Health, Dental & Drug Insurance/Benefit Plan for an early retiree
Hi CMF members:
I hope this post is appropriate for this forum.
My wife and I plan to retire in less than two years at the respective ages of 57 and 59.
My wife's company has an excellent Health, Dental & Drug Benefit Plan and we have enjoyed that tremendously over the years. The plan is not offered to retirees unfortunately.
At this time we spend about a combined $60.00 per month on drugs. Of course we hope that this amount will not increase anytime soon but unfortunately one never knows what lurks around the corner.
Any comments, thoughts, suggestions or recommendations on a strategy for covering health and dental costs (for just my wife and me) in our retirement years would be greatly appreciated.
My dentist says he has yet to see a dental plan that's worth the paper it's written on. Comments on this anyone?
Should I be looking for a plan that covers drugs until we are 65 (when ODB coverage will start)?
Should we look for a plan that covers catastrophes or is the Ontario health plan sufficient?
Any suggestions on which companies and what types of plans I should explore would be greatly appreciated.
Please be generous with your comments.
Thanks a lot,
I think it is good to have some level of an extended health plan post-retirement, at least until 65, and perhaps longer (I don't know about Ontario's ODB plan and what it covers beyond some level of prescription drugs compensation), so cannot help you there.
Regarding dental coverage, my view is that unless you and/or your spouse have below average dental health, dental plans are not worth the money. The reason is that carriers have to make money on them in aggregate across all their policy holders, and thus premium income has to exceed payouts. Only you can make that judgment, i.e. if you think caps/crowns are going to start to hit you in a big way, then perhaps go for a dental plan.
Similarly, eyeglasses and/or examination coverage is a waste of money for the same reason. The insurance companies have to make a profit in aggregate on policies issued.
The typical carriers I am aware of are Sun Life, Manulife and Blue Cross, with Blue Cross probably being the best. There may be others. I don't have a need for such a plan because I am covered as an annuitant from my former work group plan (of which my former employer pays part of the premiums). I would not take the dental or eyeglass coverage if I was paying 100% of the premiums.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. They will have to charge you "premiums" to "cover" the costs of what you will need. They can determine those costs pretty easily plus they need to make a profit. I would personally just pay cash for these things you need including your dental checkups, scaling and drugs. It will most likely come out cheaper for you.
Dental is the big one for a lot of retirees. A couple implants here, a couple of crowns there. I bet many couples are spending over $5k/year on dental.
But if you cannot be part of a group plan, outfits like Blue Cross will charge premiums (on individual plans) commensurate with your age class. Depending on dental health, it may not be worth it.
Originally Posted by Ihatetaxes
Most dental plans do not cover things like implants and crowns, they only cover basics like checkups, cleanings and fillings. If you want bigger things like implants you'll have to pay extra for them through a more expensive plan. That's why I'm saying you're better off to pay cash for these things as they are needed.
Hubby and I are in the same kind of situation and are planning on retiring next year at the age of 57 ...this might change. We have told the dentist to check our teeth very well and let us know if any existing crowns need replacing before that time. I have one that is quite old that will need a replacement so we are planning for that (my nerves are already on edge).
Only a few years ago his employer covered medical/dental costs after retirement, but not so any more. They will give him extended health but I will have to pay for mine. They will give a discount on dental and my old employer, at this time anyways, will cover half the cost of provincial medical plan. When we get closer I will have a very good look at the dental plan (that will be discounted my employer--again that can change at any time). We will likely use Blue Cross.
Can't help with your Ontario plans...sorry.
I looked into this before retiring my heart meds cost around 2000.00 a year the best I could find a few years ago was a plan that would have cost close to 300.00 a month.
Unfortuneately you will be on your own here. The only reason the employer group plans make any sense is because your employer pays for most of it. When you are retired you will not have an employer to do this. So as I said, you are on your own. Good luck. I hope you enjoy your retirement.
Most, if not all. It's a tax-free benefit to employees, and one of the last ones available!