Health Choices

Elderly people are caught in the insurance crunch

The company a friend of mine worked for closed it’s doors in April of 2008.  He has not been able to find a job.  Although he  has years of management experience.  A Bachelor of Business Administration, a PHD , 3 other degrees, and a Honorary Doctorate degree.  He can’t find a job.  He was 61 years old  when he found himself unemployed  Even though He has the education and experience instead of saying you are too old,  they say “You  don’t meet minimum requirements.”  Never mind he has many  years experience.  If you didn’t  just graduate from college you can barely get a job   at McDonalds.

But to the INSURANCE thing.  They want so much money for insurance, you can’t really afford it on unemployment, (which his  has run out),  His  financial adviser told him  to get a $5000,00 deductible temporary, or GAP  insurance.  Because he has always been healthy. This insurance is  usually issued for a 6 month period.  You can usually renew it for a second 6 month period.  What this really translate to is a $7500.00 deductible because it is $5000.00 then you go to an 80/20 for the next $2500.00.

Let me say this.  When the company closed  he had to use a huge portion of his  401K to pay off bills so he  could get by on unemployment.  Then  he had to take out over $6,000.00 to pay his income tax because the firm he  worked for did not take enough out of his  separation package plus what he had to take out out of 401K to pay bills off.  Then a hail storm hit.  His homeowner insurance  told him the damage was so small he would only need to take a caulking gun with tar and fill the holes.   This of course fell below his deductible.  His house which is a big old two story house, needed a new roof, and and a few things took what little he  had left after loosing a big portion due to the “downturn” of the economy.  So he has very little money left.

One health insurance company was good until he  had to fill a $20.00 prescription.  They thought it was for something else.  His  doctor explained it was not that thing.  But for something else.  They would not listen.  They refused to renew his  2nd 6 month coverage.

He  went to another company,  paid 1 year in advance.  They found out that he  had been treated about 4 years earlier for possible Gout (that is a surplus of Uric Acid and causes pain in your toe joints).  They informed him  that because of that he  would have to pay 3 times his  present cost or be canceled.  He couldn’t  afford the tripled payment.  So now he is out of insurance.  The state he lives in has a state sponsored insurance program.  Guess what.. He had to do without insurance for 6 months to qualify.  Big risk to do with out health insurance for that long.  You never know if you are going to be in an accident.

He has now found another Gap insurer.  He is due to renew in February.  But now he needs to have an expensive procedure done.  But if he has it done the insurance company will probably not renew his policy.  He needs the renewal to cover him until he becomes Medicare Eligible.  Now he is asking the hospital for an estimate of it’s cost.  The surgeon said he would forgo his charges if that helped.   If the estimate comes back within the money he has saved he will get the procedure done.  But it is not expected to be that price, which would wipe out his entire savings.

So you see his plight.  He either loses all his savings and has the procedure, or goes in debt to the hospital.  He also feels obligated to pay the surgeon.  Also he has been told there may arise complications which will raise the cost. His social security is only $115o.00 a month pre-tax.  His is still making House payments, Utility, Insurance, and trying to scrounge money to eat.  Or he can put off the procedure (which may or may not prove to be cancerous), for 9 months when he qualifies for Medicare.

What would you do if you found yourself in this situation

This is his  experience with this insurance.  Because he has to bounce around from company to company every year.

That Is How I See It.