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Health insurance and LTC

Health insurance and LTC

Old Aug 7th 2011, 9:37 am
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Default Health insurance and LTC

I'm hoping to marry my girl-friend. I'm a UK citizen (77) and she's a USC (63). Till now the obstacles have been the benefits she'd lose when she divorces her husband (she's been estranged for many years).

His pension is not a problem because he's annuitized it and there are 8 remaining years at $10K/year. I could give my girl $80K and she could pay me back $10K for each year her ex survives.

Social security is not a problem because she would be entitled to her ex's SS even if she re-marries.

That leaves us with health insurance - she currently benefits from her husband's policy, so I would have to replace it from my resources. I'm thinking I should contact a broker to find out how much it would cost me to replace her current benefits when she marries me.

We'll have a pre-nup agreement, but I understand that the spouses are always responsible for each other's health care notwithstanding any pre-nup agreements. Does this extend to long-term care (LTC)?

If I obtain a green card through the marriage would I be entitled to use the NHS in England until I become a USC, e.g. if I was stricken by cancer or heart trouble?

Does the above seem fair? Any suggestions and advice appreciated.
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Move to the UK.

Honestly, your health insurance will be approximately $1,000-$2,000 a month FOR YOU ALONE. Even after you get your green card it will be five years before you are eligible for Medicare coverage, and even that will require you to "buy in" to the plan to cover your lack of US work / tax payments. She may be eligible for Medicare to cover her health care.

If something befalls you your wife will be liable for all of your medical expenses as she will have pledged to the US government she is your sponsor, pre-nup has nothing to do with that.

Seriously, it's that grim.

Here is a wiki on health care basics.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Health_Insurance
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Didn't you have most of your questions answered on the other thread you started a few weeks ago? You also know that you cannot use the NHS if you are no longer residing in the UK (that was covered on you other thread).
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

You have to consider that you may not get any health insurance company to cover you at your age (with the greatest of respect). I cannot believe that you don't have any pre-conditions to take into account.

With regard the NHS, once you are resident here, no, you cannot use the NHS system.

Your wife, when she reaches 65, will, if her ex has paid up all his contributions, most likely be eligible for Medicare - but even here there are payments to be made.

My hubby is coming up for 65 and we have worked out that by the time you have all the plans and coverage for Medicare he will be paying approx 400 dollars a month for him alone.
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Thanks for the replies. We're going to talk to an insurance broker about options, but it looks difficult for me. I could afford $2K/month and wonder - would it be tax deductable?

On another tack - do you think it's fair for me to have to pay all these costs for my future wife? Do you think she should make some contribution? After all, the costs and problems arise from me having to join her in the US. She doesn't want to live in the UK, where I have a house, a daughter and two grandsons (at uni).

It looks more and more as if the health insurance is going to stymie the whole plan. The $450K story is really scary and could happen!
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Originally Posted by raasay View Post
Thanks for the replies. We're going to talk to an insurance broker about options, but it looks difficult for me. I could afford $2K/month and wonder - would it be tax deductable?

On another tack - do you think it's fair for me to have to pay all these costs for my future wife? Do you think she should make some contribution? After all, the costs and problems arise from me having to join her in the US. She doesn't want to live in the UK, where I have a house, a daughter and two grandsons (at uni).

It looks more and more as if the health insurance is going to stymie the whole plan. The $450K story is really scary and could happen!

Who pays for what?....I think it's something only the 2 of you can work out. IMO leaving your way of life, children, grandchildren, NHS and everything that is familiar to live thousands of miles away...to a country with a completely different culture..when you are 77 takes a lot of guts. Despite what the UK press say the UK has an excellent social services program...you won't find that here. Many of us want to return 'home' as we get older...that should tell you something. Just my opinion mind.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Aug 7th 2011 at 9:16 pm.
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Originally Posted by raasay View Post
Thanks for the replies. We're going to talk to an insurance broker about options, but it looks difficult for me. I could afford $2K/month and wonder - would it be tax deductable?

On another tack - do you think it's fair for me to have to pay all these costs for my future wife? Do you think she should make some contribution? After all, the costs and problems arise from me having to join her in the US. She doesn't want to live in the UK, where I have a house, a daughter and two grandsons (at uni).

It looks more and more as if the health insurance is going to stymie the whole plan. The $450K story is really scary and could happen!
Put it like this .... at the age of 63 your future wife, unless she has assets she can bring to the marriage is not going to be contributing via any future salary she might earn.

So if she already has assets, then, yes, she should be putting these into the marriage 'pot'. She will have her Social Security you say, plus an annuity payment from her ex. I don't see why you have to give her the annuity money and then she repays you back - why just add the annual payment into the marriage 'pot'.

You seem to be willing to give up an awful lot in both money and lifestyle for this lady. Please think very carefully about this - you could potentially lose a lot.
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Originally Posted by raasay View Post
On another tack - do you think it's fair for me to have to pay all these costs for my future wife? Do you think she should make some contribution?
You are not obligated to move to the US, just as she is not obligated to move to the UK. If you go, it's because you accept the conditions under which you go.


After all, the costs and problems arise from me having to join her in the US. She doesn't want to live in the UK, where I have a house, a daughter and two grandsons (at uni).
From where I sit, it sounds like she wants things her way... and your family is less important to you than hers is to her. If you're willing to accept her terms, then that's your choice. If you think it's unfair, then you'd best accept the fact that you're getting the short end of the stick and will continue to do so. If she's unwilling to compromise, then that's the way things are going to be for the duration of your relationship with her.

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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

So she will divorce her Husband and marry you as long as you produce enough assets to put her in the same financial situation as if she stayed married to her Husband.

I would have thought the answer was pretty obvious. RUN
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 5:34 am
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Originally Posted by raasay View Post
Social security is not a problem because she would be entitled to her ex's SS even if she re-marries.
I don't think that's correct:

"If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record".

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/divspouse.htm
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

How did you meet your girlfriend? How long have you known each other? Where would you be living in the USA?

Living in the UK is definitely the best option from a health care/financial stand point.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Thanks for your replies - they're really helpful.

Regarding the health insurance: I spoke to a broker today, who said that he didn't know any firm that would take an individual over the age of 65 (group insurance is a different matter). He said that I might qualify for Medicare when I marry, and could then purchase supplementary health insurance - to top up what Medicare provides. I'll have to find out whether I could do this.

By the way, if a woman divorces and remarries after the age of 60 she can keep her ex's social security - the official website and forums are clear about this.

Regarding who pays for what: she has business interests in the US (five small shops) as well as her two sons and three grandchildren. She's very busy in the summer months, but less so in the winter. Although she's quite well-off now she's concerned about her future. The shops could go pear-shaped - they dropped 40% turnover in the recession two years ago. At the moment she's in a 'comfort zone' with her husband's pension, ss, and health policy, and she doesn't want to give it up.

We've known each other for 25 years and have been 'partners' for 13 years, but unable to marry because of the above.

I guess I'll have to resign myself to enjoying the health benefits of the UK and seeing my girl-friend for about five months a year (in small tranches) and seeing her when she visits the UK (in winter). We've done holiday trips together in the winter - so that's another way to be together.

Thanks all for your comments.
Best wishes
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Originally Posted by raasay View Post

I guess I'll have to resign myself to enjoying the health benefits of the UK and seeing my girl-friend for about five months a year (in small tranches) and seeing her when she visits the UK (in winter). We've done holiday trips together in the winter - so that's another way to be together.

Thanks all for your comments.
Best wishes
TBH I think that is probably the best idea. That way you have all the social benefits of being a UK resident and get to be near and spend time with your family. The only problem I foresee is the cost and availability of travel insurance for you as the years go by.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Yes, that's a fear. Till now I've been using annual multi-trip policies. Most of these have a limit of 60 days, but I've found a few that allow 90 days per trip and as many trips as you like - unfortunately the VWP doesn't allow this! The premiums have got more expensive as I've grown older, but now about GBP 600/year, which is OK, especially when you think of the risks of high medical bills in the US.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance and LTC

Might want to keep an eye on how many days you spend in the US....don't want to find yourself eligible for Us tax filings...that wouldn't be fun for you.
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