USA Citizen Returning to USA after years Abroad - Insurance?!

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USA Citizen Returning to USA after years Abroad - Insurance?!


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Old 15th December 2018, 12:19 AM
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Default USA Citizen Returning to USA after years Abroad - Insurance?!

Hi there, my husband and I are American Citizens who have lived overseas for 10+ years. We are looking to return to the USA for ~9 months with our newborn baby (who also now has USA citizenship). I will be on maternity leave, still as an employee from my company overseas. We are very concerned about the insurance situation, especially having a newborn. The 3 of us will be covered by catastrophic travel medical insurance through my company (I believe, though I need to check that as we are USA citizens we are still eligible for coverage in the USA) but with a newborn who will need to continue immunisation schedules and will need to see a doctor for regular development checkups, we're just not sure what else to register for (if anything)? I've seen insurance like Patriot America for USA citizens returning home for extended stays, or do we need to do ACA coverage? Should we just buy a plan with Kaiser for the 3 of us, or just for the baby?
Has anyone else navigated this? Your thoughts are much appreciated

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Old 15th December 2018, 07:40 AM
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The scene in the US for medical insurance is kind of shifting even as we speak. Evidently there is really no "compulsion" to enroll for medical insurance (i.e. no "fine" for failure to comply) but the ACA is still in place so you could look into the "marketplace" to try to find coverage. (However the open enrollment period ends December 15th - not sure what the deal is for someone newly arrived like yourselves).

Health cover in the US is no where near as comprehensive as elsewhere in the world, so even with a good plan, you may be required to make "co-pays" for routine immunizations for the baby and doctor visits for yourselves. Ideally, you would get health care coverage through your employer (either you or your husband) for the whole family, but if you don't have employment lined up you may want to look into Kaiser for a somewhat more comprehensive cover than the ACA plans provide. Depends on what you can afford once your employer cover expires.

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Old 15th December 2018, 10:11 AM
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Thanks Bevdeforges for the reply.
If I transfer to the USA office at the end of maternity leave then I will get insurance, but until then I'm employed by the Australian entity so other than the catastrophic travel insurance, we'll have to get our own plan, or pay for all visits and rx and immunisations out of pocket.
We did a quote through one of the sites and for the three of us it will be over $850 a month. It's so shocking We pay nothing in Australia and receive exceptional care. I know the point of insurance is in case of disaster, but I can't imagine paying out of pocket for routine visits will amount to 9mo x $850.

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Old 15th December 2018, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laneplusfranny View Post
We did a quote through one of the sites and for the three of us it will be over $850 a month. It's so shocking We pay nothing in Australia and receive exceptional care. I know the point of insurance is in case of disaster, but I can't imagine paying out of pocket for routine visits will amount to 9mo x $850.
You'd be surprised how much out of pocket payments costs.

Under my insurance policy visits to a primary doctor are charged out at between $150 and $200 per visit, specialists (such as pediatrician for your child) $300 +, any tests etc $100 per test. If you are intending to visit doctors for all the necessary checkups for a new born you need to budget in these types of costs.

Without insurance, the costs will be more ..... the medical profession in the US can charge what they like and they do.

Nothing of a 'day to day' service will be paid for by your travel insurance.

It sounds like you are going to be living in the US for around 9 months. Are you sure your travel insurance is going to cover you for even catastrophic treatment?

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Old 15th December 2018, 09:04 PM
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Thanks Crawford, I appreciate that insight.
Boy this this depressing.
What I'm calling travel insurance through my company is a standard benefit all employees globally receive, it's actually good coverage in the event of an incident when travelling "outside of country of assignment or residency" and includes holidays (in addition to work-related travel) so as long as I continue to be employed they should cover us, but I am definitely going to call them to discuss the situation and get a better picture.... my primary concern with considering that coverage a 'backup' is if we do obtain USA insurance they may say "well that means you are resident there and we won't cover you".
Part of my struggle is figuring out how to define 'residency' for this extended period of time, given we are citizens (not just holiday-makers in Italy for several months, for example).
I have looked into a service called "Travel Insurance for USA Citizens" insubuy.com/travel-insurance-for-us-citizens-visiting-usa
the companies that provide coverage are Patriot America and Diplomat America, has anyone heard of or used them?

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Old 15th December 2018, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laneplusfranny View Post
Thanks Crawford, I appreciate that insight.
Boy this this depressing.
What I'm calling travel insurance through my company is a standard benefit all employees globally receive, it's actually good coverage in the event of an incident when travelling "outside of country of assignment or residency" and includes holidays (in addition to work-related travel) so as long as I continue to be employed they should cover us, but I am definitely going to call them to discuss the situation and get a better picture.... my primary concern with considering that coverage a 'backup' is if we do obtain USA insurance they may say "well that means you are resident there and we won't cover you".
Part of my struggle is figuring out how to define 'residency' for this extended period of time, given we are citizens (not just holiday-makers in Italy for several months, for example).
I have looked into a service called "Travel Insurance for USA Citizens" insubuy.com/travel-insurance-for-us-citizens-visiting-usa
the companies that provide coverage are Patriot America and Diplomat America, has anyone heard of or used them?

Personally, I would think that the insurance your employer provides for overseas trips etc will cover emergency incidents but not day to day medical treatment such as visits to doctors and/or treatment for everyday illnesses. Specifically, getting pediatric checkups, innoculations for children etc would not be covered.
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Old 16th December 2018, 07:10 AM
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And in general, I would expect that any form of "travel insurance" is only going to cover urgent services, not things like routine pediatric exams and treatments. Normally you'd probably need real "expat" health insurance, but for an extended stay like you're planning I'm not sure that's the right product for your circumstances.

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Old 16th December 2018, 08:29 AM
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One further thought on this. You mention
Quote:
but with a newborn who will need to continue immunisation schedules and will need to see a doctor for regular development checkups, we're just not sure what else to register for (if anything)?
I think you may find that the immunisation schedules and development checkups in the US may be somewhat different from what you're used to in Australia. Each country seems to vary a bit, usually related to their national health system. If your child will need records of their routine checkups and appointments (for school or whatever) when you're back in Australia, you may want to get a detailed listing of what's required there so you can tell a doctor in the States what you expect.

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Old 16th December 2018, 08:56 AM
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Thanks again for the insight. Re: immunisation, yes we're aware of some slight differences and have the different schedules on hand, shouldn't be an issue, other than paying for it! Cheers

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Old 14th June 2019, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laneplusfranny View Post
We did a quote through one of the sites and for the three of us it will be over $850 a month. It's so shocking We pay nothing in Australia and receive exceptional care. I know the point of insurance is in case of disaster, but I can't imagine paying out of pocket for routine visits will amount to 9mo x $850.
I would say you will be lucky if you get insurance that covers at least something for $850 a month for 3 of you. But it seems to me a fairy tale.

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