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I am covered only through his BCBS. Being 59 with pre-existing conditions (sleep apnea, anxiety, depression, diabetes II, arthritis, and titanium in neck/spine from herniated discs due to arthritis), and recent healthcare changes, must I buy my own insurance, will I be eligible and able to afford it? I am afraid. What if husband with brain tumor predeceases me? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. 90 year old Mom is starting to have health and memory problems so I see no way for me to obtain full time job with or without benefits when I may be caregiver for both. What should I do? Do I have choices? We have mortgage, 8 acres, and $33,000+ in investments; not wealthy!

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Who was your husbands former employer that is now carrying him on BCBS in his disability? How old is your husband? Did he retire under disability? The reason I ask is if he was a federal employee and is paying into suvivors benefits, you will continue to be covered under his plan, even after his death.
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An attorney can make a revocatable trust with the land in your husband's name, so if and when he goes, you can sell and not get huge capital gains taxes. 8 acres is probably worth a lot of money. also get the deed someplace you can find it. See if it is ok to parcel out the land, and get documentation of this in a safety deposit box with the deed. 2 acres is a lot to live on, 6 acres is a lot of money. Then you keep living as you are right now until one of you dies. Be sure there is a will. Also be sure there is a list of all assets, even puney ones. Your husband will probably feel a loss of control and hate this. BUT he probably also wants to protect his assets, not give them to federal government. AND he probably wants to make sure you are cared for should he pass before you. The estate lawyer can explain this to him. Once this is in place, along with Advance Directives for both of you, you can sit back and not worry. Assure him it is paperwork for the future, changes nothing or little now. Tell him how frightened you are about not knowing where every thing is without him. A plan is very reassuring.

I don't know what your mortgage is, but an easy way to decrease the principal for us low budget people is to give extra each month to principle. If you check the end of year statements, you see how much principle you pay down over one year. Usually in the beginning, it is not much, most of what you pay is interest, taxes etc. Take that amount, divide by 12 (as in months) add that to each monthly payment and you have paid down 2 years in the next year vs just one!!! It will make a big difference you will notice in 5-10 years, and meanwhile, you will hardly feel it now. (Example: if mortgage paid per year is $1000 then the monthly additional would be $84, or $2000/yr = $168 extra a month and so on.) If you have not refinanced and ABSOLUTELY trust your lender the interest rates are much lower now and they might let you do this without fees. Do not increase the amount you owe.

Good luck. I have found in my own low budget world, having it on paper helps me anticipate and calms me. At one point when I was laid off, knowing the fact helped me know I would meet my minimum basic expenses (and eat Ramin noodles).
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We are so NOT prepared for retirement. Every time I tried to get my husband to increase his life insurance, he refused. And who is going to hire me at 59??? Let's be real. No one! Even though I am intelligent, gave skills, and am a dedicated and loyal worker. At least Mom and I own the mobile home JTROS, not that I'm in any hurry for her to go. She's the only one left who gives a d*** about me. I could rent her house out in, say, 10 years. I could sell timber off the property. And if we go ahead and get more hives, I am The Bee Whisperer and love beekeeping and harvesting honey and selling it. I just cannot go back to another stressful job working for lawyers, a stupid judge, and backstabbing women. Thanks, Ismiami! Feeling a little better.
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For now you have some cash in bank, use that, be frugal. He may recover and both or at least you may be able to return to work until you reach retirement age. Once your husband gets past whatever treatment, you can address the acreage.
If possible the longer you delay collecting SS the higher your income will be.
Tough news, but planners like Suzie Orman often encourage people to work past 65. For now concentrate on your husband recovering, make decisions as his condition developed.
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Husband REFUSES to sell the 8 acres we (and Mom in her mobile home) live on even though I have POA and could really make him pissed if I sold it with POA.....
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Wish we had a retirement plan! Worked 12 years at DHEC/health department, but two hateful women conspired to make me have an anxiety breakdown and I was "forced" to quit, Worked at a credit union for 6 years - thought I'd retire there...it merged and offered 100+ employees jobs at much lower rates, Had to cash in retirement then to live on. Lawyers don't pay well and do NOT set up IRA's or 401K's notoriously. I am screwed, blued, and tattooed if my husband predeceases me,,,
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pstegman is right, you should be on disability and get coverage there I would think. Good luck and Bless you for all you are doing; your husbands a lucky guy.
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I am confused, you are covered through his BCBS, which sounds like he is employed or is he disabled, which I think is what you said.

Your husband has a serious condition, so looking at all the angles is warranted.

Regardless of his illness, or your mom. You are 59, so what is your retirement plan? In a perfect world you are only 6 years away. Can you sell the 8 acres, pay the mortgage and downsize? Live from the profits plus SS in the future? Is there a pension or 401? Life insurance?

Somebody suggested you may qualify for SSDI, disability is for people who are physically or mentally impaired from working, I have colleagues with the illnesses you stated, so I would not count on that.....but I am no expert in the field.

If you have medical coverage today, acceptable rates and coverage, I would let it be until you need to make a change. For now I would concentrate on your husband and your retirement plan. See a financial planner.
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See an elder estate lawyer. See about putting your home, land, etc into one or two living trusts. Social Security is currently not income dependent, and this may shelter what you will need to live on in the future. There are also annuities that can pay income. It might be worth it to sell some land and put the money there. All of this is beyond my knowledge in terms of tax consequences. Talk with a CPA or the elder attorney. They should have a specialty in this. I found out about the annuity from USAA, they sent some information to me. They also have long term care insurance, which you will probably need. Other companies also offer these plans. Make sure they have been around a long solid time. You will need them to be there for you for the next 20-30 years.
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Michigan doesn't have its own state-run insurance marketplace, Web site so you'll be referred to healthcare.gov. Three things I hope help: 1. On healthcare.gov home page, go straight to the middle button "Apply Now". Instead of that button being called "Apply Now", it should have been "Pre-Qualify for Tax Credit Subsidy" because that is the ONLY way you will find out how much money will be taken off a full premium (i.e., what you actually have to pay). It is substantial for most people I know. After answering their questions, you will get a confirmation of your "tax credit" which is an immediate premium subsidy. Only then start looking at plans because the premiums listed when comparing plans ARE FULL PREMIUMS WITHOUT TAX CREDITS and will depress the daylights out of you. Even if you find out what your subsidy is, you still don't have to sign up for anything if you don't mind not having insurance and being penalized about $100 in 2014 for not having insurance. But at least you'll know your tax credit offset on a full premium so you can think about it. 2. Michigan has a confusing array of plans. If you think there is a chance you'll ever go out of state even once on a trip and get appendicitis or into a car accident, call the healthcare.gov 1-800-318-2596 and ask them you only want to compare plans that will cover in-state as well as multi-state medical care (my sis lives in Ohio and I visit her once a year). That reduced the options down to two plans. Of those two, one was a BCBSM Silver Multi-State plan that was FURTHER subsidized by BCBSM. My premium went from over $800/month to just $210/month. With a $300 deductible, I am very, very happy because no other company would have insured me before the HCA law took affect. And I have cancer, so I willingly give them that money. 3. Michigan IS a Medicaid Expansion state, but even Michigan's Medicaid office didn't know that last week. Michigan is way behind in changing its Medicaid Web site for Medicaid Expansion. I am told that when you enter your info into healthcare.gov's "Apply Now" button, if you qualify for Michigan Medicaid, your name will be automatically sent to the Michigan Dept. of Human Services and they will contact you. This is also confusing because healthcare.gov doesn't tell you that. If you want to have your own back, you can simultaneously apply (for non-expansion Medicaid only) on Michigan's old state Medicaid application site: http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2943-320219--,00.html. But I would definitely also apply via healthcare.gov to be sure your data is date stamped and confirmed. Why? Because Michigan's Medicaid Expansion (which starts in April) has allows a higher income threshhold, meaning your income can be a bit higher than pre-Obamacare and you'd still qualify. The old pre-2014 Michigan Medicaid has lower income threshholds, so you may not qualify under the old rules.
This is why enrollments are so lagging -- people are scared and confused. Call healthcare.gov at 1-800-318-2516 for a little encouragement. They hold hands!
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My husband had a neuro-muscular disease and was in a wheelchair and severely disabled. I was told to draw down our money by paying off credit cards, purchasing a new vehicle, etc. We didn't have any money in the bank except for our checking account. My husband was on SS disability and had Medicare & Medicaid. I continued to work for my sanity and to pay the bills. (We own our house.) Medicaid paid for home health aides to be with my husband while I was at work and when I went on errands. I don't know if I could have taken care of my husband 24/7 for 27 years without the help of the HHA. When my husband passed away a year and a half ago, I called SS and hey told me that I was eligible for my husband's SS benefits when I turned 66 (my retirement age) without any penalties for working. It has been a big help in paying the bills and being able to keep our home. When I retire I will switch to my SS benefits which will be more than his. I now have my 96 year old mother with dementia living with me. I continue to work. We sold her house and I have been paying a HHA with Mom's house money to be with her while I'm at work. She cannot be left alone. Do you have any sisters or brothers who could help you with Mom?
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With all your own health issues, you should be looking into a disability retirement yourself through SSDI.
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Investigate all the areas - future insurance, disposal of property, spending down of investments. Then you can perhaps qualify for Medicaid, get subsidized housing or other "safety nets". We're in a similar health/economic/age/employment status. 2 years worth of resources are left in my husband's savings. Then we'll spend down mine during years 3 and 4. If our market for condos ever improves, I'll put the place on the market. (We already have 6 for sale in the neighborhood, 1 lien and one foreclosed). That would currently give us about two more years worth of income. That would give us 6 years. I will be 63 by then and will have met the age 591/2 requirement for not having all of my small IRA penalized/taxed extra for withdrawing early. Husband's health, job loss etc. If we can stretch that long, hopefully Social Security will be available - albeit at a significantly reduced amount because I won't be the "full retirement age". I think you're doing well to consider this now.
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If you are covered through his BC/BS it sounds like that plan is from his employer. Call their benefits department and ask your questions. Some employers continue to cover the spouse even after the 'employee's death'.
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Why are you afraid of all these "what ifs"? Find out. Go to the healthcare.gov marketplace and see. if you need help, there are places where someone will guide you through the process. Every single person I've heard about who has shopped for coverage there has found something they can afford.
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I would call BCBS and ask them, directly.Find out what happens if your spouse predeceases you. Also, ask them for a quote on the insurance premium to cover just yourself.

The other thing you should do is to go to your state's health insurance web-site from the new affordable care plan web-sites to compare plans. I am in Michigan and we had so many plans to select from that it took us quite some time to figure out which plan is best for us, even within one price category. So, you might want to just take a look to see what's available.

You might also want to check on things like Medicaid. I'm never clear on what exactly is offered by Medicaid, so I'm not suggesting they have anything to help you, necessarily, just reminding you to look at it, if you haven't.
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