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Getting Added to my Partner's Medical Insurance - Life Altering Event

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OK guys, I'm in a bit of a bind.


My partner and I got married in 2015. At the time I was obviously still living in the UK. We did not think that it would be pertinent to have me added to her union provided health insurance. 


Fast forward to 2019 and I am 5 weeks away from moving. I had her call her up union rep to ask how to add me to her insurance. The rep said that I can only be added within 30 days of a life altering event. Marriage qualifies but immigration does not. Her rep is suggesting that she add me in October when the annual slot to amend opens up.


Now I'm in a bind because I don't want to be without insurance for 6 months. 


Could I argue that upon leaving the UK I would no longer be covered under NHS and that this loss of coverage is a life altering event?

Or should I simply get my employer to write a letter confirming that they do not provide health insurance for me?


Really stuck and pulling my hair out over this ridiculous system. Please help.

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The loss of UK coverage should qualify as life altering. Can you get some paper saying you’re losing coverage from UK? 

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2 hours ago, milimelo said:

The loss of UK coverage should qualify as life altering. Can you get some paper saying you’re losing coverage from UK? 

My GP won't do this for me. The clinic says it's not their responsibility. I'm unsure how to prove that I will be losing NHS coverage. Will try to get in touch with NHS Overseas Services and see what they can do.


Thanks for the reply!

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I'm shocked that your partner's union insurance does not consider moving countries as a life changing event. The ACA (and my own employer provided insurance) considers moving countries a life changing event. 


If your GP won't write you a letter (which I'm also shocked about, that seems very cruel!), what about a letter from a local government office to prove you had coverage?


Alternatively, you could, as you said, go the employer route. Since you are moving in 5 weeks, I assume you will no longer have your current job? Loss of job may qualify as a life changing event. 


I would ask your partner to call the rep again and ask what your options are. If moving countries does not qualify then what does? What evidence do they require to prove you are losing NHS coverage? Insurance companies and plans are very specific, so I think that may the only place you'll get accurate answers unfortunately. 

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Quite normal that lower level staff do not know how the system works, kick it upstairs.

“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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The US governmemt doesnt think its a life altering event.  I had this issue when I moved to the US as well and my husband works for the DOT.  His HR said i coudnt be covered until the open period.  BUT i think if you can show that you are not covered by NHS as a non-resident of the UK with copies of NHS eligibility requirements,  then you could overcome this.  I didnt try hard enough. 

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Worst case scenario, if your partner's US health insurance absolutely will not add you until October, even after trying to appeal to the director of HR or the insurance company, you could start looking for a job in the US now before you move and hopefully get your own job that will provide you with your own health insurance within a few weeks of arriving since you can work right away as an LPR.  Short-term health insurance for a few weeks before you start working would not be too expensive if you want peace of mind.  Even if that short-term health insurance continues until October it shouldn't be too expensive if it is for emergency coverage only with a big deductible.  That will depend on your current health situation and if you need medical care as soon as you enter the US or if you're in good health and most likely won't need any health care.  Good luck!

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Thanks guys. 


I have already left my UK employer although they were kind enough to issue me a letter indicating that I have not ever received private health insurance through them, the letter states the first day of employment as over a year ago so it's no good in this instance.


I will follow @NikLR's advice and get a copy of the NHS eligibility requirements. Maybe push my luck and get the GP to just write a letter confirming that if I have an immigrant visa for the US then I'm clearly no longer eligible for UK NHS services.


Appreciate everyone's input.

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