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mikesr

Spouse has Cancer, Disclose?

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Hello,

 

I'm a U.S. citizen trying to put together a CR-Spouse visa to bring my spouse from Vietnam to the USA.

 

My spouse was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago.  Should I bring up the cancer?   Will I have to if I don't want to?  I'm not sure what the medical checkup will entail. 

 

I see there are some proposed changes on the table to legal US immigration policy regarding financial burden on the health care system that have me concerned.  If they go through by the time we finish this process and get an interview, I'd prefer not to disclose.

 

On the other hand, it's affected many aspects of "our story" quite a bit, pretty much every aspect of our lives.  Employment, living situation, future plans, everything we do.

 

We have other things to worry about but I would like to continue the process of trying to go back home together.  Thanks for any input. 

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You should absolutely disclose. 

I'd also be calling your insurance company and asking about the cost to add them (assuming they'll cover your partner with a preexisting condition like cancer? I don't know what the rules are regarding this) as well as to send you out their pricing tables so you see exactly how much their care will cost you. 

 

TBH unless you are very financially well off, I wouldn't even consider bringing a spouse in when you know that they'll need significant medical care as it will in 99.9% of cases be far cheaper anywhere BUT the USA.

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You will have to disclose her cancer for the medical exam.  

Cancer does not make her inadmissible.  Being a potential public charge may be a concern.  As long as she is eligible for your health insurance, then it's a non-issue.

 

Hiding it would be an issue since that's immigration fraud.

 

The cancer is part of your story.  Don't hide it.  If you do, you will come off as a fake couple.  Don't do that.

 

Ask for an expedite based on a hardship to you.  (It has to be a hardship for you, not her.)  Explain having to go back and forth to care for her and your job is a hardship.  She would receive better care with you under your insurance in the US and that would be less of a burden for you.

 

Best of luck.

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3 hours ago, dentsflogged said:

You should absolutely disclose. 

I'd also be calling your insurance company and asking about the cost to add them (assuming they'll cover your partner with a preexisting condition like cancer? I don't know what the rules are regarding this) as well as to send you out their pricing tables so you see exactly how much their care will cost you. 

 

TBH unless you are very financially well off, I wouldn't even consider bringing a spouse in when you know that they'll need significant medical care as it will in 99.9% of cases be far cheaper anywhere BUT the USA.

It will come out at the medical exam, most likely.  Otherwise, there are no questions on any form about the subject.  

 

Otherwise, your judgmental comments are not appropriate in this forum.


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OP may be unaware of the cost of care for a person with a serious medical condition. Previous poster was offering a view of an alternative.

 

In addition to the cost, there is the problem of obtaining care in a timely manner.  In my area, new patient appointments for the few physicians taking new patients take many months (6 to 8 is common).  Cancer treatment is not an emergency that would be treated in the ER so it is get in the back of an already long line.

 

OP,  be informed!  If is in your spouse's best interest to move given the issues with US health care at this time, file to expedite as suggested.

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Treatment costs vary depending on type of cancer, mutation, stage, etc. Pre-insurance costs could be in the low 6 digits to well over $1 million per year, and with insurance discounts expect to actually be charged ~20-25% of that in most cases for covered items.

Then add in the costs of of just caring for the person (in case they are unable to work, or will disrupt your work schedule to attend appointments and scans, treatment, recovery, etc.).

 

Check that insurance policy to see what to expect, especially in terms of medications. Many non-IV cancer treatment meds fall under a "specialty pharmacy" provision, which has very different copays and/or coverage limits than regular medications.

Arm yourself with the knowledge...you will regret it if you try to just wing it. Know the premiums, deductibles, copays, and out of pocket maximums per year.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

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1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

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3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

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3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

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Okay, thanks for the info.  I live overseas in a developing country and am uninsured myself, so it would have to be private insurance.  We are receiving treatment overseas out of pocket already in the form of surgeries and radiotherapy.  Treatment in the US would be in the form of checkups every 3-6 months for a couple years to check for recurrence.  I'll look into it and see if it's possible to arrange some private insurance in the US for a non-resident alien with cancer.  Hopefully we will be able to work something out, I'd like to come home with my wife in the next couple years.

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2 minutes ago, mikesr said:

Okay, thanks for the info.  I live overseas in a developing country and am uninsured myself, so it would have to be private insurance.  We are receiving treatment overseas out of pocket already in the form of surgeries and radiotherapy.  Treatment in the US would be in the form of checkups every 3-6 months for a couple years to check for recurrence.  I'll look into it and see if it's possible to arrange some private insurance in the US for a non-resident alien with cancer.  Hopefully we will be able to work something out, I'd like to come home with my wife in the next couple years.

There is no such insurance.  

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23 hours ago, mikesr said:

Hello,

 

I'm a U.S. citizen trying to put together a CR-Spouse visa to bring my spouse from Vietnam to the USA.

 

My spouse was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago.  Should I bring up the cancer?   Will I have to if I don't want to?  I'm not sure what the medical checkup will entail. 

 

I see there are some proposed changes on the table to legal US immigration policy regarding financial burden on the health care system that have me concerned.  If they go through by the time we finish this process and get an interview, I'd prefer not to disclose.

 

On the other hand, it's affected many aspects of "our story" quite a bit, pretty much every aspect of our lives.  Employment, living situation, future plans, everything we do.

 

We have other things to worry about but I would like to continue the process of trying to go back home together.  Thanks for any input. 

Hi.  You have to disclose.  As a cancer survivor, I can tell you that you will not be able to get outside/private insurance for her.  One of the questions asked to qualify is "have you been diagnosed within the last 5 years" of cancer, kidney disease, & et.  If you are employed in the US, you can add her to your employer-based insurance, although expect to pay a higher monthly premium.  She doesn't have a disease that can be transferred to someone else, so I don't see the government denying her entrance into the US because of medical reasons.  The problem would be "is she going to be public charge" case?  The only problem I see would be how she can get the treatment she needs here, without healthcare insurance.  Blessings to your wife for a positive outcome with her cancer.

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2 hours ago, mikesr said:

Okay, thanks for the info.  I live overseas in a developing country and am uninsured myself, so it would have to be private insurance.  We are receiving treatment overseas out of pocket already in the form of surgeries and radiotherapy.  Treatment in the US would be in the form of checkups every 3-6 months for a couple years to check for recurrence.  I'll look into it and see if it's possible to arrange some private insurance in the US for a non-resident alien with cancer.  Hopefully we will be able to work something out, I'd like to come home with my wife in the next couple years.

Mpst people get there HEalth Insurance as part of their employment, so what is your plan? Will your likely job come with such benefits which would include your spouse?


“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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20 hours ago, PandT said:

Hi.  You have to disclose.  As a cancer survivor, I can tell you that you will not be able to get outside/private insurance for her.  One of the questions asked to qualify is "have you been diagnosed within the last 5 years" of cancer, kidney disease, & et.  If you are employed in the US, you can add her to your employer-based insurance, although expect to pay a higher monthly premium.  She doesn't have a disease that can be transferred to someone else, so I don't see the government denying her entrance into the US because of medical reasons.  The problem would be "is she going to be public charge" case?  The only problem I see would be how she can get the treatment she needs here, without healthcare insurance.  Blessings to your wife for a positive outcome with her cancer.

Disclosure is at the medical exam.

 

Obamacare does not allow denial for pre-existing conditions and group medical through an employer doesn't either.

 

The issue will be whether you can AFFORD private insurance.


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4 hours ago, pushbrk said:

Disclosure is at the medical exam.

 

Obamacare does not allow denial for pre-existing conditions and group medical through an employer doesn't either.

 

The issue will be whether you can AFFORD private insurance.

Correct, if it's employer-based through your job, however, I was turned down due to the pre-existing condition in the state I applied in.

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Thanks again for all the advice, and congrats on beating cancer.

 

I'm thinking a couple things based on what everyone has suggested.

 

I live overseas with my wife and don't plan to leave her, so employment based insurance prior to coming home is likely off the table. 

 

If we can get her insurance under the ACA with a greencard, maybe that's the case now, maybe that will change.  If I can't get her insurance, I can buy her round trip plane tickets to her country every 3-6 months to visit her family and go for checkups and pay medical bills there, that would come out to less than 8k USD annually.  I can afford that, and compared to life here, it's really not that difficult.  We're totally fine with either of these plans, but convincing a consular official of that with paperwork could be tough, which goes back to the question of volunteering information or waiting to be asked.

 

If I did volunteer info about the cancer, I don't know where I would do it.  As some have said, if it comes out it would likely come out during the medical exam.  I'm curious how it would come out in the exam.  It would not show in her blood tests or x-rays.  She's been treated at a private hospital in a third world country.  What questions do they ask or what tests do they do that would bring up the cancer?

 

I don't know if it would hurt more or help more to volunteer the info, or where I would in the application if I did.  The hardship on me is only in the form of I want to go home and be with my family and my aging mother, I miss my home, I miss my family, and my friends, and this is a difficult time in life dealing with the cancer, but I can't leave my wife behind.  My income potential would likely be much higher in America as well, I have a J.D. and an M.Ed.  But I'm not traveling back and forth. 

 

Regarding proof of what I can afford, that raises other questions, maybe something for another thread.  My income here is low.  I left my job and moved near my wife's family after the cancer came.  I can show more than 3x 125% of the annual US poverty level in liquid assets in a US bank account with my name on it.  Allegedly that alone is enough for sponsoring a spouse.  But I also have student loans, maybe those would be weighed against my assets.  Or maybe they will have issues with the low income despite the liquid assets.  My sister is a manager at a fortune 500 company and volunteered to joint sponsor with an income over 6 figures annually, but it's my understanding I am not allowed joint sponsors if I meet the requirement myself.  My mother owns the house we'd be living in, valued at 400k, she has an annual retirement income of 60k, and would be the third household member, but it's my understanding she can't fill out an I-864a as a household member unless she's my dependent or we lived together 6 months prior to the application, neither of which would apply.  So it seems like I could show cash assets that cover 3x 125% PL with very low overseas income, or I could show no liquid assets with very low income and use my joint sponsor sister with very high income.  I've got ample evidence to cover the public charge stuff, but if I'm understanding the law correctly, it seems they limit the amount of evidence you can provide.
 

 

 

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My family experience with Cancer suggests that assuming care would be limited to a few check ups is optimistic and does not deal with any other medical issues anyway.

 

She will be asked about her medical history at the Medical, not a form filling question, she should take her records, I know what they require at my Consulate but not at whichever one is yours.

 

Also begs the Residency question which also varies by Consulate.


“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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