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HalfWayMark

Health insurance for new arrivals (LPR and USC)

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Need some help here.... Trying to get medical insurance lined up for my family when we arrive in the US. We're currently in the Philippines.

 

My wife's IR-1 was approved, and we (including our 2-year-old USC) are flying to the US on August 31. I timed it so I could enroll them in a health insurance plan to begin on September 1. I'm thorough when it comes to this stuff -- not gonna take any chances on astronomical medical bills.  I started this search early so I'd have it lined up for September, but hit a brick wall. Our home is (will be) in Washington state; each state has different regulations so I hope someone in our boat can help.

 

I'm retired, on Medicare -- so I don't have the option of adding them on employer-based health insurance. I've looked into the state ACA exchange (simply for signing up for insurance, I don't expect subsidies because of our income). But the exchange has lengthy and complicated rules regarding LPRs, which would take months to meet (such as mailing in copies of the PR, providing SSN, etc.) None of these will be in-hand until my wife enters the country on August 31.

 

Entering the US after having lived in a foreign country is one of the qualifying "life events" for "special enrollment" in ACA or private insurance (at least for "minimal essential coverage" to meet ACA requirements; I don't want a useless stop-gap policy). However, I'm told that both my wife and child cannot enroll in insurance until the "event" (entering the US) happens, and for 60 days afterward. If you apply after the 15th of the month, coverage starts 2 months later; thus, no way I can start them until October 1. Going without insurance is downright scary.

 

I've called and chatted with a primary insurance company (Kaiser Permanente), hoping to purchase a family plan for wife and kid. But they say they follow the above "60 days after the event" rule.

 

I'm floored....... That means returning US citizens and immigrants simply can't get health insurance (real insurance, "minimal essential coverage") for 4-6 weeks after entry to the US.

 

I'll keep needling Kaiser, and hopefully I can engage Washington's ACA exchange with this problem. But I've dealt with both before and it takes months to get useful resolutions on health care.

 

So -- has anyone been in this situation? Or know a good short-term health insurance option for Washington state? I've googled everywhere, and most websites say "not available in your area". The only thing I can find is "accident insurance" (also "travel insurance", same thing in this case). That would be my last resort, as they don't cover illnesses or checkups or lab tests, etc. They also don't cover pre-existing conditions, which I know lets them off the hook for everything.

 

Any experience with trustworthy short-term health insurance (with policies available in Washington state) would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,
  Mark
 

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7 minutes ago, HalfWayMark said:


Need some help here.... Trying to get medical insurance lined up for my family when we arrive in the US. We're currently in the Philippines.

 

My wife's IR-1 was approved, and we (including our 2-year-old USC) are flying to the US on August 31. I timed it so I could enroll them in a health insurance plan to begin on September 1. I'm thorough when it comes to this stuff -- not gonna take any chances on astronomical medical bills.  I started this search early so I'd have it lined up for September, but hit a brick wall. Our home is (will be) in Washington state; each state has different regulations so I hope someone in our boat can help.

 

I'm retired, on Medicare -- so I don't have the option of adding them on employer-based health insurance. I've looked into the state ACA exchange (simply for signing up for insurance, I don't expect subsidies because of our income). But the exchange has lengthy and complicated rules regarding LPRs, which would take months to meet (such as mailing in copies of the PR, providing SSN, etc.) None of these will be in-hand until my wife enters the country on August 31.

 

Entering the US after having lived in a foreign country is one of the qualifying "life events" for "special enrollment" in ACA or private insurance (at least for "minimal essential coverage" to meet ACA requirements; I don't want a useless stop-gap policy). However, I'm told that both my wife and child cannot enroll in insurance until the "event" (entering the US) happens, and for 60 days afterward. If you apply after the 15th of the month, coverage starts 2 months later; thus, no way I can start them until October 1. Going without insurance is downright scary.

 

I've called and chatted with a primary insurance company (Kaiser Permanente), hoping to purchase a family plan for wife and kid. But they say they follow the above "60 days after the event" rule.

 

I'm floored....... That means returning US citizens and immigrants simply can't get health insurance (real insurance, "minimal essential coverage") for 4-6 weeks after entry to the US.

 

I'll keep needling Kaiser, and hopefully I can engage Washington's ACA exchange with this problem. But I've dealt with both before and it takes months to get useful resolutions on health care.

 

So -- has anyone been in this situation? Or know a good short-term health insurance option for Washington state? I've googled everywhere, and most websites say "not available in your area". The only thing I can find is "accident insurance" (also "travel insurance", same thing in this case). That would be my last resort, as they don't cover illnesses or checkups or lab tests, etc. They also don't cover pre-existing conditions, which I know lets them off the hook for everything.

 

Any experience with trustworthy short-term health insurance (with policies available in Washington state) would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,
  Mark
 

We entered Sept 2 and I was able ... with MUCH chasing up and phone time with the MO marketplace representatives.. to be able to get insurance through Marketplace beginning Oct1.  Shortest time possible. I started 5 days after arriving.. if you are able to face to face with a Marketplace navigator they are able to do initial verification on the LPR documentation .. don’t try to do

it online as that’s where the ID verification goes into la la land and disappears down a black hole. But many Navigator positions  were  defunded... so get on the phone as soon as you arrive. Get things settled  before the 15th of the month and the policy should be able to be active 1st of the next month 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
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Try a Broker in Washington, obviously will not be cheap.


“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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OP here... Thanks, Lil bear and Boiler. Good suggestions, I've written to both an ACA Navigator and brokers in my area. I hope I'm starting early enough to get this resolved. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/9/2019 at 4:31 AM, HalfWayMark said:


Need some help here.... Trying to get medical insurance lined up for my family when we arrive in the US. We're currently in the Philippines.

 

My wife's IR-1 was approved, and we (including our 2-year-old USC) are flying to the US on August 31. I timed it so I could enroll them in a health insurance plan to begin on September 1. I'm thorough when it comes to this stuff -- not gonna take any chances on astronomical medical bills.  I started this search early so I'd have it lined up for September, but hit a brick wall. Our home is (will be) in Washington state; each state has different regulations so I hope someone in our boat can help.

 

I'm retired, on Medicare -- so I don't have the option of adding them on employer-based health insurance. I've looked into the state ACA exchange (simply for signing up for insurance, I don't expect subsidies because of our income). But the exchange has lengthy and complicated rules regarding LPRs, which would take months to meet (such as mailing in copies of the PR, providing SSN, etc.) None of these will be in-hand until my wife enters the country on August 31.

 

Entering the US after having lived in a foreign country is one of the qualifying "life events" for "special enrollment" in ACA or private insurance (at least for "minimal essential coverage" to meet ACA requirements; I don't want a useless stop-gap policy). However, I'm told that both my wife and child cannot enroll in insurance until the "event" (entering the US) happens, and for 60 days afterward. If you apply after the 15th of the month, coverage starts 2 months later; thus, no way I can start them until October 1. Going without insurance is downright scary.

 

I've called and chatted with a primary insurance company (Kaiser Permanente), hoping to purchase a family plan for wife and kid. But they say they follow the above "60 days after the event" rule.

 

I'm floored....... That means returning US citizens and immigrants simply can't get health insurance (real insurance, "minimal essential coverage") for 4-6 weeks after entry to the US.

 

I'll keep needling Kaiser, and hopefully I can engage Washington's ACA exchange with this problem. But I've dealt with both before and it takes months to get useful resolutions on health care.

 

So -- has anyone been in this situation? Or know a good short-term health insurance option for Washington state? I've googled everywhere, and most websites say "not available in your area". The only thing I can find is "accident insurance" (also "travel insurance", same thing in this case). That would be my last resort, as they don't cover illnesses or checkups or lab tests, etc. They also don't cover pre-existing conditions, which I know lets them off the hook for everything.

 

Any experience with trustworthy short-term health insurance (with policies available in Washington state) would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,
  Mark
 

Im trying to find health insurance for my husband. I am located abroad with him so I need to find coverage that will start when he arrives. Did you have any luck with short term medical insurance (which is also called travelers insurance) or luck with any other type of insurance? I am so confused by all this, I know nothing about insurance because I usually get my insurance from my employer, wether in the states or abroad. Ill be job searching when I arrive back in the states so I wont have employee insurance right away. Thanks!

Edited by NMHayek

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
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Have you considered going back first?

 

What do you plan to do for yourself?


“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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Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 8:01 AM, NMHayek said:

Im trying to find health insurance for my husband. I am located abroad with him so I need to find coverage that will start when he arrives. Did you have any luck with short term medical insurance (which is also called travelers insurance) or luck with any other type of insurance? I am so confused by all this, I know nothing about insurance because I usually get my insurance from my employer, wether in the states or abroad. Ill be job searching when I arrive back in the states so I wont have employee insurance right away. Thanks!

I'm the OP, from almost a year ago. At the time, the administration had not imposed the requirement of proving the immigrant would have health insurance within 30 days of arrival. For a sponsor who doesn't have employer-provided health insurance, it's near impossible to meet the 30-day limit (although proving you tried might be sufficient).

 

So there are two kinds of US-citizen sponsors: 1) Those who have employer-provided health care, in which you add your immigrant spouse to the policy. And 2) Those of us who don't, and who need to get insurance on the exchange or the private market.

 

Those of us in the 2nd group don't have many options. Every state has different laws regulating Short Term Medical (STM) policies, so you have to check with your state health commissioner what options you have. STM policies are practically useless, since they have all sorts of conditions. Applying on the ACA health exchange (or going directly to a health care provider for ACA qualifying coverage) is the only way to get "true" qualifying coverage. But the ACA has rules that prevent insuring an immigrant until they physically enter the country, and further rules that can prevent coverage from starting up to 45 days later. A STM policy can bridge this, but as I said, try not to get sick.

 

That's my experience in lining up health insurance for my spouse. But I don't know what it takes to satisfy the new "30-day requirement" for health insurance.

 

Edit: Oh -- STM is not the same as Traveler's insurance. If your spouse is immigrating, they are not a "Traveler". If in doubt about what kind of temporary policy you need, read the policy coverage.

 

See previous threads for more information:

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by HalfWayMark

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10 minutes ago, HalfWayMark said:

I'm the OP, from almost a year ago. At the time, the administration had not imposed the requirement of proving the immigrant would have health insurance within 30 days of arrival. For a sponsor who doesn't have employer-provided health insurance, it's near impossible to meet the 30-day limit (although proving you tried might be sufficient).

 

So there are two kinds of US-citizen sponsors: 1) Those who have employer-provided health care, in which you add your immigrant spouse to the policy. And 2) Those of us who don't, and who need to get insurance on the exchange or the private market.

 

Those of us in the 2nd group don't have many options. Every state has different laws regulating Short Term Medical (STM) policies, so you have to check with your state health commissioner what options you have. STM policies are practically useless, since they have all sorts of conditions. Applying on the ACA health exchange (or going directly to a health care provider for ACA qualifying coverage) is the only way to get "true" qualifying coverage. But the ACA has rules that prevent insuring an immigrant until they physically enter the country, and further rules that can prevent coverage from starting up to 45 days later. A STM policy can bridge this, but as I said, try not to get sick.

 

That's my experience in lining up health insurance for my spouse. But I don't know what it takes to satisfy the new "30-day requirement" for health insurance.

 

Edit: Oh -- STM is not the same as Traveler's insurance. If your spouse is immigrating, they are not a "Traveler". If in doubt about what kind of temporary policy you need, read the policy coverage.

 

See previous threads for more information:

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you very much. This gives me some good information. I will take a look. I’ll talk to an insurance broker and look into the STM and the ACA. I looked at the healthcare.org today and As you said the ACA doesn’t allow an immigrant to even apply for insurance Until they have the green card it seems or maybe at least the visa number. Very strange situation. But thank you again for taking the time to write, very helpful 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, NMHayek said:

Thank you very much. This gives me some good information. I will take a look. I’ll talk to an insurance broker and look into the STM and the ACA. I looked at the healthcare.org today and As you said the ACA doesn’t allow an immigrant to even apply for insurance Until they have the green card it seems or maybe at least the visa number. Very strange situation. But thank you again for taking the time to write, very helpful 

It does not allow illegals to apply, ACA depends on State Residency, so you need that to apply.

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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