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Health Insurance Costs In Retirement Question & Answers

2014 April 4
by Sarah Fields

Robert asks…

What benefits do a Head Start teacher receive?

I was under the impression that Head Start workers worked for the state and had good pay and benefits, but I just got a job offer and was told that health insurance (not including dental) would cost $210 a month. That doesn’t really sound like a benefit to me that sounds like what I would pay for insurance without going through an employer. Is this normal?

Sarah Fields answers:

The question what does a Headstart Teacher recieve? They recieve a 401k, medical and dental, I did not use their medical, so they give more money on my check that they would pay for medical. You have personal days, sick days, etc. Some Head starts have credit unions where you can borrow money. The downfall of many headstarts is that they do not pay into social security and when you retire you do not get social security, it is like you have not worked all those years. You recieve the 401k which is not enough to live on the rest of your life. You may get 20,000-30,000 when you retire and this is not enough to live off in your retirement years. You have workers comp, if you get hurt, etc.

Lisa asks…

Retirement, health care, & bankruptcy how does it work?

I heard you have to go bankrupt before the government helps your medical bill after retirement. In the first place, if you have health insurance, wouldn’t it cover your medical cost? (on average how much of the cost they would cover?) Secondly, what kind of income would you have earned that you cannot pay your part of the medical bill?

What is your advice for a younger person who wants to avoid bankruptcy and wnats to maintain good health and some money at retirement.

Thanks in advance.

Sarah Fields answers:

Take a course on finances

go to the library and read books on finances

Laura asks…

Is it possible to have medicare shile working with regualr insurance?

My husband is of an age to retire, but doesn’t plan to do so in the next five or so years. We know that he should be eligible for medicare. Is it possible to have both medicare and his health insurance at work where the expense of his medical bills would be less or non existent?

Sarah Fields answers:

My parents worked past regular retirement age. Medicare was the primary insurer and the employer based insurance paid the remainder.

It is good to have employer insurance as long as you can because it generally pays for more things than Medicare does. Dental and Vision benefits, for example are not included in Medicare.

The Medicare Part D drug Plan has a big donut hole where it doesn’t pay anything towards the cost of prescription drugs. Employer based plans may have a maximum, but they don’t stop covering your medications after only $2800 in drug costs. I have never seen a Part D Plan that was near as good as the employer based types. If I were you, I would not enroll in a Part D Plan unless the employer said they would not cover your drugs any more.

Keep all of the coverage you can unless you are in a low income bracket where Medicaid would help cover your costs on premiums and co-pays. Consider getting Medicare Supplemental insurance coverage to pay your deductibles and co-pays. These can really add up.

Your medical bills will stay pretty low if you can do some or all of these things.

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