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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/once-you-leave-your-employer-you-could-opt-for-30083996.aspx

Subject:  Re: Retirement & the HealthCare Question Date:  6/7/2012  12:05 AM
Author:  BruceCM Number:  70752 of 75626

Once you leave your employer, you could opt for COBRA continuation for 18 months..some states require the employer to provide coverage for longer periods....the bad news is that you are on the hook for the full group health premium + 2% (usually).

If you are in good health, an HSA and associated High Deductible Health Plan is the course many in your situation will take. You cannot have other health insurance with an HSA+HDHP. The maximum contribution you may make to your HSA account that is fully deductible (2012) is $6,250 for a family plan, while the out of pocket required by the HDHP before it provides insurance coverage is $2,400 to $12,100 for family coverage...clearly, the higher the deuctible the lower the premium. The HSA is designed to be catestrophic insurance, which is the way most healthy individuals want it anyway...while it allows a tax favored savings plan, where you pay no income tax on withdrawals from the HSA you use for qualifying medical expenses. And the Fed rules (which override any state rules), require that these HDHPs must be 'Guaranteed Renewable', which means that once you are insured and keep your premiums current, the insurer may not raise your premiums if your health deteriorates, but can only raise your premium if they do so for all policy holders in your group (you are usually grouped by 5 year age groups).

For more info on HSA's, see IRS Pub 969 at

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf

BruceM
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