Unfortunately there are times when there aren’t many options for affordable, comprehensive health care for callers to our Consumer Helpline.
One consumer caller, a man in his early 50s is looking into early retirement because of a disability. He is gathering information about his options and his main concern is finding health care for himself and his wife. I have discussed some options for health care with him – but none of them are great. Some are very expensive – like the high-risk pool and COBRA. Some have very low income and asset limits – like SAGA and Medicaid. He most likely won’t be eligible for individual insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Then there’s the Charter Oak program, which will cover pre-existing conditions but doesn’t have a lot of doctors who will take it and he hasn’t been uninsured for six months. His wife is self-employed, part-time and relies on him for health insurance so there’s no option of being added to her insurance. I’ve mailed him some information so he can look into it further.
Another caller works for a non-profit and found out that his health insurance premium for himself and his wife is almost doubling. His wife has stopped working because of a disability and is in the process of applying for social security disability. We talked about Charter Oak for her but she hasn’t been uninsured for six months. I sent them some information about a program through the Department of Social Services for Medicaid for the Employed Disabled – it has higher income and asset limits than regular Medicaid. But there are still not many good options.