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Topic: Too young for Medicare. Want to retire but need insurance

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues —

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Posted on: Jan 9, 2018 06:44AM

BJKinNebr wrote:

I realize each state has different programs and requirements ref retiring and retaining health insurance. I am a state employee in Nebraska. I have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Just starting my third year of chemo treatment and just turned 62. My job is very stressful and there are days where I really have to talk myself into going to work. I do have a retirement plan through the state, which is helpful but I wonder how long it would last if I had to pay all medical expenses out of pocket. I know I need to go talk to a financial planner. It would just be nice to enjoy what time I have left instead of all the stress of working and juggling chemo treatments and worrying about keeping the bills paid. Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful

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Jan 9, 2018 09:19AM cive wrote:

There's always Obama care, although I'm not sure enrollment is still open in Nebraska as it is in California.  You can also check with your state's office of insurance, they have people that you can talk with that will tell you what your options are.  Lastly, usually you can get COBRA for some time after you quit your job.  You would just be paying the premiums rather than your employer. 

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Jan 9, 2018 09:34AM ElaineTherese wrote:


Because you are Stage IV, you should be automatically accepted into the Social Security Disability program. Once you have been accepted by SSD, you can apply for Medicare. But, I believe you have to wait a year (?).

Hopefully, some more knowledgeable people will drop by and explain it to you better than I have.

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/23/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/17/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/12/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/25/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/9/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jan 9, 2018 09:48AM proudtospin wrote:

i was in your position,but had insurance through small business in nj. Hated my job. One day i walked in and asked to be fired.,!i kept my insurance by paying cobra for full time allowed. Then got unemployment for a time and stretched it out till a date close to my retirement age. Finally pulled the plug , found out that when i no longer had expenses of communting to work......it was workable. Do speak to a financicial planner. First make a list of debts, expenses

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jan 9, 2018 01:56PM Spookiesmom wrote:

I was a state employee who retired early. I was able to keep my insurance from my employer, but at full price. $600 a month for just me. I also receive a monthly payment towards that cost. Then I hit Medicare and switched to an Advantage plan. I still receive the small amount for insurance.

I suggest calling your state retirement center, talk over your options. You may be surprised.

Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Jan 9, 2018 02:42PM LimnoGal wrote:

I also work for state government, and I agree with Spookiesmom. Go talk to your retirement folks. They can lay out all of your options for your state benefits, and they can direct you to the Social Security folks. You likely have more options than you think.

Moving on.... Dx 11/2016, DCIS/IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/11/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Balloon-catheter: Breast
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Jan 9, 2018 03:59PM proudtospin wrote:

maybe you could do a part time thing , i thought about that but if you can get the ins thing worked out, retirement life is cheap!

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jan 9, 2018 08:28PM artistatheart wrote:

I believe Medicare takes two years to kick in after you apply for Disability (unless you turn 65 of course)

Dx 7/22/2015, ILC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 8/9/2015 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 8/24/2015 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jan 10, 2018 03:48PM BJKinNebr wrote:

Thanks everyone for your comments. After my chemo treatment today, I talked to a social worker at the

Cancer Center here. It looks like it might be totally possible!!!!! I can file for early retirement and for the

disability, plus my state retirement fund. I just need to find out what Cobra insurance will cost and possibly

compare that to a Market Place insurance policy and see which has the best coverage for the price. I'm

excited, a little scared and sad. I have loved what I do for 37 years, but things have changed so much, it's

just not the same and the stress isn't doing me any favors. It's time for me to put me first!!! I'll keep you


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Jan 10, 2018 04:31PM Spookiesmom wrote:

Good to hear. Check for sure, you may be able to keep the insurance your agency has. I could have kept it for life. It’s not COBRA, that’s only for 18 months. It was great insurance but too expensive for me to keep.

Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3

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