Sunday, July 21, 2013

ACA Insurance Pools and Medicare

Several people have asked me if they can participate in the ACA individual policy provider insurance pools instead of being on Medicare.  The short answer is no.  Once you are over 65 years old most private insurance companies do not want to sell you insurance unless it is a Medicare Advantage or a medigap policy.  If you can find a company that will see you an individual policy still be very wary of doing so as it is highly risky on two fronts.  First, they can drop you at any time and tell you to go onto Medicare. That often happens when you get really sick.  I know this because 65+ people think they can stay on COBRA plans when they are terminated because it is offered. The insurance companies take the premiums until they get sick and then say WHOOPS you are too old to be on this plan.  And you cannot just go onto Medicare whenever you want - you have to wait for an enrollment window to enroll. Second, you will pay a Medicare premium penalty of 10%/year for every year you are not on Medicare which is a forever penalty and is calculated using the current year Medicare premium.  That means, as yearly premiums go up so does the cost of your penalty.

As the ACA begins insurance pool implementation I predict there will be a lot of erroneous reporting.  Do a lot of fact checking before you believe what you read.

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