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British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:17 pm
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Exclamation British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

My dad is 90 and has been a permanent resident alien in the US for 4 years. He has no health insurance. In one more year he can buy medicare.

He has a minor meniscal tear in his knee. It causes him a lot of pain when the bit of cartilege gets under his kneecap. The arthroscopic surgery to repair it in my part of the US is about $20K.

Can he go to the UK and get it done? Is he still covered by NHS though living abroad? Could he get on the UK NHS new travel abroad for treatment program? Gosh that would be a dream come true! How about Canada?

He's also an Australian citizen - can he go there and get it done, covered by Australian health scheme?

Otherwise we may find ourselves on a plane headed to India. No fun for a 90 year old, but as I understand it the op. would cost about 2K there in a first class facility.

Thanks for any advice -- Surely we are not the only immigrant family in the US with elderly parents who need health care.

JackieP
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:23 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Did he serve in the English military during the war. Some Allied veterans are entitled to care in the American Veterans Hospitals.

Originally Posted by JackieP
My dad is 90 and has been a permanent resident alien in the US for 4 years. He has no health insurance. In one more year he can buy medicare.

He has a minor meniscal tear in his knee. It causes him a lot of pain when the bit of cartilege gets under his kneecap. The arthroscopic surgery to repair it in my part of the US is about $20K.

Can he go to the UK and get it done? Is he still covered by NHS though living abroad? Could he get on the UK NHS new travel abroad for treatment program? Gosh that would be a dream come true! How about Canada?

He's also an Australian citizen - can he go there and get it done, covered by Australian health scheme?

Otherwise we may find ourselves on a plane headed to India. No fun for a 90 year old, but as I understand it the op. would cost about 2K there in a first class facility.

Thanks for any advice -- Surely we are not the only immigrant family in the US with elderly parents who need health care.

JackieP
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

He won't be able to get it done under the NHS in the UK, I'm afraid, as he is no longer a resident.
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by Jill
Did he serve in the English military during the war. Some Allied veterans are entitled to care in the American Veterans Hospitals.
He is not a resident of the UK, therefore he is not entitled to NHS care.
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by Jill
Did he serve in the English military during the war. Some Allied veterans are entitled to care in the American Veterans Hospitals.
Good question and good to know that. But no, he was in the merchant marine in WWII. Not sure if that counts - and probably he has no records so it might be hard to check up on.
Thanks
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by Heading home
He won't be able to get it done under the NHS in the UK, I'm afraid, as he is no longer a resident.
Ah, I was afraid that would be the case. Seems a bit unfair since he's fully paid up, and there are no services for him here in the US (unless he's below the poverty line).

Thanks for that info anyway,

Cheers
Jackie
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by JackieP
Otherwise we may find ourselves on a plane headed to India. No fun for a 90 year old, but as I understand it the op. would cost about 2K there in a first class facility.
I don't know that a 90-year-old would stand the stress of a long journey very well, and if there were any complications such as infection the costs could go much higher.

I'd say do it here if you possibly can. As has been pointed out, it's residency and not citizenship that determine eligibility for state-provided medical care.
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl
He is not a resident of the UK, therefore he is not entitled to NHS care.
Not only that, but the fact that he would probably be put on a waiting list, and they may deem the surgery not necessary, etc. Besides what a long haul flight would/could do to the old guy. He could possibly be in the UK for a very long time, not that would be a bad thing, but does he have a place to live, etc?
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by AmerLisa
Not only that, but the fact that he would probably be put on a waiting list, and they may deem the surgery not necessary, etc. Besides what a long haul flight would/could do to the old guy. He could possibly be in the UK for a very long time, not that would be a bad thing, but does he have a place to live, etc?
Yes, all that is true. But I think the discomfort of a long flight would be worth it to get the knee made comfortable. He's liable to fall right over when the cartilege floats into the wrong part of his knee, with intense pain.

A friend told me I should look into cost of surgery in a lower-cost state than California where we live, or maybe Canada. We may just have to look into that.

I've also been looking at http://www.medicaltourism.com/ for some ideas.

Thanks,
Jackie
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by JackieP
Yes, all that is true. But I think the discomfort of a long flight would be worth it to get the knee made comfortable. He's liable to fall right over when the cartilege floats into the wrong part of his knee, with intense pain.

A friend told me I should look into cost of surgery in a lower-cost state than California where we live, or maybe Canada. We may just have to look into that.

I've also been looking at http://www.medicaltourism.com/ for some ideas.

Thanks,
Jackie
Who's responsible for him? Has he been here for awhile? Does he have a great amount of income?
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Althought I am sure you have his best interests at heart, I think it is a little too much to expect an 90 old to fly from the US to India. Apart from the long flight...have you not heard about DVT. Your father having knee surgery would put him at high risk for DVT, plus a long haul flight at his age is a recipe for disaster IMHO.
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by JackieP
My dad is 90 and has been a permanent resident alien in the US for 4 years. He has no health insurance. In one more year he can buy medicare.

He has a minor meniscal tear in his knee. It causes him a lot of pain when the bit of cartilege gets under his kneecap. The arthroscopic surgery to repair it in my part of the US is about $20K.

Can he go to the UK and get it done? Is he still covered by NHS though living abroad? Could he get on the UK NHS new travel abroad for treatment program? Gosh that would be a dream come true! How about Canada?

He's also an Australian citizen - can he go there and get it done, covered by Australian health scheme?

Otherwise we may find ourselves on a plane headed to India. No fun for a 90 year old, but as I understand it the op. would cost about 2K there in a first class facility.

Thanks for any advice -- Surely we are not the only immigrant family in the US with elderly parents who need health care.

JackieP
$20K - crikey that's expensive - you can see why US health insurance is such a nightmare, someone is pocketing a chunk of change.

Last year I had an arthroscopy for a meniscal tear which ended up as a full chondroplasty (next stage up in operation terms). I was living in Spain near Cadiz at the time and it cost $2K for top notch service in a private clinic.

Can I advise you to get the book "Treat your own knees" by Jim Johnson - having spent a lot of time with a knee problem I would highly recommend the book in general, especially the basic quad exercises - whilst you father is 90 if he can do some of the quad strengthening (very basic muscle contractions) it will help both before and certainly after the operation.

The weakening of this muscle group both pre-op due to subconsciously favouring the good leg and post op due to under-use is a big problem when it comes to getting mobile again.

Wish him luck from me.
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Old Jul 17th 2006, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by Cape Blue
$20K - crikey that's expensive - you can see why US health insurance is such a nightmare, someone is pocketing a chunk of change.

Last year I had an arthroscopy for a meniscal tear which ended up as a full chondroplasty (next stage up in operation terms). I was living in Spain near Cadiz at the time and it cost $2K for top notch service in a private clinic.

Can I advise you to get the book "Treat your own knees" by Jim Johnson - having spent a lot of time with a knee problem I would highly recommend the book in general, especially the basic quad exercises - whilst you father is 90 if he can do some of the quad strengthening (very basic muscle contractions) it will help both before and certainly after the operation.

The weakening of this muscle group both pre-op due to subconsciously favouring the good leg and post op due to under-use is a big problem when it comes to getting mobile again.

Wish him luck from me.

Good advice. A lady I know needed knee replacement surgery. Her doctor referred her for physiotherapy to strengthen her muscles, before surgery was performed.
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Old Jul 18th 2006, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Originally Posted by JackieP
My dad is 90 and has been a permanent resident alien in the US for 4 years. He has no health insurance. In one more year he can buy medicare.

He has a minor meniscal tear in his knee. It causes him a lot of pain when the bit of cartilege gets under his kneecap. The arthroscopic surgery to repair it in my part of the US is about $20K.

Can he go to the UK and get it done? Is he still covered by NHS though living abroad? Could he get on the UK NHS new travel abroad for treatment program? Gosh that would be a dream come true! How about Canada?

He's also an Australian citizen - can he go there and get it done, covered by Australian health scheme?

Otherwise we may find ourselves on a plane headed to India. No fun for a 90 year old, but as I understand it the op. would cost about 2K there in a first class facility.

Thanks for any advice -- Surely we are not the only immigrant family in the US with elderly parents who need health care.

JackieP
ouch both physically and financially.
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Old Jul 18th 2006, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: British Dad expat in US needs minor surgery - no insurance. Options?

Maybe a trip to Mexico as it is a lot cheaper there for medical could be a solution for you instead of sodding about flying to India and all that. How to arrange surgery is another story. You are in Cali it's not out of the question.
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