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Married, still abroad and trying to sign up with healthcare.gov-- help!

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Here's the deal. My husband and I live abroad in Colombia. His interview for the CR-1 visa is December 1, and we are planning to be in Houston, TX by late December.

We are both dealing with health problems and have not been able to get treatment within the horrendous Colombian healthcare system. You basically have to be on your deathbed here to get past a general practitioner. We would like to sign up on healthcare.gov to have coverage when we arrive in the United States, due to the aforementioned health issues. I have a slipped disc in my back and need physical therapy, just to give you an idea of the severity of these problems. Neither of us have a job lined up in Houston for when we arrive, so insurance through a job is a future possibility but not a guarantee at this point. And again, we really don't want to have to wait even more to get the treatment we need.

I spoke to two people who worked for the healthcare.gov hotline who basically told us the same thing (but seemed confused about our situation). We won't have jobs when we arrive, and for the forms you need to estimate how much money you will make for 2015. We were also told that if we submitted an application with 0 income, our application would be sent to Medicaid, which would then reject us (Texas didn't expand Medicaid/my husband couldn't enroll with Medicaid anyway due to AOS), and then we would be sent back to the Marketplace, and THEN we could enroll.

So basically, two people have told us Medicaid has to reject us before we can enroll with a plan from the Marketplace having 0 income. I fear that if we do that, the government will think my husband was seriously trying to enroll with Medicaid, which he can't do because of AOS. We are feeling stuck right now, and the only thing I can think to do is try to enroll just myself, go through the whole Medicaid rejection thing, sign up in the Marketplace and THEN add my husband. I am not sure if this is possible.

Thoughts? Has anyone else dealt with this?

USCIS (Priority date April 1, Approval April 17, no RFEs)

March 28, 2014: I-130 sent via FedEx from Bogotá to Chicago Lockbox

April 1, 2014: Delivered to Chicago Lockbox at 10:29 a.m. according to FedEx tracking; signed for by J. CHYBA (date confirmed by My Case Status)

April 4, 2014: NOA1 e-mail received at 12:17 a.m.; case accepted and routed to CSC for processing. Check cashed.

April 17, 2014: Changed mailing address with USCIS Tier 2 representative. He also confirmed that our case had arrived to the CSC and that our NOA1 date is April 3.

April 18, 2014: NOA2 e-mail received at 12:30 a.m. Case status online changed to post-decision activity; date of "last updated" changed to April 17. Change of address e-mail received at 3 a.m. Status changed back to initial review on e-mail and online. Date of "last updated" now April 18. Called and spoke to two Tier 2 reps; both were useless.

April 21, 2014: Approval confirmed verbally by Tier 2 rep. Order put in to send second NOA2 hard copy to new address. Instructed to ignore online case status.

April 25 or 26, 2014: NOA1 hard copy arrives to old apartment in Bogotá. Priority date actually April 1. (April 3 was the notice date.)

May 16: USCIS change of address e-mail received

May 19: USCIS e-mail received saying a duplicate notice was mailed on this date. Case status now set to "Acceptance."

May 22: NOA2 duplicate hard copy arrives to U.S. address


April 29, 2014: Case received

​May 22, 2014: Case number and IIN assigned. Asked operator about our move from Colombia to Argentina and received instructions.

May 24, 2014: E-mails about embassy change/address change sent to nvcinquiry@state.gov at 4:36 p.m. NVC time

​June 3, 2014: Payment portal message "This case is in the process of termination" appears. DS-261 appears, submitted. E-mails received from NVC concerning case number and AOS bill.

June 4, 2014: AOS payment invoiced, paid; DS-261 received by NVC

June 6, 2014: AOS payment shows as PAID in payment portal

June 17, 2014: Response received from nvcinquiry@state.gov. "The correspondence submitted is currently under review. An appropriate action will be taken once this review is completed."

June 24, 2014: AOS package sent via FedEx overnight shipping from Houston to NVC

June 25, 2014: AOS package delivered at 9:43 a.m. according to FedEx tracking; signed for by F.FNU

July 1, 2014: AOS package scanned

July 18, 2014: Checked payment portal and saw: "CASE NUMBER CHANGE: The applicant's case number, [bGT#], has been changed to [bNS#]." Called and confirmed. Also said today marked 30 business days since NVC received DS-261; operator said she would have that reviewed and make IV payment available ASAP.

August 5: E-mail sent to nvcinquiry@state.gov concerning changing our embassy BACK to Bogotá at 6:41 p.m. NVC time

August 6: IV invoice e-mail FINALLY received at 2:13 a.m. NVC time

August 7: IV payment made available on payment portal; paid

August 8: IV payment shows as PAID in payment portal; DS-260 becomes available

August 14: Checklist received; errors on sponsor's I-864 form and on joint sponsor's I-864A

August 15: DS-260 submitted

August 29: Checklist response and IV package sent via FedEx ground from Houston to NVC

September 4: Checklist response and IV package delivered at 11:21 a.m. according to FedEx tracking; signed for by GPETERS

September 8: Checklist response and IV package scanned

September 10: DS-260 accepted; false checklist received

September 17: E-mail response received from asknvc@state.gov (30 business days/43 calendar days later): Correspondence under review

September 26: Embassy change approved; new case number assigned



Interview scheduled: Nov. 10 -- Medical: Nov. 25 -- Interview: Dec. 1, 9:30 a.m. APPROVED! -- Visa in hand: Dec. 5 -- POE: Dec. 29 in Houston

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Colombia


I don't believe you will find medical insurance here without having a job. There is obama care, but you need to be working. There may be health programs in Texas, but it requires proof of income. I suggest you find any type of work once you arrive, then apply right away.

You need to think about how you willl answer those Affidavit Support questions. I assume someone is helping you with the affidavit support forms, The person that will financially supporting you when you arrive to Texas may be able to add you on their medical insurance.

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