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Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Old Sep 6th 2016, 8:57 pm
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Default Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Hi All,

I have been reading the USA and Canada forums for a while now.

We (couple - no kids - late 30s) are interesting in relocating and are deciding between USA or Canada.

Qualifications and experience wise we have a number of years of software experience in good organisations and confident of a job offer in Canada or through L1 to the USA.

Thinking long term, it seems that in USA, health insurance is a big issue unless one plans to work until 65 years old and/or have employer coverage and constantly plan towards it. Some websites seem to say hundred of thousands of dollars even with Medicare for post retirement. I also saw the BE wiki mentioning the costs of health care.

In spite of having family there and liking the options it gives - variety of weather, big houses, travelling, etc. - health insurance seems like a blocker and one that is making us lean towards Canada.

How do you all see it? Just wondering if there is may be something i missed as it is a massive decision.

I would really appreciate any info on how you plan for it. Do you all expect to work until 65 and spend tens of thousands of dollars yearly on it? Is it not stressful as we seem to perceive it?
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:14 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

It's one of those items that comes with living and working in the US.

Health insurance and the relevant costs have to be taken into account when considering that new job in the US or marrying and moving to the US.

If one has a decent job with a decent employer, obtaining a good comprehensive policy via the company reduces the worry about health cover. There are always costs though, even with a good policy; apart from premiums there are out of pocket costs.

Yes, unless one can afford the premiums to take out individual policies (ie. not subsidised like a company policy) one would expect to work until 65 until Medicare (Government senior citizen scheme) kicks in.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Just remember, Canada doesn't cover all medical costs, so you will still have out of pocket costs such as prescriptions, dental, vision and others.

Every province is different, so there is no set rule as to what's covered and what's not.

In BC there are also monthly premiums for healthcare.

Tends to be cheaper still, but there can still be significant out of pocket costs especially if one doesn't have extended health insurance.

There can also be significant waits for treatments and even getting a GP can be time consuming and difficult depending where you live in Canada, sometimes taking years to find a GP.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

I'm a USC and I plan to work until I'm at least 65, maybe longer, as I love my job and the benefits it provides. I always knew I'd never be able to afford early retirement.

Rene
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

If you can get an L1 you should ask your company about health insurance in the US. The premiums and insurance offered vary greatly between companies and states. As an example I get very good individual insurance with a $250 deductible for $100/month, but that's very inexpensive for the US.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Originally Posted by egno View Post

Qualifications and experience wise we have a number of years of software experience in good organisations and confident of a job offer in Canada or through L1 to the USA.
So you would be transferred by your current employer? In that case, they should be offering a decent health plan, which would cut your costs.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

YES!

Canada isn't much better on the issue of healthcare. Each province has its own healthcare and finding a doctor is a lesson in futility.

Last edited by Rete; Sep 6th 2016 at 9:30 pm.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
I'm a USC and I plan to work until I'm at least 65, maybe longer, as I love my job and the benefits it provides. I always knew I'd never be able to afford early retirement.

Rene
There are people like us, Rene, who are geared to retirement at age 65. Never wanted to myself but fate took that decision out of my hands. Frankly, I hate being retired. Would rather work until I dropped.

For the OP, my medicare is $109 a month out of my SS check and my supplemental is $650 a year. Don't know where you come up with the tens of thousands of dollars for medical when you retire at age 65 on Medicare.

Last edited by Rete; Sep 6th 2016 at 9:35 pm.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

We're fortunate enough to be covered by Mrs H's District Health Plan as a teacher. Another three years work and then we keep the coverage, even when she leaves, from 55 until Medicare kicks in. The irony though is that we'll be heading to the UK so that she can get her citizenship.
Gives us choices I suppose.

Last edited by Hotscot; Sep 6th 2016 at 10:12 pm.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

The biggest issue I have is wait times (had to wait 10 mos almost for a heart test) wife has been waiting 9 mos for a specialist and still has another 2 mos before the appt.

Requires great patience sometimes when it comes to healthcare here.


Originally Posted by Rete View Post
YES!

Canada isn't much better on the issue of healthcare. Each province has its own healthcare and finding a doctor is a lesson in futility.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

We retired to the US when I was 58 and my wife was 56. We have lived here for 10 years now and up until medicare kicked in we paid for our own health insurance. We haven't found the cost of health care to be a problem despite my wife being diabetic and needing regular treatment for that.

Here (Oregon) we pay less income tax than we did in the UK, and no sales tax (VAT). I guess that offsets medicare costs. You need to look at the total cost of living in the US against the UK not just one aspect of it.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

As JSmith says health care in Canada has it's own problems. Most provinces are woefully short of doctors with waiting lists well into the thousands in many cities, and getting an appointment to see a doctor if you ever do get allocated one can take weeks. Healthcare might be expensive in the US, but at least it exists!
If that is the main reason you think Canada would be better (I've lived in both and cannot think of a single reason to choose Canada!) then I'd go for the US.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Originally Posted by cxx View Post
As JSmith says health care in Canada has it's own problems. Most provinces are woefully short of doctors with waiting lists well into the thousands in many cities, and getting an appointment to see a doctor if you ever do get allocated one can take weeks. Healthcare might be expensive in the US, but at least it exists!
If that is the main reason you think Canada would be better (I've lived in both and cannot think of a single reason to choose Canada!) then I'd go for the US.
As I understand it, Canada does not allow private insurance/private practice to supplement state coverage, so in that sense it is even worse than the UK, and explains why Canadians with money come over the border into the US to pay for treatment that they are prohibited from paying for in Canada.
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 12:02 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
The biggest issue I have is wait times (had to wait 10 mos almost for a heart test) wife has been waiting 9 mos for a specialist and still has another 2 mos before the appt.

Requires great patience sometimes when it comes to healthcare here.
I'm well aware of that. I'm married to a Canuck and all his family, except one niece, still live in Ontario and Quebec provinces. Although my brother-in-law in Quebec province has been lucky to get tests, doctors and hospital care and surgery rather quickly when required for his cancer and heart problems.
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Old Sep 7th 2016, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance, is it that bad?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
I'm well aware of that. I'm married to a Canuck and all his family, except one niece, still live in Ontario and Quebec provinces. Although my brother-in-law in Quebec province has been lucky to get tests, doctors and hospital care and surgery rather quickly when required for his cancer and heart problems.
My SIL had gall bladder troubles and had it removed in a matter of weeks in Toronto. I have recently had pneumonia...felt unwell on the Sunday morning and saw a doctor that day. I have had several X-rays all with a day of booking...again in Toronto. I believe retirees do not pay for meds in Ontario.
Meds, optical, dental, massages, chiro etc are all covered by my daughter and SIL's employers insurance. It also covers full medical insurance whilst on vacation overseas.

I have always found US healthcare to be excellent. Hubby retired in his mid 50's...we have lifetime health insurance coverage through his ex-employer.
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