Nice discussion, Green Swan. One concern I have for young early retirees is that medical conditions accumulate as you and your family age. So, in the case of our host, PoF, in his early 40’s, he might be currently well served by a catastrophic plan. Ten years, fifteen years, from now, he and his wife might have some medical baggage that needs medication or maintenance, and the cat plan may not serve him well.
Prices are fixed by law, so you will not find better prices for the same plan anywhere else. But comparing your options might help you find low-cost health insurance. You can shop around online and use free quotes from eHealth to find providers that offer high-quality, low-cost individual and family health insurance plans. Seeing all your options could make finding low-cost health insurance easier.

ACA has automatic re-enrollment in place for 2018. So if you are happy with your ACA plan, it is still available, and your income is not changing from 2018, then you can use the re-enrollment fallback if you want to. However, we suggest re-shopping your plan for 2019 since there may be better plans available to you that were not available in 2018. Additionally, it is very important to report income changes to the Marketplace if you are receiving a subsidy.
Your comment makes sense for fatFIRE types absolutely. However, my experience is that you can more routinely expect health issues to arise the older you (and your kids) get. I.e., don’t look back on your health utilization rate in your 30s and 40s when your kids are under 13 or so, and expect it will continue at that same rate from there! The previous year we met the deductible and out of pocket for my husband’s spinal fusion for accumulated wear and tear from climbing, biking, etc. (he’s in his 50s). So CAT health coverage is a gamble, and the advantage is going to go to the house at some point!

Keep in mind, however, that if your state department of insurance publishes rates in advance of open enrollment, they’ll be the full-price premiums. If you’re eligible for premium subsidies, you’ll end up with lower prices when you eventually enroll. And premium subsidy eligibility extends well into the middle class. A family of four will qualify for subsidies with an income above $100,000 in 2019. So don’t assume you won’t get premium subsidies until you check to make sure!

Healthcare pain. I have a healthy family and we hardly ever go to the doctor. I cover my family through a regular plan through my work with a $3000 out of pocket max per year. Out of the complete blue sky my daughter had a sudden and major health crisis requiring hospitalization starting a month and half ago, this past December. So I blew through $6000 out of pocket in two months by meeting out of pocket for both 2017 and 2018 for one family member. Still would have to meet up to an extra $3000 out of pocket this year to get coverage of anyone else in the family, and also–icing on this cake–I might change jobs shortly, with a new health plan, re-setting all the deductibles to zero. 🙁 This stuff can really wallop you bad. So if you get a very high deductible CAT plan, just realize that if your health problem stretches across two calendar years, you’re going to pay DOUBLE.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common reproductive endocrine disorder in females with insulin resistance playing a key role in pathogenesis. The objective of this study was to investigate current trends and future implications of multidisciplinary PCOS clinics with inclusion of dietitians. A two-phase, formative investigation on practitioners was conducted through an anonymous survey followed by focus groups. Survey respondents included 261 health care providers from around the world; the majority (59%) representing multidisciplinary teams. Focus group participants included four dietitians, three physicians, a health psychologist and a licensed nutritionist. Primary barriers for future multidisciplinary clinics included: money/resources, insurance reimbursement, and difference of opinions. Potential advantages included: more comprehensive and integrated care, greater convenience/efficiency, and better long-term outcomes. A majority of respondents (89%) stated that dietitians should be ‘involved’ or ‘highly involved’ in treatment. The greatest challenges for dietitians include insurance, limited disease knowledge, and lack of referrals. Most providers agreed that multidisciplinary clinics would lead to a better prognosis. A greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating professionals on the importance of nutrition counseling. Access to educated dietitians is likely the best way to ensure that PCOS patients have access to lifestyle interventions. Full article
When you purchase coverage during open enrollment, the effective date will be January 1, 2019. If you already have an individual market plan and you’re picking a different one during open enrollment, your current plan will end on December 31 (assuming you continue to pay all of your premiums when they’re due) and the new plan will take effect seamlessly the following day.
Bärnighausen, Till; Sauerborn, Rainer (May 2002). "One hundred and eighteen years of the German health insurance system: are there any lessons for middle- and low income countries?" (PDF). Social Science & Medicine. 54 (10): 1559–87. doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00137-X. PMID 12061488. Retrieved 10 March 2013. As Germany has the world's oldest SHI [social health insurance] system, it naturally lends itself to historical analyses.
There's no single answer that applies to everyone. And sometimes changes that seem uniformly good can actually result in higher premiums for some enrollees. Tennessee is a good example of this: Two new insurers are joining the exchange for 2019, two existing insurers are expanding their coverage area, and two insurers are lowering their prices by double-digit percentages.
Below are key highlights of the different types of plans. Click on each plan name to learn more. If you or your eligible dependent is Medicare eligible, be sure you understand what you need to do. Also, see different prescription drug costs on high deductible and standard plans. This may be a factor in your choosing a health plan. Find out if you are eligible for these benefits.
If something unexpected happens to you – like a car accident or a serious illness – hospital expenses can quickly rack up. Individual health insurance can help prevent staggering expenses if you face a medical emergency. Major medical insurance is a type of coverage that provides benefits for a broad range of health-care services, both inpatient and outpatient. This health insurance can save you money on routine doctor's visits, prescription drug coverage, preventative care and other medical services. The plan will typically come with costs such as a monthly premium, an annual deductible, copayments, and coinsurance.
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