medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Old Sep 24th 2011, 3:59 am
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Default medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Hello,

Ive tried looking at the usual places to find the answer to this (wiki, this forum, relevant US gov. websites) but could use some extra help.

My grandma (UK citizen) has recently been diagnosed with cancer and Im trying to find out what the visa requirements would be for her to receive treatment in the US. Since the B2 visa covers both travel as a tourist and travel for healthcare, does she need a B2 given that under normal circumstances she would simply use the VWP rather than a B2?

In short, can you travel to the USA under the VWP with the intention of receiving (and paying for) healthcare or do you need to get a B2?

I realise that there is a lot more to figuring out if this is a viable option than simply a visa e.g. length of treatment and therefore length of stay could be an issue under VWP, finance. This is just one question of many.

Advice appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 4:18 am
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

I'm sure some other members will be along to post in a while. You do know that cancer treatment in the US will run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, right? If people cannot pay for cancer treatment in the US, usually the treatment stops (whether it would have helped the individual or not). The hospitals and doctors will be expected to be paid and have their accounts settled with your grandmother prior to her going back to England (assuming that treatment is successful). Google the going rates of chemotherapy and radiation therapy just to get a rough idea of what your grandmother may be facing. Best of luck to you and your family.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 4:26 am
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Thanks for your response. Cost is certainly something that needs to be considered, yes. My mother in law is a cancer nurse in Florida, so I will be having some conversations with her about many aspects of this, cost being one. It may be that treatment in the US is not an option for that reason (or other reasons).
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 5:43 am
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Does she have the resources to pay for it?

If not, then everything else is irrelevant.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 6:02 am
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

My mother has had two lung cancer surgeries. Knock woood she has been in remission for almost 5 years. It was caught very early. If she did not have insurance her bills would have been over $200,000.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

The 90 day limit of the VWP may present problems if she is in the middle of a course of treatment etc. A B2 can be admitted for up to one year and can apply for extensions.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Is there a reason you think care will be better in the US? I would figure on having 1/2 million dollars of disposable money in the bank before considering it. You may also find you will have to pay most or all of the quoted amount up front but you will need a large cushion for the things that crop up. I will say that where you Ho will be licking their chops as they will make way more money than they would from an insured patient.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Originally Posted by crg View Post
The 90 day limit of the VWP may present problems if she is in the middle of a course of treatment etc. A B2 can be admitted for up to one year and can apply for extensions.
Thanks. From what you say it sounds like it is permitted to travel under vwp though? The deciding factor as to whether to use vwp or B2 will be length of treatment rather than immigration rules.

Do you know if the B2 is single or multiple entry? I cant seem to find this out either.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Does she have the resources to pay for it?

If not, then everything else is irrelevant.
I agree. I understand that there are MANY other things to consider here other than a visa and Im certainly not pushing an expensive trip to the US for treatment if it is not worth it overall. However, the subject has come up and when it did, no one knew if a visa was required.

If the decision made is to go to the USA for treatment, knowing how to proceed re. visa requirements is important. Research into this area is something that can be done now, thus shortening any time between the decision being made and implementing said decision. If the decision is made not to come to the USA and my visa research is not required, then so be it.

My mother in law has had a few patients from the UK come to her hospital for cancer treatment before so I know its possible and for those patients the cost/benefit made it worth coming to the US for them. This may or may not be the case for my gran. Its being looked into.
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Old Sep 24th 2011, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: medical treatment under VWP/B2?

Originally Posted by Fingers crossed View Post
Thanks. From what you say it sounds like it is permitted to travel under vwp though?
Yes. Medical treatment is included in the "visitor for pleasure" category.
People are permitted to seek entry for medical treatment under either the VWP (WT) or B-2 classification.

Most people receive a multiple entry B2. Nationals of some countries, such as Iran, will usually only receive a single entry due to reciprocity.
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