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James&Christy

K-1 visa and health insurance

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Hi,

Having arrived in the U.S. a month ago on my K-1 visa, I figured it was about time to get some health insurance. Unfortunately quite a few health insurance providers are refusing to insure me as I've not been in the country for twelve months yet.

We've found one who *will* insure me, but it's uber-expensive :(

Any experiences or advice please? :help:

~James.


Jun 2004 Met online at MBA4

Jul 2004 Fell in love

30 Nov 2004 Met in person in the US for the first time

03 Apr 2005 Three week vacation together in Chicago and Kansas City!

25 Jul 2005 James visits United States to propose. See Branson Balloon Website

27 Sep 2005 K-1 filed!

28 Sep 2005 K-1 petition received by government

04 Oct 2005 Got NOA1 in the mail

18 Oct 2005 Got NOA2 confirmation email! Less than a month!!!!

17 Nov 2005 Received packet 3

24-30 Nov 2005 James visits U.S. for Thanksgiving

08 Dec 2005 Received medical results. Everything ok!

19 Dec 2005 Sent packet 3

30 Dec 2005 - 4 Jan 2006 James visits U.S. for New Year!

17 Jan 2006 Sent packet 3 in AGAIN, after embassy said they had no record of the first one!

19 Jan 2006 Received packet 4 (interview date). No connection with mailing on 17 Jan! Interview set for 9:30 on Tue 7th Feb.

07 Feb 2006 APPROVED!!!

01 Apr 2006 James due to fly to America

09 Apr 2006 Wedding date!!

3dflagsdotcom_uk_2fawm.gif3dflagsdotcom_usa_2fawm.gif

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Ahhhh, health insurance... this is right up my alley. Ive worked in physician and hospital billing for over 5 years so I am all too familiar with the evil Health Insurance Company. Which health insurance companies have you contacted? Do you our your spouse have the option of group coverage through an employer?

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The only company/group insurance available to Christina is a joke, so unfortunately the answer is no.

We spoke to State Farm, and the guy there spoke to a couple of colleagues who also reckoned we'd have a problem. Blue Cross/Blue Shield *will* give us insurance, but it's expensive :(

I am currently still on the travel insurance policy I got for this "trip", but i'm not sure entirely how long this will last until i get found out ;)


Jun 2004 Met online at MBA4

Jul 2004 Fell in love

30 Nov 2004 Met in person in the US for the first time

03 Apr 2005 Three week vacation together in Chicago and Kansas City!

25 Jul 2005 James visits United States to propose. See Branson Balloon Website

27 Sep 2005 K-1 filed!

28 Sep 2005 K-1 petition received by government

04 Oct 2005 Got NOA1 in the mail

18 Oct 2005 Got NOA2 confirmation email! Less than a month!!!!

17 Nov 2005 Received packet 3

24-30 Nov 2005 James visits U.S. for Thanksgiving

08 Dec 2005 Received medical results. Everything ok!

19 Dec 2005 Sent packet 3

30 Dec 2005 - 4 Jan 2006 James visits U.S. for New Year!

17 Jan 2006 Sent packet 3 in AGAIN, after embassy said they had no record of the first one!

19 Jan 2006 Received packet 4 (interview date). No connection with mailing on 17 Jan! Interview set for 9:30 on Tue 7th Feb.

07 Feb 2006 APPROVED!!!

01 Apr 2006 James due to fly to America

09 Apr 2006 Wedding date!!

3dflagsdotcom_uk_2fawm.gif3dflagsdotcom_usa_2fawm.gif

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Hmmmmm..... you can try www.myuhc.com

United Healthcare has its ups and downs. Im personally not fond of them, but you may find luck.

www.aetna.com

www.cigna.com

www.humana.com

www.medicalua.com (I think this is the correct website for United American, but Im not certain)

www.megainsurance.com (again, Im not certain this is the correct website)

I cant remember very many tonight, my brain is shutting down. I know there are a ton of other resources I can dig up for you and Ill post some more tomorrow when I get to work and in the "Evil Insurance Company" mindset. Hope this helps :)

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Here are a few more company websites you can try:

www.benplan.com

www.cbca.com

www.definityhealth.com

www.deltahealthsystems.com

www.firsthealth.com

www.wausau.com

Good luck! :)

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i got insured under jig (via his employer) as soon as we got married. we used coventry, but i think they may only be in PA/NJ/DE/MD area.

i typed in 'immigrant insurance' in a search and got this http://www.specialtyrisk.com/immigrant_medical.htm

perhaps it can be of use to you. good luck!


Adjustment of Status

July 1 2006 - Sent EAD & AOS packet

Sept 19 2006 - EAD APPROVED

Sept 22 2006 - AOS APPROVED

Sept 23 2006 - EAD card arrived

Sept 29 2006 - GC arrived!!!

Removal of Conditions

Jul 9 2008 - Filed @ VSC

Feb 25 2009 - Transferred to CSC

June 20 2009 - Card production ordered

NATURALIZATION

Aug 24 2009 - Mailed N-400 priority mail

Aug 26 2009 - rec'd at TX Lockbox

Aug 27 2009 - NOA1 (rec'd 8/31)

Aug 28 2009 - check cashed

Sept 4 2009 - biometrics notice [rec'd Sept 9]

Sept 25 2009 - Biometrics

Oct 17 2009 - Email about file transfer for interview

Oct 21 2009 - Interview Letter Rec'd

Dec 8 2009 - Interview - PASSED!!!!!!

Dec 19 2009 - Oath Letter rec'd

Jan 14 2010 - OATH CEREMONY!!!!

Jan 15 2010 - Passport app.

Jan 21 2010 - Nat. cert. returned

Jan 22 2010 - Passport rec'd

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i typed in 'immigrant insurance' in a search and got this http://www.specialtyrisk.com/immigrant_medical.htm

I bought insurance from SRI during my first 6 months here. After I started getting work assignments from a staffing agency I had registered with, I bought insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield through them.

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You might also try other states' Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. Every state has one, so you might find better luck with one state versus another. And you do not necessarily have to live in a particular state to take advantage of their BCBS plan.

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The only company/group insurance available to Christina is a joke, so unfortunately the answer is no.

We spoke to State Farm, and the guy there spoke to a couple of colleagues who also reckoned we'd have a problem. Blue Cross/Blue Shield *will* give us insurance, but it's expensive :(

I am currently still on the travel insurance policy I got for this "trip", but i'm not sure entirely how long this will last until i get found out ;)

Sounds like you know about the 'trip' insurance.

US Insurance is expensive, if you can not get anybody else to pay, Group/Employer, then go with as big a deductible as you can.

Edited by Boiler

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Sounds like you know about the 'trip' insurance.

US Insurance is expensive, if you can not get anybody else to pay, Group/Employer, then go with as big a deductible as you can.

My wife had a 6 month wait to be eligable for my policy (to be in state resident). Bad luck, she had appendicitis after 5 months. This is a routine surgery - should be about $5,000. Medicare pays ~ $4200. No insurance? Hospital wants well over $50,000. (The bill would make you laugh - band aids are $200, saline bags (1L sterile salt water) is $500, nurses are $500/hour, pepto bismol $400, TYLEONOL $200/pill !!!)

Everything is marked up about 100 times what is would normally cost.

Doctors are pretty cheap compared to this - they only charged ~$1,000 /hour. A bargain compared to the hospital. (This required 12 doctors and 12 bills in 3 days.) 3 hours of actual care by an actual doctor.

Insanity, really.

The care she received was awful ( 15 hours in pre-op, couldn't get a surgeon to show up... Appendix ruptured while waiting).

Her mother is a physician. She was shocked.

One of our friends is a doctor here. Thank god, the hospital may have killed her otherwise. (every bad thing you could imagine. No one doing rounds, nurses not following Rx's, discharge orders screwed up.) He came by every day, looked at her chart, fixed the screw ups the nurses were making. This is an easy case, right?

You need insurance here, no matter how bad it is. Even if they won't cover ANYTHING, you still need it. You will get the insurance-company price. In our case, the appendectomy would be $4,800 (us paying everything). You don't really need insurance if you get insurance company negotiated prices. This is fine - these things don't happen every day.

Without insurance, we have about $80,000 in bills now (about $20,000/day in hospital). Of course, I'm not paying it.

But the fight you will have with the hospital will not be fun. It is an endless negotiation over everything.

(Their billing is typically so screwed up that they won't send you an invoice. They know you will send it back due to the number of mistakes. Our first 3 bills now have not had anything right yet.)

Anyway, get insurance. It is necessary here.

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Sounds like you know about the 'trip' insurance.

US Insurance is expensive, if you can not get anybody else to pay, Group/Employer, then go with as big a deductible as you can.

My wife had a 6 month wait to be eligable for my policy (to be in state resident). Bad luck, she had appendicitis after 5 months. This is a routine surgery - should be about $5,000. Medicare pays ~ $4200. No insurance? Hospital wants well over $50,000. (The bill would make you laugh - band aids are $200, saline bags (1L sterile salt water) is $500, nurses are $500/hour, pepto bismol $400, TYLEONOL $200/pill !!!)

Everything is marked up about 100 times what is would normally cost.

Doctors are pretty cheap compared to this - they only charged ~$1,000 /hour. A bargain compared to the hospital. (This required 12 doctors and 12 bills in 3 days.) 3 hours of actual care by an actual doctor.

Insanity, really.

The care she received was awful ( 15 hours in pre-op, couldn't get a surgeon to show up... Appendix ruptured while waiting).

Her mother is a physician. She was shocked.

One of our friends is a doctor here. Thank god, the hospital may have killed her otherwise. (every bad thing you could imagine. No one doing rounds, nurses not following Rx's, discharge orders screwed up.) He came by every day, looked at her chart, fixed the screw ups the nurses were making. This is an easy case, right?

You need insurance here, no matter how bad it is. Even if they won't cover ANYTHING, you still need it. You will get the insurance-company price. In our case, the appendectomy would be $4,800 (us paying everything). You don't really need insurance if you get insurance company negotiated prices. This is fine - these things don't happen every day.

Without insurance, we have about $80,000 in bills now (about $20,000/day in hospital). Of course, I'm not paying it.

But the fight you will have with the hospital will not be fun. It is an endless negotiation over everything.

(Their billing is typically so screwed up that they won't send you an invoice. They know you will send it back due to the number of mistakes. Our first 3 bills now have not had anything right yet.)

Anyway, get insurance. It is necessary here.

Wow, this should be a sticky, summarises everything I have seen about the US Medical system.

Can I copy and use this for next time somebody asks?

Cynically the answer would have been to give a false name/address/SSN.

Edited by Boiler

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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I will be covered by my SO insurance once we are married but the first days there before marriage I intend on having something to cover me just in case too because you never do know.


K-1 journey, AOS/EAD and ROC in my timeline

2011 March 31 - Sent off Naturalization pkg overnight to Texas

2011 April 1 - Arrived in Texas at 10:21 am

2011 April 1 - NOA (rec'd via snail mail April 8)

2011 April 7 - Cheque cashed

2011 May 5 - Biometrics (letter rec'd via snail mail April 15)

2011 May 9 - Placed in line for interview scheduling

2011 June 13 - Rec'd yellow letter (no change in status online)

2011 June 23 - Rec'd text that my case has been scheduled for interview

2011 August 1 - Interview (rec'd via snail mail June 27) PASSED

2011 August 3 - Rec'd email that my case has been scheduled for Oath

2011 September 1 - Oath ceremony (rec'd snail mail Aug 5)

2011 September 1 - All done, yeah.

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Sounds like you know about the 'trip' insurance.

US Insurance is expensive, if you can not get anybody else to pay, Group/Employer, then go with as big a deductible as you can.

My wife had a 6 month wait to be eligable for my policy (to be in state resident). Bad luck, she had appendicitis after 5 months. This is a routine surgery - should be about $5,000. Medicare pays ~ $4200. No insurance? Hospital wants well over $50,000. (The bill would make you laugh - band aids are $200, saline bags (1L sterile salt water) is $500, nurses are $500/hour, pepto bismol $400, TYLEONOL $200/pill !!!)

Everything is marked up about 100 times what is would normally cost.

Doctors are pretty cheap compared to this - they only charged ~$1,000 /hour. A bargain compared to the hospital. (This required 12 doctors and 12 bills in 3 days.) 3 hours of actual care by an actual doctor.

Insanity, really.

......

Anyway, get insurance. It is necessary here.

Exactly. I do hospital billing and the charges are outrageous. If your insurance company is contracted with the hospital you get a huge chunk taken off for contract rates and reasonable and customary adjusments. Even if you have a $2000.00 deductible to pay, you are still better off with insurance. Even crappy group insurance is better than no insurance.

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I got my wife insured on my company policy as soon as we got married, which was less than two weeks after she arrived. She came with travel isnurance but that isn't very good I heard so therefore I made it a point to get married ASAP. We did the proper Indian reception many many months later.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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