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Marie77

Non-US health insurance for perm residents

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Filed: Timeline

I know its nothing new to say that (as a British expat) I find the US healthcare system to be confusing and exasperating!

As I live in NY, health insurance is particularly expensive here - and as a freelance employee it falls on my own shoulders to sort out an individual plan.

I'm covered under a US freelance programme right now which is around $500 a month, however I've been exploring the option of seeing if I can use a non-US based plan for expats which would cover me in the States.

Does anyone have any experience with companies like Bupa International, Interglobal, AXA International or HTH Worldwide?

They all seem to offer plans for expats which cover living in the USA and are considerably cheaper than local policies. I'm wondering if they are reliable however as it seems a bit too good to be true!

Many thanks in advance for any insights

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (pnd) Country: India
Timeline

Those are the main players in expat healthcare. I had a policy with Bupa a few years ago while living in India. Never needed to use it so [thankfully, I guess] I can't comment on how they handled claims.

I think the big question is what the policy actually says - in what capacity are you an expat? Are you married to a USCitizen and a green card holder? Or, are you here on some other type of visa? The expat insurance companies are VERY well versed on the tedious aspects of why you are where you are located [like visa type]. Many of the agents for these companies know the ins and outs of what works best in certain situations.

Typically, many people in the US get their coverage through an employer or other group setting [the local Chamber of Commerce if they own a small business, through a university if a student, etc] or through family [a spouse's employment benefit for example].

I thought of something else - Blue Cross/Blue Shield in many states has a 180-day option that is usually very reasonable in cost. The main catch is that you'll have a gap of 4-5 days every year as it cannot be continuous coverage. Also, I think it has [or at least had] no maternity coverage or pre-existing condition coverage - that was at least true for 3 different states I researched before coming back to the US. The monthly premiums were very, very reasonable as it was mainly short term catastrophic care insurance.

Edited by catknit

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Filed: Timeline

Hi Catknit

I'm married to a USC and have a greencard.

I've been told by IHI Bupa they will cover both myself and my USC husband which I find quite suprising!

Their rates are considerably lower than any domestic insurance plan I can find which covers NYC - however being a paranoid kind of person and hearing so many horror stories about hospital costs here I feel like i should research this further before signing up!

I guess on the plus side - with the company being based in Denmark they might not play the whole 'do anything not to pay' game many of the US health insurers seem to get into here!

The whole system is extremely confusing but I guess IHI might be a workable solution and would also cover me for when I travel outside of the US for work...

On a side note - I checked with Blue Cross and their hospital plan costs $180 a month here (which I was excited to find!) however, from doing some further digging it doesn't cover any of the doctors or physicians fees in the hospital so you can still get stuck with a bill for many thousands of dollars :(

Those are the main players in expat healthcare. I had a policy with Bupa a few years ago while living in India. Never needed to use it so [thankfully, I guess] I can't comment on how they handled claims.

I think the big question is what the policy actually says - in what capacity are you an expat? Are you married to a USCitizen and a green card holder? Or, are you here on some other type of visa? The expat insurance companies are VERY well versed on the tedious aspects of why you are where you are located [like visa type]. Many of the agents for these companies know the ins and outs of what works best in certain situations.

Typically, many people in the US get their coverage through an employer or other group setting [the local Chamber of Commerce if they own a small business, through a university if a student, etc] or through family [a spouse's employment benefit for example].

I thought of something else - Blue Cross/Blue Shield in many states has a 180-day option that is usually very reasonable in cost. The main catch is that you'll have a gap of 4-5 days every year as it cannot be continuous coverage. Also, I think it has [or at least had] no maternity coverage or pre-existing condition coverage - that was at least true for 3 different states I researched before coming back to the US. The monthly premiums were very, very reasonable as it was mainly short term catastrophic care insurance.

Edited by Marie77

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