A reader writes from the great state of New Hampshire:
I thought I’d add my tale of woe to your list of unhappy readers regarding the coming increase in insurance.
I’m retiring in June next year at the age of 64 and although I’ll have access to COBRA coverage, it’s expensive at $13k annually for my wife and me. The great news is that while the plan has reasonable co-pays, there’s only minimal annual deductibles; about $1k for each of us. We typically spend around $2k each, assuming no major procedures (colonoscopies, etc.), so the true cost is about $15k plus co-pays.
After some quality time wasted, I successfully created an account on Healthcare.gov and managed to get a luck at the listed rates for folks my age with incomes in excess of $62k. I’m fortunate in that I’ve managed to build a solid seven-figure SEP IRA and, when Social Security is added, we should live comfortably on about $100k annually after federal taxes (I live in NH so no state income taxes to speak of). So I was pretty surprised when I figured out that in NH a plan that compares to our current option will come in at $24,000 annually, including $4k in annual deductibles deductibles that I’m guaranteed to pay. That represents an annual increase of $9,000, or 60 percent over COBRA. More importantly, it means the our government expects me to pay 25 percent of my annual income. It looks like gap coverage for those of us who retire a little early will cost more than anyone imagined. By the way, my current company plan is provided by Anthem Blue Cross and the exchange plans in NH are offered by only one company: Anthem Blue Cross.
So it looks like our government has managed to introduce the same approach to healthcare that the very same folks introduced to higher education; if you make too much, you’ll pay for your healthcare and while you’re at it, pay for a voter of mine while you’re at it.
You can draw your own conclusions where this is going…