job?

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Message 20 of 20

I am 57 and I cannot afford health insurance. I have not been able to find a full time job and because of my age, I have sporadic temp work. I looked up health insurance in my area and the lowest was over $600 per month! There is absolutely no way! Last year with unemployment and a temp job I did, I made about $15,000. Out of that I had to pay almost $1000 in tax. How are we supposed to live if no one will hire us?! I have too much education for Walmart to hire me and too much experience for the young people that are hiring these days.

 

Luckily I am healthy, but what if something happens? Does anyone have any suggestions? 

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