“Go Naked”


Yesterday I called my former employer to check if I am eligible for the health coverage during my early retirement. At the time of separation, I was eligible for the coverage.  The operator kept me on-line for some time while she was checking my eligibility. With the sweet apologetically voice she announced that I am not eligible for any coverage.

According to CNN Money “paying for health insurance has become a huge financial drag for American employers. So over the past 20 years or so, the percentage of big companies offering retiree health benefits has shrunk from 66% to about 35%. And even if your employer currently says that it will cover you when you retire, we’re sorry to tell you that there’s no guarantee it won’t break that promise 10, 20 or 30 years down the line.”

We all know that when your employment ends, you might be able to continue your health coverage for 18 months under COBRA.  I still remember how much I paid for my COBRA, well over $1,200/mo just for two of us!

Many people ask how we plan to handle health insurance when we move abroad.   Our answer is a typical consultant’s answer – it deepens….  We can buy insurance form the reputable international company like BUPA, We can get the local health insurance in the country we will reside, or we can go without coverage. To live without coverage is called “go naked” among expats.

Right now, we are leaning towards the “go naked” approach.  The countries that are on our list have excellent and inexpensive medical care.  With a cash reserve dedicated for the emergencies, we should be OK.  In addition, when we will travel back to the US, then we will buy a travel insurance to cover us in the US.

I can’t describe these approaches better than Kathleen Peddicord, the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group, wrote in her article in US News.

And if you have any doubts about quality of health care abroad, think about medical tourism and medical travel, a growing trend in health care….

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