Quarterly Report on Turning 60 Time to Call in the Health Experts
- December 15, 2015
- Donna Hines
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Good news! I’ve successfully made it through the first 4 months of being 60. But, damn it was hard. In the past year, my husband and I have found ourselves in a position of limited income as a result of his employment (unexpectedly) coming to an end. This meant the end of his employer’s benefit plans of health insurance, life insurance, short and long term disability insurance as well as the end of a steady and reliable paycheck.
Cobra rates to continue these great benefits were astronomical so we ruled them out.
Fortunately , we had planned for such an event after witnessing family members and friends lose their long term jobs in corporate America once they reached their 50’s. We are now living off the savings put aside just for such an event.
First and foremost, was our concern about health insurance coverage. We were soon to be without it at a time when we now needed it more than ever. Our biggest fear was some catastrophic health event would occur to one of us that would wipe out our assets we both so painstakingly built the past 30 years. We built this hoping to live comfortably for the next 30 years.
Our goal? Get the best health insurance for the money on our own. To say we were naive to think we could take on such an undertaking without professional help to reach our goal is an understatement. We spent weeks looking up and comparing plans. We needed medical assistance from the headaches attained from scouring through the painful language of these plans.
After a long and tedious process we narrowed down our choices and were ready to commit to a particular plan. The last step (we thought the easy part to this process) was to sign on to the Maryland Health Connection and sign up for the chosen plan. We totally under estimated the effort required to do so. At some point we became totally frustrated, unsure of what our response was suppose to be in some of the sections of the application. We were relunctant to click on the site option to get some free help and advice from a qualified insurance broker.
I now wonder why we were so reluctant. It turn out to be the best thing we could have done. I so wish we would have started there first, with the insurance broker, at the start of this whole ordeal of obtaining health care. He took our hands and expertly walked us through this process. More importantly, he directed us to a far better plan at half the cost of the original plan we had chosen.
I can’t thank him enough. His knowledge and experience saved us a ton of money. He would have saved tons of time and headaches as well if we had started with him at the beginning of this process.
Lesson learned. Get the best and most knowledgeable advice from the experienced experts. Our next venture in obtaining the other benefits we need, for example, long term disability insurance, nursing home insurance, life insurance to protect our estate and possible annuities to generate income to help pay for such benefits will begin with the experts in their field. No more pain and wasting of time. We will use a broker to assist us in making the best decision.
We recommend you enlist the assistance of a broker when looking at evaluating your insurance needs.