Health Insurance - Help!?

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Health Insurance - Help!?


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Old 8th March 2009, 10:03 PM
 
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Default Health Insurance - Help!?

Does anyone have any advice on getting Health Insurance in the USA prior to our arrival to the USA.
We are moving to the US in September and I want make sure I have decent cover for insurance. We do have travel insurance I will need some sort of US insurance....any ideas??? thanks

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Old 9th March 2009, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bhuggett View Post
Does anyone have any advice on getting Health Insurance in the USA prior to our arrival to the USA.
We are moving to the US in September and I want make sure I have decent cover for insurance. We do have travel insurance I will need some sort of US insurance....any ideas??? thanks
Most semi-decent health insurance comes from group policies, i.e. employers or trade associations. Failing this, the coverage is pretty useless since they'll happily remove the cover as soon as you get sick. If you don't qualify for this look at Blue Cross Blue Shield programs, or consider just taking a catastrophic policy and winging the rest.

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Old 9th March 2009, 03:22 AM
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There are many different options for medical insurance. My wife has her own individual medical insurance plan from Pacificare. I am over 65 so I have a great Medicare Advantage plan with no monthly premium and NO co-payments. My wife is under 65 so she has to obtain her own plan as she has always been a homemaker. My wife's medical insurance is very good and contrary to the previous post, can only be canceled for non-payment of premiums.

You can do a search for Medical Insurance" on the Internet to find all the various options and comparisons of the different plans. You can also use a Medical Insurance broker that can help you get the best plan for your circumstance. There is NO charge for using a broker. I have a very good one for Southern California. Blue Cross/Blue Shield is not the best choice.

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Old 9th March 2009, 07:53 AM
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Though JohnSoCal is apparently basing his comments on his being a long-time US citizen and resident, his point about talking (face to face) with an insurance agent or broker in the US is probably a good idea. Is there some way perhaps that you could manage on your travel policy until your arrival, and then contact a local independent insurance agent (i.e. one not bound to a single company) to find a long-term solution for your situation.

Health insurance in the US is somewhat unique in the world and may not cover what you're used to having covered. There is also the matter of some insurers paying claims on a better or worse level than others. (Watch the movie "Sicko" if you want to see the system in operation.)

As fatbrit says, too, you're normally better served by getting a group policy of some sort - if not through an employer, then through an association or there are even some civic and church organizations that offer group policies. But if you or your family has any pre-existing conditions, you need to consider carefully all the fine print and that's best done one on one with an independent insurance advisor.
Cheers,
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Old 10th March 2009, 06:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhuggett View Post
Does anyone have any advice on getting Health Insurance in the USA prior to our arrival to the USA.
We are moving to the US in September and I want make sure I have decent cover for insurance. We do have travel insurance I will need some sort of US insurance....any ideas??? thanks
Well, you cannot get insured properly with pre-existing conditions, so be careful what you tell them. Most insurance companies require a physical and extensive questionnaires to help determine your risks.

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Old 10th March 2009, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
Though JohnSoCal is apparently basing his comments on his being a long-time US citizen and resident, his point about talking (face to face) with an insurance agent or broker in the US is probably a good idea. Is there some way perhaps that you could manage on your travel policy until your arrival, and then contact a local independent insurance agent (i.e. one not bound to a single company) to find a long-term solution for your situation.

Health insurance in the US is somewhat unique in the world and may not cover what you're used to having covered. There is also the matter of some insurers paying claims on a better or worse level than others. (Watch the movie "Sicko" if you want to see the system in operation.)

As fatbrit says, too, you're normally better served by getting a group policy of some sort - if not through an employer, then through an association or there are even some civic and church organizations that offer group policies. But if you or your family has any pre-existing conditions, you need to consider carefully all the fine print and that's best done one on one with an independent insurance advisor.
Cheers,
Bev
Being a long term resident of the US has absolutely nothing to do with it. As I said, the first option would be to search the web. There are many sites that list most of the medical insurance plans, with costs, comparisons, and reviews. You don't need to talk to a broker nor agent face to face, You can do it by phone. I have never seen my broker in person. I am pretty familiar with many of the options as we have purchased individual plans for years and I also obtained my own group insurance when I had my own business.

It does require that you do some research as there are some bad companies and some very good ones. Though there are many deficiencies in the US medical system, the movie "Sicko" does not accurately portray the system. It is a political movie showing only the most negative aspects. The system is not all bad but does need some reforming.

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Old 10th March 2009, 12:46 PM
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John, all I'm saying is that US health insurance functions completely differently from any national health care system I've run across, and for that reason it can be baffling to a foreigner attempting to arrange for coverage from a distance. Buying insurance by Internet requires that you understand deductibles and claims and claim forms and something of the (very limited) public programs available in the US - Medicare, Medicaid, plus the tax advantaged programs for establishing medical savings accounts and insurance plans in some states.

Besides, we know very little about the OP's situation. If he is working, there could be health insurance available through his employer, if not, he might be eligible for group insurance through some sort of association or professional society. If anyone in his family has a pre-existing condition, all bets are off. And if he's settling in certain states, there is the option of the state plan which may be adequate for his needs until he starts to understand how things work in the US. Then add in the variations between individual insurance companies - some pay promptly and with little or no hassle, others don't. And, in some areas there is the matter of HMO's ( and a few other acronyms) that offer treatment a bit differently than through a regular insurer.

For a first exposure to the US insurance system, it might be better to sit down with someone who can field your questions as they arise - and explain to you how the system works.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 10th March 2009, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
John, all I'm saying is that US health insurance functions completely differently from any national health care system I've run across, and for that reason it can be baffling to a foreigner attempting to arrange for coverage from a distance. Buying insurance by Internet requires that you understand deductibles and claims and claim forms and something of the (very limited) public programs available in the US - Medicare, Medicaid, plus the tax advantaged programs for establishing medical savings accounts and insurance plans in some states.

Besides, we know very little about the OP's situation. If he is working, there could be health insurance available through his employer, if not, he might be eligible for group insurance through some sort of association or professional society. If anyone in his family has a pre-existing condition, all bets are off. And if he's settling in certain states, there is the option of the state plan which may be adequate for his needs until he starts to understand how things work in the US. Then add in the variations between individual insurance companies - some pay promptly and with little or no hassle, others don't. And, in some areas there is the matter of HMO's ( and a few other acronyms) that offer treatment a bit differently than through a regular insurer.

For a first exposure to the US insurance system, it might be better to sit down with someone who can field your questions as they arise - and explain to you how the system works.
Cheers,
Bev
I know that it functions much differently. I have lived in countries with Universal care. Our system offers many different options, so one needs to do a lot of research. My major gripe is that most of the people simply complain about the system rather than answer questions. In the countries with Universal care, there typically are no other options or very few. You can learn a great deal on the Internet simply by doing searching. One needs to be willing to put in the work to learn about it. This will be a new adventure for people from "Nanny" states but that is the price you pay to have choices.

I am not going to take this any farther as I have no desire to debate the subject. It will suffice to just say that I am very happy to live in a country where I do have choices, especially after living where I had no choice.
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Last edited by JohnSoCal; 10th March 2009 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 10th March 2009, 03:31 PM
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I know that it functions much differently. I have lived in countries with Universal care. Our system offers many different options, so one needs to do a lot of research. My major gripe is that most of the people simply complain about the system rather than answer questions. In the countries with Universal care, there typically are no other options or very few. You can learn a great deal on the Internet simply by doing searching. One needs to be willing to put in the work to learn about it. This will be a new adventure for people from "Nanny" states but that is the price you pay to have choices.

I am not going to take this any farther as I have no desire to debate the subject. It will suffice to just say that I am very happy to live in a country where I do have choices, especially after living where I had no choice.
You mistake choice for excessive complication and bureaucracy. Some Americans still believe that health care for her citizens is a luxury.

America spends around twice as much as comparable nations on health care, and is close to the the bottom on performance indicators such as infant mortality. The most common reason for bankruptcy is medical bills. The system is broken, and nobody has even attempted a cure for a very long time.Hopefully--and despite those who live in ivory towers--change is coming.

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Old 11th March 2009, 09:42 AM
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Hi!
You are from UK right? and you have health Insurance there, no (you pay monthly and all this king of stuff, right?)
If you do, i think you can use that even if you are in US.
I was in US, but i was still paying my health Insurance in my country. I had my health Insurance with me all the time. But if i want that my H.I. to be valid in US i had to pay extra.

For more info. try to contact:

By Post
HealthCare International Global Network Ltd
UK Administration
160 Brompton Road
Knightsbridge
London SW3 1HW
United Kingdom

Or

By Telephone

General Enquiries +44 (0)20 7590 8800
General Fax +44 (0)20 7590 8815

Claims Enquiries +44 (0)20 7590 8816
Claims Fax +44 (0)20 7590 8819

I hope that they can help you with more detailes.

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