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Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Old Oct 25th 2011, 7:09 pm
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Default Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Hi, my brother (Aussie with US residency) recently moved my mother to Boston from Australia. I don't know all the details, I just know he somehow sponsored her and now she has a green-card.

She's been in Boston for a few months and she constantly worries that she'll either get sick or fall over and break her neck in the upcoming snow season. She seems to think this will result in a hospital huge hospital bill.

So my question is, what options do we have for mum to get some type of coverage in case this occurs? Be it paid or not.

Keep in mind she's legally in the US, she has never worked in the US, she accepts a pension from Australia (not the US) and she has never accepted help/assistance from the US system.

Thanks in advance
Rex
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by rexilla View Post
Hi, my brother (Aussie with US residency) recently moved my mother to Boston from Australia. I don't know all the details, I just know he somehow sponsored her and now she has a green-card.

She's been in Boston for a few months and she constantly worries that she'll either get sick or fall over and break her neck in the upcoming snow season. She seems to think this will result in a hospital huge hospital bill.

So my question is, what options do we have for mum to get some type of coverage in case this occurs? Be it paid or not.

Keep in mind she's legally in the US, she has never worked in the US, she accepts a pension from Australia (not the US) and she has never accepted help/assistance from the US system.

Thanks in advance
Rex
She is correct to worry. I got hurt last year, broke some ribs & collar bone - 5 days in hospital = $60,000.00 + had I not had insurance ( I saw the bills going to insurance co )

She needs to research private health coverage ASAP !!!! Check out Aetna, Blue Shield, Healthnet etc.

She will pay for it and it wont be cheap. For a person of that age, in good health, to get half way decent coverage will be $500 + a month based on my findings when making enquires for my parents ( same age +/- ).

Health care is a real issue here.

Last edited by Englishman43; Oct 25th 2011 at 7:28 pm.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by rexilla View Post
Hi, my brother (Aussie with US residency) recently moved my mother to Boston from Australia. I don't know all the details, I just know he somehow sponsored her and now she has a green-card.

She's been in Boston for a few months and she constantly worries that she'll either get sick or fall over and break her neck in the upcoming snow season. She seems to think this will result in a hospital huge hospital bill.
Does she have any kind of health insurance at the moment?
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by Marocco View Post
Does she have any kind of health insurance at the moment?
Not that I'm aware of.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Perhaps she would be permitted to be added to my brothers health coverage he has through work. Something to research I guess.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Massachusetts requires health insurance for all residents.
You may face Massachusetts tax penalties if you do not enroll in a health plan that you can afford.

Check out https://www.mahealthconnector.org
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by rexilla View Post
Perhaps she would be permitted to be added to my brothers health coverage he has through work. Something to research I guess.
I doubt that very much...if it's possible it would literally cost an arm and a leg.

Medications are another problem for the elderly.

Didn't your brother research this before she came to live in the US? Surely if he lived here he would know what a minefield healthcare is...even with insurance. It's the # 1 thing that concerns most folk and the leading cause of bankruptcy.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by rexilla View Post
Hi, my brother (Aussie with US residency) recently moved my mother to Boston from Australia. I don't know all the details, I just know he somehow sponsored her and now she has a green-card.

She's been in Boston for a few months and she constantly worries that she'll either get sick or fall over and break her neck in the upcoming snow season. She seems to think this will result in a hospital huge hospital bill.

So my question is, what options do we have for mum to get some type of coverage in case this occurs? Be it paid or not.

Keep in mind she's legally in the US, she has never worked in the US, she accepts a pension from Australia (not the US) and she has never accepted help/assistance from the US system.

Thanks in advance

ex
Boy, its a bit late to think about this now. Why is it only your mother who is thinking of the possibilities of a huge bill if she gets sick? Do'nt you or your brother worry about this.?

She is not covered by Medicare if that is what you are thinking. Is she poor enough to warrant Medicaid?

Her option is to find a private health insurance company who will take her on. This will be expensive.

If she cannot get private health insurance then if your brother sponsored her he might find himself responsible for her medical bills.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by rexilla View Post
Perhaps she would be permitted to be added to my brothers health coverage he has through work. Something to research I guess.
Most unlikely to be allowed to put a parent onto a Group scheme.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

I understand its a little late to be thinking of this. while my brother researched everything, I've been kept out of the loop and I'm only getting info from my mum who really doesn't understand it all.

She gets approx $20,000-$24,000 from her Australian pension and that her only income. She also sold her house in Australia and purchased a new one here; the majority of those funds were used to buy the new home. I'll research "medicaid" this evening.

Thanks for the help.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by rexilla View Post
I understand its a little late to be thinking of this. while my brother researched everything, I've been kept out of the loop and I'm only getting info from my mum who really doesn't understand it all.

She gets approx $20,000-$24,000 from her Australian pension and that her only income. She also sold her house in Australia and purchased a new one here; the majority of those funds were used to buy the new home. I'll research "medicaid" this evening.

Thanks for the help.
A friend of mine send his dad back to the UK 2 months here and he paid out $90k
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 9:09 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

Originally Posted by rexilla View Post
I understand its a little late to be thinking of this. while my brother researched everything, I've been kept out of the loop and I'm only getting info from my mum who really doesn't understand it all.

She gets approx $20,000-$24,000 from her Australian pension and that her only income. She also sold her house in Australia and purchased a new one here; the majority of those funds were used to buy the new home. I'll research "medicaid" this evening.

Thanks for the help.
What is there to understand? Your mother of 69 might not have health insurance .... for anything, never mind landing up in hospital.

I can't believe your brother would have put her in such a position. Have you asked HIM whether she has cover or not?

Well I suppose she could sell the property to pay for any large bills.

Medicaid is for low income, no income, no assets people - your mother with her new house might not qualify.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

I believe new legal immigrants have to wait 5 years before they can receive Medicaid benefits (if eligible). There are also laws around Medicare (person has to have paid in for a certain amount of time.) You might want to check
EHealthInsurance for individual and family quotes, or there are other similar sites that will give you a quote.



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Old Oct 25th 2011, 9:22 pm
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Default Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

I just find it mind-boggling that someone would move from another country at that age, even buy a house here, and then start worrying about healthcare costs. I mean, wtf are the mother and her sponsor thinking about?

Having said that, they may have lucked out in ending up in MA with its mandate and (almost) universal coverage. I thought there was a thread about this a while back, but I couldn't find it with the cursory search I did.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Oct 25th 2011 at 9:25 pm.
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Old Oct 25th 2011, 9:45 pm
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Unhappy Re: Health coverage for Australian 69yr old mum in Boston

On the other hand - my best friend in the US, an Aussie expat in her mid-40s (now a dual national) is in a horrible situation. Her partner lost his job earlier this year (he's still unemployed) and is in dispute with his former employer; he supposedly took out the Cobra insurance, but they sent him a bill for $9k and he didn't pay it, so the insurance was cancelled. The couple and three kids currently have NO health insurance...

In the Summer my friend had a pap smear and the results warranted further investigation and she was referred to a specialist clinic where she paid $200 in cash for a basic scan. They found a mass and wanted to do a CAT scan....she was terrified of not just what the results might be, but also scared of the potential medical bills. My friend flew to Australia and saw an oncologist there; the CAT scan showed that she had ovarian cancer. Fortunately he operated on her a couple of days later...it was at stage 3 and a fallopian tube was removed.

She said that the medical staff apologised for the high cost of the bills....(she had some form of subsidised Aussie Medicaid and has to pay 25% of medical bills). It came to AUD $500. She knew it would have cost many thousands more in the US.

My friend tells me that she has come up against brick walls in the US trying to get medical insurance as she has a pre-existing condition (and is self-employed). Indeed she is in Australia again right now to see her oncologist and her very sick father (she used airmiles to get there) and because she is worried about her health and about being bankrupted if she has to face paying huge medical bills in the States, is making plans to move back Down Under.

Believe it or not, an English friend of mine (dual national) moved her mother over from the UK to the US about 5 years ago. Her mother was aged 93 and the oldest person the US Embassy in London had ever interviewed for a Green Card! I know it was extremely expensive to arrange for medical insurance, but my friend and her spouse are wealthy. However, the old lady could not settle in the US and after about 3 months said that she wanted to 'go home' as she missed her friends and her daily routine (she still had her little flat in the Midlands). Maybe she had a premonition, but within a fortnight she became very ill - my friend flew over to the UK to care for her - and died due to a twisted bowel.
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