Health Insurance in Our Early Retirement

Health Insurance in Our Early Retirement


hey it’s Tim and it’s amy from GoWithLess
welcome to our channel we’re happy that you’re here we are gonna
tackle a topic today that we get asked about more than anything else when Tim
and I retired back in 2015 we said goodbye to corporate health insurance
and we’ve had to figure it out on our own and we get so many questions that
ask what do you guys do for health insurance now that you’re early retired so
we are finally gonna tackle that today Amy handed this ball to me and so I’m
the reason that it’s taken us so long to put this together and I think part of
the challenge has just been it seems like every day something changes with
our health insurance so it’s this ever-evolving thing we have an answer
for today and so it continues to change next year our answer is going to be
different so it’s just taken us a while to come up with what did we want to
share with our audience and we will answer what did we do for our health
insurance but you’ll see that it’s kind of a messed up I don’t think it’s not
like a straight and narrow path is let’s just say that but we will answer that
question today and we hope that you will watch the video so as I mentioned Tim
and I retired back in 2015 our channel is about early retirement it’s about a
lot of travel including budget travel travel hacking house-sitting as a travel
hack stuff like that and we hope that you will subscribe over here because you
come out with a new video each Wednesday so with that let’s tackle what do we do
for health insurance man this should be easy this is not an
easy topic so one of the things that we could have done whenever we were looking
in insurance is not have any insurance I guess that really wasn’t an option for
us so I’m 51 I forget how old I am
Amy’s 50 and so certainly one trip to the hospital here in the US that could
be $100,000 $200,000 for a simple trip to the hospital so crazy you have to
have health insurance here in the States if you have any assets that you’re
looking to protect and so we have health insurance one of the things that we
realize sort of through this course of trying to figure out what we we’re gonna
do is even after we had insurance and we wanted to see doctors that are outside
of our specific network some of the doctors won’t even see you if you have
insurance but you’re not in their network they won’t visit with you my
doctor of 15 years wouldn’t accept me in the past year because my plan didn’t
include him yep so what we started out doing back in
2015-2016 2016 is we signed up for the Affordable Care Act the ACA are plans
that are a part of the ACA every state has an exchange some states don’t they
rely on the federal exchange here in Colorado we have an exchange and that’s
where we go to purchase our health insurance yeah and we get a subsidy
that’s based upon our income 2016 was the first year that we were without our
corporate insurance so that was our very first year on the ACA and Tim had some
consulting income so we had income that year that kind of was something to
consider in this situation I will say we have a lot of viewers who ask about the
potential of them retiring early I get that this is like a very scary thing and
back in 2015 the Affordable Care Act was pretty solid and it was very predictable
for us so we knew what our out-of-pocket would be we knew what our deductible
would be that has changed quite a bit we’re not gonna get into a political
conversation but we kind of had to roll with the changes and that’s what
we’re gonna be talking about of how we did that today that’s right so something
of note is that with the ACA it varies in pricing and the offerings from county
to County even within a given state so what we’re looking at is going to be
completely different if we were to move to Phoenix if we were to move to Texas
if we were to move to Washington the pricing would be completely different
the offerings would be completely different and it’s down to the county
it’s different so it’s hard to put something out there as this is what you
should do because the offerings vary across the country in 2016 we signed up
for a normal plan on the ACA the plan that we signed up for happened to allow
us to have access to an HSA which is a health savings account and you actually
have to pay a premium in order to have HSA capabilities on your plan the plan
has to be qualified for an HSA we wanted to put money in an HSA for various tax
reasons and also it’s just a good strategy for savings and so we signed up
for a plan that had that as an offering our monthly premiums were very
affordable somewhere in like it was based upon our income but maybe even a
three hundred four hundred dollar range this was a couple years ago and Tim had
back surgery in one of those years and he ate up his entire six thousand dollar
deductible I was probably somewhere around three or
four hundred dollars out of my deductible for co-pays and things like
that so super reasonable for me but when Tim did have a big back surgery it did
cover that and that was really nice he also had physical did you physical
therapy I did try a practice the nice thing back then and even today is we
knew sort of what the worst case was going to be for our premiums and if we
both had to blow through our deductibles what that would present so basically it
was $12,000 worth of deductible if we both happen to get really sick and we
had about three thousand dollars a year or maybe four thousand dollars a year
worth of premiums for the for the plan we were prepared to spend $12,000 a year
for our deductible and fortunately we didn’t and that’s probably why we’re
coming so far under budget because we budgeted for high deductible $12,000 a
year possibly so it’s nice to know at least what the worst case is going to be
and we had planned for that yes so as 2018 rolled around and we were looking
to sign up for our health insurance we realized something that we hadn’t known
previously and that was that the insurance we had been on for the two
prior years did not cover us when we were outside of the state of Colorado
and it wasn’t just that plan that didn’t cover us all of the ACA plans were not
going to cover us outside of Colorado so that was a really big thing to learn it
was huge and we were really lucky that we hadn’t
found out the hard way okay so here it is the beginning of 2018
we’re ready to sign up with our same insurance that’s been working for 2016
and 2017 that same insurance company offered a plan but all of the doctors
that we had been using were no longer part of that plan so that was kind of
not a great thing and there was an option to have a difference to go with
Blue Cross Blue Shield it was an additional thousand dollars a month to
have a plan that included our doctors $1,000 a month that we’d they’re only
like maybe three two doctors for me and one for him where it wasn’t so crazy so
we decided like I guess we’re just not gonna keep our same doctors anymore
which really stinks so we signed up for a new plan I’m not gonna mention them
cuz I don’t want to be sued because we were really unhappy with them but this
plan when we did our research before choosing them we went online and saw
that there are all kinds of doctors in our area that we could go to no problem
and it looked like they were accepting new patients online no problem so we
sign up for our plan for the year and we get on the phone maybe even the first
month or so to get an appointment just to have a relationship with a doctor and
turns out we couldn’t find one that were accepting this program nope I think I
had a physical that was I think the only advantage we took of that insurance was
I got a physical from a doctor that I did happen to find here in Parker just
randomly yeah I didn’t I don’t think you even liked that person so much so I
didn’t go and yeah and so we decided to add on an additional health care
coverage provider I guess I don’t know add something on for 2018 so that we
could go to the doctor so we continued our ACA plan for 2018 and then we add
it on another plan so we signed up for what’s called a health sharing ministry
in June of 2018 it’s called Liberty health shares and it’s very affordable
it’s three hundred and fifty dollars for the two of us with a deductible of
seventeen fifty for the pair of us total they don’t like these health insurance
terms because they are not a health insurance company they’re a health
serang minister so it’s kind of some way different
things than you will find with the ACA plan terminology wise they use completely different terms now I am able to go to my
doctors however I’m still not so sure that those are covered because we’re
waiting for those bills to be processed from the fall of last year I still have
a primary health insurance company on the ACA even though I’m not using it I
don’t know that I’m allowed to like bypass it to go to Liberty I think if I
only had Liberty that might be a different situation so that’s kind of a
little tricky I do have the ACA I do have Liberty we have both and I still
want to go see all my doctors who aren’t covered by my ACA plan I will say that
Liberty isn’t that quick to process things we are waiting waiting waiting
waiting it is our experience when we originally signed up we were hoping that
Liberty was going to be our sole insurance provider unfortunately they
considered my back surgery that I’ve had two years prior pre-existing condition
and they excluded my spine completely they will not cover my spine however
they said that we’ll take you on board we just won’t cover your spine in any
way shape or form so what that left us with is I at least still had to have the
ACA I couldn’t rely on them solely because my spine wouldn’t be covered so
we had to have or I had to have two types of insurance in order to have my
whole self covered and the reason why I went with Liberty Healthshares is I
wanted to get in there before I had a pre-existing condition
Tim had some other things like a little skin cancer thing removed so they said
we’re not gonna cover that for something like a year or two years but his spine
was a totally different thing they said we are never going to cover anything
with your back no matter what it doesn’t even have to be about the thing that was
operated on in the past never gonna touch that so that required Tim to hold
the insurance for his back and I don’t think it cost me anything extra to be on
that plan so I stayed on it so it’s still a little bit of a mystery because
we’re waiting to be paid on things and and we’re not quite sure how this
Liberty is gonna shake out but there’s a really cool thing about Liberty that we
didn’t have with our ACA plan and that’s that we could use it outside of our
state we do travel all the time not only outside the country but also all around
America and as long as a bill is in English
and billed in US dollars Liberty will cover it which is pretty sweet
so the end of 2018 came and it was time to pick a plan for 2019 on the ACA and
we dumped that plan that we couldn’t see any doctors with and we started a new
plan we’re with Kaiser Permanente we don’t plan to use them though so even
though we’re paying for them it’s only fourteen dollars because we’re able to
keep our income low enough to have those premiums be very very low and we’re
maintaining Liberty Healthshares so for the moment we have Liberty and Kaiser
Permanente and Kaiser Permanente also has a pretty high deductible per person
likes it fifty five hundred bucks so yeah it’s similar to the same plans
we’ve had before the interesting thing about Kaiser is you can only see doctors that are in their network no other
doctors you can see and I really like my doctors after 15 years and I’m getting
older I want to see my doctors two things to note about the ACA when it
comes to subsidies is there are cliffs there’s a cliff at the bottom I don’t
know if you call it a cliff and there’s a cliff at the top so at the top if you
make here in Colorado if you make over $66,000 roughly then your subsidies go
to zero so if you make 65 thousand dollars in our situation our subsidy would
be eight hundred and thirty dollars a month if we made sixty six thousand
dollars the subsidy goes to zero so that is a big cliff at the bottom it’s 23
thousand dollars if you make less (as a couple) if you make less than
23 thousand dollars then you are qualified for Medicaid and again you
would get no subsidies so for us what we want is basically to have our income
just be a little over that Medicaid cliff if you will special threshold so a
little over $23,000 would qualify us for the most amount of subsidy that we could
possibly qualify for so you may ask how in the world you keep your income so low
you say that you make thirty six thousand dollars…so how do you keep our income so low…
and so the nice thing about our situation is we’re living off capital
gains and just money that cash that we simply have in savings and so we don’t
have any earned income at all the only way that we make income is when we sell
our assets and we have capital gains or a little bit of interest in dividends
we have from our assets most of our assets are actually tax deferred assets
so those don’t count at all for this equation so let’s say for instance that
in 2015 we invested $50,000 and then it had grown in 2018 to $70,000
well that’s $20,000 worth of gain when we go to sell that $70,000 worth of
investment we’re only gonna pay tax on the $20,000 that’s gonna be the only
income we have is that $20,000 so we can control our income a little bit to make
sure that we are where we want to be to maximize this subsidy and we’re figuring
that out at the end of December for the tax year that’s exactly right
so for 2019 we have Kaiser Permanente which only costs us $14 a month with an
extremely high deductible and we don’t plan to use that and there’s Liberty
healtshares which is $350 a month with a deductible of 1750 so that’s where we
are now we’re going to be nomadic in a year and we are changing things up again
yep we sure are so we found a plan by this company called azimuth
we’re gonna put it underneath
risk solutions and what they offer is plans that’s sort of designed for people
that are nomadic or people that are going to be out of the country people
that are going to be expats things like this so there is a requirement to have
access to this insurance that that you are out of the country for a minimum of
six months over of the course of a year they have two different flavors
there’s one flavor that will cover you anywhere except for the US or Canada
then they have a flavor that will cover you for the entire world including the
US or Canada and they also have a range …and Canada not or Canada…right if you’re
in either of those two places why Canada’s lumped into this I’m not sure
but these are the two places that they have in this plan where you have to have
a higher premium if you want to be in those two places and have health care
and it’s pretty affordable the interesting thing on this is that women
are so much more expensive than men I’m 50 years old Tim said it’s because women
can have babies who’s having babies in their 50s anyway and women are supposed
to be healthier than men but maybe it’s because women go to the
dr. more often than men I don’t know that makes absolutely no sense but we’re
looking and they’re they have huge ranges of a deductible on azimuth so
it’s anywhere from $250 deductible to $10,000 deductible and it’s probably
about four thousand dollars per person to nine hundred dollars per person that
kind of both ends of the range and it’s age dependent and it’s deductible
dependent and it’s where do you want coverage US Canada or not
so averaging it out if we have a middle-of-the-road deductible say $5,000
I think it’s gonna cost us about six thousand dollars a
year to have access to this insurance that would cover us when we’re abroad as
well as when we’re here at home the azimuth plan also has something that
we’re gonna have to go through that’s underwriting so I don’t know if my back
will make it so that I’m not qualified to have this insurance and we may have
to look elsewhere I did have a conversation with a broker just a few
weeks ago about worldwide sort of insurance plans and there are options
that are available that are quite a bit more money that allow you to have
pre-existing conditions and so I don’t know…this to me my back issue
happened multiple years ago to me it’s no longer pre-existing conditions but
Liberty thought it was so I’m not sure what yeah it isn’t so I don’t know what
other providers are gonna consider about what’s going on with my back whether
that’s a pre-existing condition…i don’t think they care what you think
I don’t think they do either and this would replace both our ACA plans so we would walk away
from our ACA plan we would probably also walk away from Liberty depending upon
how things work out this next year yeah so we are still figuring this out but
the azimuth isn’t final either if you are a nexpat traveler who are you using
for your health insurance we would love to know down below this is really only
probably maybe just for us people I don’t know if it matters because we know
a lot of our viewers are international yep and what we’re talking about with
the expat health insurance is true health insurance it’s not trip insurance
for the first time we bought trip insurance this past summer when we were
gone for nine weeks with Allianz and that’s really trip insurance it’s about
coverage of your stuff and I mean a variety of trip cancellation things like
that and we I think only did the health piece
of that it was very affordable but it’s not designed to be your health insurance
so we are very interested in what our audience is doing if you are nomadic for
your health insurance we understand that it is very affordable to potentially go
to the doctor outside of America with excellent care we totally get that and
we may just be paying for a lot of this out-of-pocket as a full time traveler do
you have extra health insurance you pay for are you just doing only
out-of-pocket our health care landscape continues to evolve it seems like it
changes every week we find out something new whether it’s changes things we
didn’t understand was Liberty or changes to the ACA usually not good changes it’s
usually unfortunately that’s true so we don’t have good answers where we can
just say this is what you should go into we wish we had those answers we wish we
had those answers for ourself we think that this azimuth plan is gonna be
something that we’re looking forward to having something we thought that Liberty
was gonna be great we’re still trying to figure out what that’s gonna look like
for us so it’s just it’s an ever-changing beast
and it’s more uncertain for us today than it was when we retired back in 2015
that’s exactly right yeah we want to know what you’re doing for your health
insurance if an employer isn’t managing your health care please let us know down
below in the comments especially if you are a traveler especially especially if
you are a US citizen if you’re from another country make us so jealous and
tell us about your fabulous health care that’s free down below and we will just
be green with envy and maybe you understand why Americans are so obsessed
with health care because it’s insane and that’s it we ask you for a thumbs up on
the video and if you haven’t subscribed yet we come out with more fun topics
than health insurance hopefully you subscribe and you’ll learn that next
Wednesday we want to hear those comments down below about what you’re doing and
if you have anyone else who’s kind of questioning what the heck to do with
their health insurance and early retirement please share this video with
them it probably will only make them more confused unfortunately that’s
probably but at least it’s honest so with that we’ll see you next Wednesday
thanks for watching

54 thoughts on “Health Insurance in Our Early Retirement

  1. I hope this answered most of your questions. Please let us know if it did…or if you have others. What are you doing for health insurance? Does it affect your retirement planning?

  2. You guys are too young to be retired! I plan on retiring early, too! I've been working on my investments and passive income sources. I just started my channel on personal finance…check it out 🙂

  3. Healthcare is HALF our cost of living. It's ridiculous! Thank you for putting this together.

    I have a health share while we are in the USA and yes, you can use it as "health insurance" on the IRS requirements for coverage. The primary reason we went with a health share and not traditional insurance is the in-network requirements of most health insurance companies that do not work for us as we will be in multi-states.

    I'd love to know what you do for insurance when you become nomadic. We used GeoBlue while we were outside of the USA for the last 2.5 years. It covered us everywhere in the world except the USA. They were easy to use and we had no hassle whatsoever getting our medical issues covered including a knee surgery in Panama.

  4. Hi GoWithLess!!

    We have been out of the US for 6 months now! We have a medical plan through IMGlobal. We chose a moderate deductible, and the plan covers us around the world, including the US. For the two of us in our mid-forties, it is just over $2,000/year. And it is for a full health insurance plan (it’s actually through United Healthcare), not just travel emergencies. They did underwrite us to not cover certain pre-existing conditions—for example, me with migraines are not covered. Thankfully, we haven’t used our plan yet!

    From my understanding (we just did our taxes!) you do not need to have an ACA plan if you live outside of the US for a certain numbers of days each year. Also, I believe the proof of coverage is being dropped for 2019, also. But please double check all that!

    The good news is that you have time to work out some of these details! Insurance is such a hassle, but necessary, especially with prices in the US!

  5. THANK YOU for doing this video on healthcare!! I was anxiously awaiting this video and would be grateful if you & others would continue to share your struggles, ideas, solutions & outcomes. Healthcare is a huge fear of mine when I think about possible early retirement or in the event of a job loss (We are 58-59 with pre-existing health conditions). This was very eye opening and your willingness to share and the details you provided are much appreciated. I am inspired by your journey & look forward to seeing more of your adventures!

  6. So crazy, cracked up when Tim said, “in order to have my whole self covered.” Sometimes I wonder where this world is going. Great video, so informative. Please continue to update us on your healthcare journey.

  7. I'm a US expat in China and have lived without insurance for over 10 years because of the cost. We find it cheaper to just go out of pocket. We got a prenatal and birth plan 7 years ago for a great price on the Chinese equivalent of Groupon. I have looked at many different plans from local Chinese insurers to big names like Aetna to medical sharing groups. I nearly pulled the trigger twice on them but it's just crazy money for us, insurance that we almost never use shouldn't cost more than our rent!

  8. Very important subject for early retirees. When you talk about income, you should be qualifying it as your 1040 MAGI, not your gross. So its pretty easy to stay under say 50K MAGI and get the ACA subsidy. Also if you had fallen below the income bend on ACA you would NOT qualify for Medicaid because you have assets. You can also contribute to your HSA yearly to lower your MAGI which I see as a huge bonus. I have been on ACA for 3 years with 3 more to go to 65 and have very low payments (zero this year). I am glad I do not have as many years as you have left to wiggle your way through this jungle. As far as I understand the policy I can get urgent/emergency care anywhere in US. But I have not tested that…

  9. Great video! Hope this healthcare topic remains in the series. Two questions: What is wrong with just using trip insurance that includes health insurance? And what is wrong with the ACA cliff to medicaid insurance? Both are government subsidized health insurance.

  10. Nice video! We are traveling internationally with our family for the long-ish term. For the last 9 months we’ve had an ACA Kaiser plan (with subsidies) plus World Nomads travel insurance. Per Kaiser, they cover emergency care abroad, but really any accident/sudden illness would be covered by World Nomads, and Kaiser would only enter the equation if we (God forbid!) had to return to the US for extended care. I’ve got a claim out now with World Nomads after our 3 year old needed stitches in Spain – looking forward to seeing how that goes!

  11. This is great information. I liked your ten(?) part series on how you retired in your 40s. The trickiest part of planning to retire early, for me, seems to be health insurance. Thanks for covering it here and being real.

  12. I really appreciate the video and you sharing your experiences. I'm cautiously optimistic that by the time I'm able to retire (a little early) that it will be either easier or there will be better options. How much time would you say you spend researching what plans / options are available to you?

  13. We are retired and have Tricare through military. We pay for as I am retired reserve and not active duty retired. Yes there is a difference. Once I hit 60, premiums will be covered by DOD. Premiums are $1100/ month and deductible is $150 each, total of $300. It is portable in US and also overseas travel. Cost is expensive to us but as you stated we need due to medical issues and need to be covered. We are currently age 57 and 56. We live the nomad life style now and probably for next 5 years. We have an RV (5th wheel) and I pull it with a F359 dually. Good luck to you.

  14. Yeah, get spine surgery and nobody will touch you except the person who gave you that surgery. It is the story of my life. I’ve had 2 spine surgeries so I’m a massive pariah. Lol

  15. Health insurance is my number one concern with early retirement. If there was a good option, I would already have called it a career. Looks like I will end up with a job at Starbucks or somewhere else that offers bennefits to part time workers…sad.

  16. Can you tell us what investments you have which don't produce enough interest, dividends and capital gain distributions (from sales made by the fund manager during the year, not you) to put you over the subsidy threshold? As an early retiree, I invest aggressively in mutual funds but they throw off too much "passive income" for me to enjoy the ACA subsidy.

  17. For your ACA insurance (Kaiser at the moment) it seem to me that you are missing a significant benefit. You qualify for two benefits, 1) The tax credit and 2) Cost sharing reductions (CSR). The tax credit piece of the puzzle you have very well figured out. The CSR, not so much. I realize you lean towards HSA plans, but the benefits of Silver plans with the CSR benefits seem to good to ignore. CSR benefits are only available on Silver plans and these "turbo charged" benefits come into play when your MAGI is less than 250% of the FPL, which in your case would be < $41,150. There are 3 levels of turbocharging based on income. If you are keeping your MAGI below $24,700 you qualify for plans with extraordinarily low deductibles and greatly reduced annual max. The is mostly true as long as you keep your income below $32,920. You can run the estimates on the Connect for Health Colorado anonymous shopping tool.

  18. We joined CHM for $300 a couple per month. No deductible as such but we pay the first $500 per incident. No restrictions on doctors or hospitals at all.

  19. I haven't used it as I am still working, but I looked into Cigna Global with high deductables, since I am pretty healthy. I think they have good global options with various deductables

  20. If you have no Health Insurance, or under insured, self employed, or financially challenged, you can receive access to Healthcare through a Membership in the National Motor Club of America- our Security Shield Membership at $29.00 a month offers access to Teladoc- a Network of Board Certified Physicians who provide consultations either by phone, or thru video conferencing, who can diagnose illnesses and dispense prescriptions to your local pharmacy. You receive unlimited access for yourself and up to 5 family members, in addition to other Healthcare, Vision, Dental, Prescription and Hospital benefits. Our Membership is much better than AAA- visit www.nmcfs.com/61154 for further details.

  21. I checked into those health ministries, by investigating their bylaws and tne print in their documentation, it shows that they have a right to not pay any claim. They also report that they are NOT insurance. You are throwing your money down the toilet. I was an insurance underwriter so I knew where to look.

  22. Health insurance is racket in this country. If you don’t read the fine line your can be fudged big time 🙁

  23. GoWithLess,

    I found your channel a couple of weeks ago and have thus far enjoyed hearing about your journey through early retirement. Like many of your other viewers, I too was wondering what you were doing for healthcare insurance and how you were paying for it. Why? Because, like you, my wife and I chose to retire early. However, unlike you, I wanted no part of the ACA and having to accept a subsidy (aka handout or charity) in order to be able to afford healthcare.

    My wife and I dealt with the ridiculous cost of healthcare in the US a different way. When we retired, we sold everything we owned, and moved to Mexico. Here we have full coverage healthcare through a private Mexican health insurance company that costs us $2,600 per year. My unsubsidized health care in the US (BCBS of Texas) was costing us $1,900 per MONTH.

    I look forward to hearing more about your travel and experiences in early retirement.

    Regards,
    Troy

  24. Health Care in the US is total racket and will inevitably crash, but not until they drain every possible cent they can from people

  25. I was forced into early retirement at the age of 63.5 in November of 2017. I had two months of health insurance–so in February 2018 I joined Christian Healthcare Ministries. I had no pre-existing conditions and I can use it any where. So long as the incident is over $500.00 they will share it. I pay $150.00 a month plus $40.00 per year for unlimited catastrophic insurance, plus $25-30 a quarter. They are excellent and fast in processing.

  26. the health sharing ministries seem very suspect to me. i wonder if they cover birth control? or same sex marries couples? not that insurance companies aren't suspicious themselves, ha!

  27. Thank you so much for this video! I totally get how you're saying "sorry we don't have a one-size-fits-all answer for you". It's just really nice to hear your so-far experiences, and what you're thinking about all of this. We've been really befuddled by this aspect of early retirement (our dream), but when we heard you say "ACA…subsidized per your annual income", we were like oh….THERE it is!!! That is the thing we hadn't realized, is that it is so much cheaper on a typical retirement income than it would be for us right now. So thank you!! You are SO INSPIRING!!!!!

  28. Sadly we decided we simply can't take the risk of travelling withing the USA on the ACA. I know in theory the ACA covers you for emergency care anywhere in the country but honestly I can't see how you can avoid getting screwed somehow if you end up in the ER out of network (Balance billing for a start). We now do all out travelling out of the country because trip insurance is remarkably cost effective (we use Berkshire Hathaway). So road trips our out, but extended vacations to the far East and Europe are in. I am an expat Brit so we could high tail it back to the UK if we had to but the US is home now so we put up with the crappy HC system for now.

  29. Health insurance in the States is critical. Here in Canada we are fortunate with our Health Care (OHIP). Private health insurance in Canada is a complete waste of money. I am extremely close to retirement and have started to retrieve some information regarding private health care. I can honestly tell you that private heath care plans in Canada are an absolute scam. All plans have a yearly cost. The one plan I was looking at was 249.00 per month plus tax which amounts to $3376.44 per year. This plan included some dental, eye care and prescription drugs. There was other minor coverage but I cannot remember what it was. The big hitter for us was the drug plan. It only covered $2200.00 per year worth of drugs. We are on approximately $4000.00 worth of drugs per year. This means that after reaching our drug limit of $2200.00 from the plan, we then pay out of pocket for the rest. So lets do the math. The plan cost per year of $3376.44 + $1800.00 from out of pocket cost = $5176.44. It will be cheaper for us to pay all our drugs out of pocket ($5176.44 – $4000.00 = $1176.44). I will keep the $1176.44 in my pocket instead of wasting it on this ridiculous plan. As far as dental is concerned, I will gladly pay for our two yearly cleanings worth approximately $300.00 per year. As far as vision goes, many vision care places offer a free eye exam if you purchase their glasses or contact lenses there. All these Canadian Plans are similar. If you are a Canadian Citizen, I urge you not to waste your money on these heath care plans. Thanks

  30. Please update this topic regularly. How is Liberty working out? Did your Dr. Office bill Liberty directly? I wonder how health care providers react to it. We had KP – they are great in Colorado but we had a long extended prob when our daughter got a scan while at college in Maine. Finally resolved in our favor. KP had to pay a penalty of $700 for the mistake. But insult to injury – paid to the hospital! Not me who was fighting it for a year. You cannot win with Insurance.

  31. This is so funny watching you guys now. I think I saw a downsizing your house video years ago. We are joining the FI community in five years. Funny if I would have researched you guys more back then we would have been there faster. Cheers! Thanks for the vid.

  32. I was watching 1930's film of people in NY and kept wondering how they survived without health insurance. Now we are convinced we can't live w/o it.

    I was taken with how complex it all sounds even when two articulate professionals explain it.

    Wonderful info. Thank you.

  33. Great video, thanks for the candor. Beware, I've read nasty things about Azimuth: like they don't pay or pay very late or pull out micro-font disclaimers and exceptions. Fighting with insurance company is like a fight with a ghost. Best wait for it to go collections and have no accessible liquid assets and nothing vulnerable to a lien. Sad.

  34. We are 51 and 54 and retiring the end of 2019. Healthcare is our big worry. We also have 401k(ira's) to convert to ROTH, some ROTH money we can use, and some rental properties to sell to help us along. We are trying to figure out the best tax strategy, along with healthcare strategy to use at this time. Great info and we plan on watching more of your videos for advice. Also liked your FB page and plan on following you all there!

  35. You two are really cute. Thanks for sharing this topic with the world. At the end of the day, the US healthcare system is basically the worst ever. I'm not FIRE yet, nowhere near, but I am considering and saving up to take two years off work, before transitioning into a new career. The healthcare question is my biggest hurdle to-date, but sometimes makes me consider not taking off at all As a country, why we decide to tie someone's health and well-being to a company, I'll never know. Also, I have to think about the outside coverage thing too, because I live across the country from my family and would like to be covered whenever I visit, which I plan on doing regularly. I'm working toward FIRE and toward this two-year mini-retirement, but at this point, the way I see it, I'll have to add an extra $5,000 a year, at minimum, for my healthcare to my general cost of living number.

  36. today its cheaper to just pay cash and take your chances. It's probably the only reason I haven't pushed into retirement. Insurance is a monopolizing racket designed to NOT Pay for ANYTHING. They have shareholders and they are only in it to make money.

  37. Move to Portugal – get free world class healthcare and live like royalty for $1500 pcm …visit the US multiple times a year on cheap business class fares . renounce us citizenship – your us tax dollars arent worth paying , your government doesnt take care of you anyhow

  38. If I'm 55 in 2019 and decides to stop working starting January 1st of 2020, how would the ACA determine my income with regards to subsidies? I plan to start withdrawing from my 401k or stocks in a way to maximize the ACA subsidies.

  39. Like many of us Health Care is the only thing stopping me from retirement i am 61 and plan on taking SS at 62 and this all seems so complicated I just have a hard time understanding how in the US today why health Insurance has to be so expensive and complicated and why perscriptions have to be 2-3 times more expensive than other countries my wife is self employed so we are dependent on Corp health care where I work which is not cheap either but its a good plan. I am looking into moving to another country like Costa Rica where its cheap to live and great health care for a fraction of what it cost here. Great Video by the way.

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