In today’s post, Loadedblog Insurance’s top content writer, Jide, will be talking about a very important subject to the early retirement community, and that is health insurance. What are we doing for our health insurance in 2022?
I’m a full-time international nomad and I will give you the answer today. I retired in my late 50s, and in January of 2020, I sold my home and became a full-time writer.
Before we get into the root of the topic, I will make a little disclaimer that health insurance is incredibly personal.
I am not an expert or an insurance broker, but I have done a lot of research to find the best plan for my dear reader. I would recommend that you do further research to find the best plan for you because it is incredibly unique and personal and there is going to be a phenomenal resource that I have used at the end of this post, so definitely read that now. I’m going to take a moment to just give a highlight of what I’ve been doing since I retired in 2015.
My first year paying for my insurance was on January 20, 2016. I was in Colorado as a resident and on the Colorado ACA, the Affordable Care Act for 2016 and 2017. I had Cigna, and loved it.
I had great doctors, and after two years, they stripped all the doctors off of the plan. That I had, and I moved to a new plan with Bright Health. I wasn’t able to get any appointments with any doctors, so I switched to Kaiser Permanente the next year.
All of these are on the Colorado ACA and that was in 2019. I was at Kaiser Permanente. I had plans to be out of the country starting in 2020, and I wasn’t planning to be on an ACA plan. Of course, when that happened, everything changed and I ended up back on the ACA in Texas, where I was a new resident with a blue cross blue shield for 2021.
They covered all kinds of stuff for us, including major surgery, colonoscopies, and shingles vaccines, which are expensive, so I had a great experience with that. Now I’m going to talk for a second about the little break in between mid-2018 and the end of 2020 when I had liberty health shares.
This is a health-sharing ministry; it is not traditional health insurance. I am going to say that the reason I left them is that their claims process was very difficult. It was hard to file claims, and it took a long time to get paid out on them, but I had a really good reason for being with them.
ACA insurance exchanges/marketplaces from which to purchase ACA insurance
Before I move on to talking about this health sharing stuff, I want to talk about the exchanges, or marketplaces, where you buy ACA insurance, See best Dental insurance coverage in 2022 here.
Every state has a unique exchange or unique marketplace where you go to purchase this insurance and you put in all your details and then it spits out what your premiums are going to be based upon your income, and so it is a great resource. Also, some brokers can help you with these exchanges if you are interested in purchasing insurance from them. If you are looking to purchase ACA insurance, I would encourage you to reach out to a broker to help you.
The reason that I bought this health sharing plan was that about two years into my ACA plan that I had in Colorado, I realized that we really I didn’t have any insurance coverage outside of the state of Colorado. If I was in California. I effectively had no health insurance, and so I didn’t even know that we didn’t know for two whole years. That was something else that if we had worked with a broker who sort of knew this information, they might have filled us in, but nonetheless.
But I realized I didn’t have coverage, and so the thing that the health sharing plans offered was that they would provide coverage with any doctor anywhere in the United States, and so that was part of the appeal of this plan. That is why I signed up for this plan, as I thought I would have coverage throughout the United States.
The 2022 Insurance Strategy
Now, let us get into what we are doing for 2022. We have picked a plan called IMG Global. They have all kinds of flavors. I picked the silver plan. Now, the silver plan doesn’t include a whole bunch of things, including any preventative care.
And now you can pick a bigger, more expensive package that does include preventative care, but that comes at a premium price, and that doesn’t make any sense. I would just rather pay out of pocket for that sort of thing, right? That is exactly right, so the idea of just going to see a doctor that costs $30 is exactly right.
What will you do in Mexico? In the states, it’s only maybe a couple of hundred dollars to go see a doctor for a physical or something like that, whereas if we were looking to have a plan that provided coverage for this, it was going to be thousands of extra dollars a year, so it just didn’t make any sense for me to have that in my plan.
And how we now approach health insurance is really to protect against bankruptcy or going back to work because of healthcare costs, so for unexpected things, that is what I am looking at and that is what I did. We plan to raise $260,000 for the whole year. That seems like a killer deal.
I have a fairly high deductible of five thousand dollars per person. If I am out of state, that deductible is cut in half to twenty-five.
A hundred dollars, and it does cover us everywhere. The caveat is that you are not allowed to be in the United States for more than six months.
So it is kind of weird and I think that my international readers are going to be surprised that I am not even allowed to be in my own country for more than six months a year because of our health insurance.
It is the best plan for me and I don’t plan to be in the country, so by comparison, just compare that to my ACA plan in Texas, which was highly subsidized. I paid no premiums, but if we were paying the premiums for that ACA plan that I was on in Texas, it was over fifteen hundred dollars a month.
What would it have cost to have this ACA plan, which also had a very high deductible of $18,000 per year? I think it was 6,000 dollars that we had as a deductible for our ACA plan in the states, and I think this is a phenomenal deal for the coverage that I am going to have.
Going forward, here is the caveat though when it comes to these ex-pat plans or any plan that’s not a group health insurance plan in the United States or an ACA plan, is that they make you go through underwriting so that they can exclude pre-existing conditions, and so that is problematic if you’re someone who potentially has diabetes.
What we understand is that it is a very expensive thing to cover on your own, so I had some back surgery a few years ago. That back surgery would cost a lot of money if I had that excluded because they are allowed to do that, so if I have an issue going forward, that could be tens of thousands of dollars.
But again, I am looking for insurance just to provide coverage for things that might bankrupt us. ten thousand dollars, or even if it’s fifty, it’s not. It’d be very painful both physically and financially on our wallets, but it wouldn’t be anything that I’m going to have to go back to work.
Concerning pre-existing conditions, you get two 24 months from starting, but after that, it’s not like the best, it doesn’t cover it fully. It gives you just like maybe 5000 dollars per incident or something like that. IMG Global uses UnitedHealthcare as its medical network, so you can go in with your IMG Global card and go see a United Healthcare doctor and that would just build directly.
And if you owe anything, you are just going to get it in the mail. If you are outside of the country, you pay for it outside, and then you are reimbursed.
Good Neighbor Insurance
I am going to talk a little bit about the company that is helping me. It’s a company dedicated to expert travel insurance, and it’s based out of Phoenix. Good Neighbor Insurance is the name, and we have worked specifically with a broker by the name of Tracy Winters. I have been speaking with her since mid-2019 because I was planning to need this plan in 2020 and she has been incredibly knowledgeable and very patient. I am going to say I have asked her about a dozen times and she has answered them very thoroughly.
Benefits of Good Neighbor Insurance
One nice thing about good neighbors is that they represent a wide range of different plans. There is no dollar charge over and above what you would pay directly, and they are also an advocate, so they have direct relationships with these insurers. If you are having legitimate problems, they can intercede if you are not getting claims reimbursed or something like that, so I highly recommend that.
It’s so phenomenal that we want to make sure that our viewers know that she exists. Part of the beauty of a brokerage is that they have a lot of knowledge that you simply cannot find online, so they work with both.
My Experience with Good Neighbor Insurance
A lot of ventures as well as a lot of people that are looking for insurance, and have a lot of knowledge whenever I am looking to sort through all the available ex-pat plans or the ones that I was looking at. What you’ll find online is that the premiums are cheap. You don’t find a lot of customer service, but the customer service is great. I had to file a claim, and this is my experience with the claim: they filed their claims promptly. You don’t find a lot of information like that, and the people that work with these brokerages are familiar with the claims process.
Neighbor Good Insurance has had lots of customers who have used the insurance, so there’s a lot of value. At least we found that in working with Tracy and working with a good neighbor So there is just a ton of value that we found in working with the brokerage, and I do want to mention that even though we started our plan in January,
When you should start ex-pat or travel insurance with your neighbor.
The first is that you can start an ex-pat or travel insurance plan at any time. You don’t have to wait till the beginning of the year. I don’t know that they work with other kinds of insurance, so what they do is, when you’re saying you live in Amsterdam and you’re coming to the United States, they would assure you that if you’re a US citizen and you need coverage outside of the country, they take care of it. I don’t know if you’re just like, retired and at home. I don’t think that they do that.
Here is what I want you to know about me. I know a lot of my readers here on Swagup are working for health insurance, so I want to know what you’re doing for health insurance. Do you have health insurance provided to you in retirement? Are you using or not using Good Neighbor Insurance ? What are you doing for your insurance? What are you doing for your ex-pat no med plan? I want to hear all about it by dropping it as a comment below. See you again.