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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Hubby has started applying for jobs in the USA and we want to be prepared for when he gets a job offer. He is a geophysicist and we will be going on a TN or an H1-B visa, depending on what the company has/wants to offer.

Will we be eligible for medical insurance with the company (all the jobs he has applied for offer med/dental insurance). If so, what can we expect our premiums to be every month? I know this is quite a general question and feel free to ask me specific info if you need them to answer my question.

I suppose that if the company has a med insurance, it covers the employee but the spouse can be added to the policy for a certain amount. Will we then have to pay a percentage when we go see a doctor?

I also assume that because I have asthma, my premium will be higher but would they refuse to insure me for that reason?

Sorry if my question are silly! We're Canadian but currently living in the UK and both countries have national health systems so I'm quite confused :)

Thanks for your time and answers,

Cindy
 

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Hi,
Hubby has started applying for jobs in the USA and we want to be prepared for when he gets a job offer. He is a geophysicist and we will be going on a TN or an H1-B visa, depending on what the company has/wants to offer.
Will we be eligible for medical insurance with the company (all the jobs he has applied for offer med/dental insurance).
Medical insurance is, currently, entirely private. Your eligibility or not is up to your company and their provider.

If so, what can we expect our premiums to be every month? I know this is quite a general question and feel free to ask me specific info if you need them to answer my question.
See above :)

i have worked for companies that had no premiums at all (like Microsoft) and others with premiums of over $400 per month for me and my wife (no kids).

I suppose that if the company has a med insurance, it covers the employee but the spouse can be added to the policy for a certain amount. Will we then have to pay a percentage when we go see a doctor?
Your costs totally depend on your plan. I have been part of an HMO type plan where i had very limited choices for doctors, but the plan paid everything, and I have had PPO style plans where i can see nearly any doctor i want, but the plan only pays 90% of the cost after a deductible and a co-pay. Most plans have a yearly maximum they can charge you, so for really expensive procedures you don't have to worry about paying too much.

I also assume that because I have asthma, my premium will be higher but would they refuse to insure me for that reason?
The beauty of the Healthcare system in America is that the more people you have in your plan the better deals you get. Individuals get screwed for pre-existing or chronic conditions like asthma, but corporations almost always negotiate a fixed premium cost for all their employees. You most likely will not be penalized in any way for having asthma.

Sorry if my question are silly! We're Canadian but currently living in the UK and both countries have national health systems so I'm quite confused :)
In America if you have a good professional level job you will almost certainly have cheaper and better healthcare than you had in Canada. However if you lose that job, or want to start your own, or are less educated and therefor have a less skilled job--then the system really kicks your ass. My father (multiple heart attacks and high blood pressure) would be totally uninsurable on an independent plan, but he works for a good company (UPS) and is a member of a really strong union (the teamsters), so he pays nearly nothing for his healthcare and has never been denied coverage for any procedure.
 

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If a company offers medical insurance there is generally a 30-90 day waiting period for coverage after start of employment. The premiums are based on coverage/company's contract with carrier/... Again - generally there is a window once a year during open-enrollment for the employee to make changes to his/her policy. Lifechanging situations such as birth of a child, death of a partner ... have a similar occurance based window. Your asthma is a socalled pre-existing condition. Your premiums will reflect this and you may find not everything to be covered. Co-payments for doctor visits/hospital stays/medication/premiums/annual deductible per family/member - there is no broad answer. All the fine print should be available to your husband prior to signing a contract.
Prepare for several hunderd dollars for coverage and then an annual deductible you have to meet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Michael,

Thanks for your reply, it gives me a better idea of the American health system and its complexity! We have been invited to an (American) friend of ours in the UK for a Thanksgiving dinner next Sunday so we will talk to him about it to try to understand the system some more!

Is that your Newfie on the picture? We have a brown one and also a Bernese... Your Landseer is BEAUTIFUL!

Cheers,

Cindy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Twostep. We will make sure to ask questions before signing any contract. We will also make sure to budget a few hundred dollars/month for health insurance. Better be ready than sorry. Trying to get hired by Exxon, Schlumberger or similar company but information on the health/dental insurances is not available on their websites. They only mention they have some!

Cheers,

Cindy
 
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