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HSBC & Health Insurance

HSBC & Health Insurance

Old Sep 5th 2016, 12:45 pm
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Default HSBC & Health Insurance

Trying to close up some loose ends before i leave and they are gunna drive me insane lol.

Banking
wanted to use HSBC international banking team to open an account for me before i leave but they insist they need proof of income from a job first before they would open it. The alternative is after i arrive and get my SS# they could open it but then i'm thinking after the call how on earth do you send the evidence and application form to them without going to a branch on the East coast. Anyone got any suggestions? maybe just take a small amount of cash with me and then open a local chase account and then transfer all my money across.

medial insurance
looking at policies on the local exchange for Illinois which range from $200 to $300 since i limited the search but they all say they are not compliant with HSA accounts, can i still open an HSA account to cover them or would i just have to use a normal account until i get sorted.

Arriving on K1 so i read else where on here, can i even sort out the medical insurance before i leave or do i need to wait till i get my ss# and I-94.

My overall plan was to keep mine and my Future wife's medical plans separate until i get a job that comes with medical insurance, i assume this is doable even after she gets married or will her insurance become void? her current income is low enough she qualifiers for the free insurance

Last edited by Mangaboy84; Sep 5th 2016 at 12:53 pm.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 8:42 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

As to your question on an HSBC account, I worked with the UK HSBC international team recently to open an account in the USA from here in the UK, and did it without need of physical interviews or visiting an HSBC branch in the USA. However, I did need a US social security number and provided a scanned image of my US driving licence showing my US address.

I did have to visit my local branch of HSBC where an HSBC representative confirmed that I physically had my licence and passport in hand. (The HSBC person making the application for me was in Wales and all correspondence was via email and phone)

ETA
It will probably be easier to wait until you are over in the USA and open up an account with a local bank rather than HSBC.

Last edited by durham_lad; Sep 6th 2016 at 8:49 am.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 8:50 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Thanks, was just frustrated after the call. it was like fine if you wont help set me up an account before i move then why should i bother after i land. i think i'll just open a bank account with chase or wells fargo (since they get mentioned all the time) using my passport number not SS# and then transfer the money using transferwise. my credit history can be pulled over from Amex when im ready.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:29 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

To be allowed to open and contribute to an HSA you must have HSA compliant health insurance. HSA compliant health insurance is "high deductible", which I think means a "bronze" plan, and possibly a "silver" plan (my insurance is through my employer, so I am not very familiar with the ACA insurance exchanges).

I am not sure what you mean by a "normal account". Non-high-deductible insurance doesn't need an account.

BTW HSBC is very much a regional bank in the US, mostly focused on New York, and in any case, even in New York doesn't have a great reputation.
Originally Posted by Mangaboy84 View Post
...... My credit history can be pulled over from Amex when I'm ready.
Your UK credit history will help you get a US Amex card if you already have a UK Amex card, but that is all. Your UK credit history doesn't otherwise "get pulled over".

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 6th 2016 at 9:32 am.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:40 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
To be allowed to open and contribute to an HSA you must have HSA compliant health insurance. HSA compliant health insurance is "high deductible", which I think means a "bronze" plan, and possibly a "silver" plan (my insurance is through my employer, so I am not very familiar with the ACA insurance exchanges).
They are bronze plans with Blue shield but they say they are not HSA even though they have a high deductable ($6000+). I'm fit and healthy so unless i get hit by an ambulance i wont be going to the dr's till after i find work so a low premium is the best option at the moment i believe.

Do i need to wait though till i arrive to apply?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Your UK credit history will help you get a US Amex card if you already have a UK Amex card, but that is all. Your UK credit history doesn't otherwise "get pulled over".
my mistake, but at least it will help to start building my USA credit is what i mean.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:48 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by Mangaboy84 View Post
They are bronze plans with Blue shield but they say they are not HSA even though they have a high deductable ($6000+). I'm fit and healthy so unless i get hit by an ambulance i wont be going to the dr's till after i find work so a low premium is the best option at the moment i believe. ....
And IMO after you get a job too - more and more Americans are discovering the benefits of HD insurance. We have had HD insurance for the past 7+ years, and it has served us very well because although we have ended up paying all our medical expenses (through our HSA), the savings on premiums have dwarfed the expenses and we have accumulated very substantial balances in our HSAs.

I am not sure why a bronze plan would not be HSA compliant - you should ask Blue Shield that question, but in any case, while there are many good reasons to go the HD/HSA route, until you have the insurance there is no need to contribute to an HSA.

I don't see much point in applying ahead of arriving, nor am I even sure it is possible to do so. ..... You may need your SSN before any insurer will accept you. (?)

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 6th 2016 at 9:52 am.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 9:56 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

so since ACA compliant plans came in, is there much difference on what they provide coverage for between the different suppliers or is it just the Copay, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum?

also is it better to get hmo ppo or pos plans? i had a look at my gf's local dr office as a basic starting point and it looks like he is covered under all the options
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 10:02 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by Mangaboy84 View Post
so since ACA compliant plans came in, is there much difference on what they provide coverage for between the different suppliers or is it just the Copay, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum?

also is it better to get hmo ppo or pos plans? i had a look at my gf's local dr office as a basic starting point and it looks like he is covered under all the options
I just go with what my employer offers, so hopefully someone else will be along to help with most of your questions, but an HMO plan is more restrictive in covered doctors and hospitals, and I think you are restricted in approaching specialists directly, so is usually a cheaper option.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 10:08 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Thanks Pulaski, i was reading your answers on other threads so they helped steer me as far as i could without asking more questions, its why i'm looking at HD/HSA plans now, before I wouldn't have considered them due to the perceived risk of paying alot but in reality you end up paying a lot before you even hit the lower deductible .
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 10:12 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by Mangaboy84 View Post
Thanks Pulaski, i was reading your answers on other threads so they helped steer me as far as i could without asking more questions, its why i'm looking at HD/HSA plans now, before I wouldn't have considered them due to the perceived risk of paying alot but in reality you end up paying a lot before you even hit the lower deductible .
Yeah, that's what I think Americans have woken up to, that they might make a couple of visits to their GP, a course of antibiotics, and still don't get anything from their low deductible insurance. .... If you go the HD route, just be sure to make a good level of contributions to your HSA - I max out my contributions every year.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 11:40 am
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Yeah, that's what I think Americans have woken up to, that they might make a couple of visits to their GP, a course of antibiotics, and still don't get anything from their low deductible insurance. .... If you go the HD route, just be sure to make a good level of contributions to your HSA - I max out my contributions every year.
We chose the HD/HSDA route also, about 7 years ago. We paid the difference in premium into our HSA and now have a substantial sum saved.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Not all Bronze plans are HSA ones, for no apparent reason as far as I can see based on deductible - the ones that are luckily include the term HSA in their name

If you're going to be using an ACA plan for a while, then hopefully switching to an employer plan that may not be HSA-compliant, be aware that the amount you can pay into a HSA is pro-rated. So if you have a HD, HSA plan for 3 months, you can only put 1/4 of the annual allowance into your account.

It's not that much effort to back out an overpayment, I've done it before, but it'd be simpler to divide the annual allowance by 12 and pay in that much each month you hold the qualifying plan. The other approach is to true it all up at the end of the year - for any given calendar year, you can continue to pay into tax-deferred retirement and health accounts up to the point you file your taxes before the following April.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
Not all Bronze plans are HSA ones, for no apparent reason as far as I can see based on deductible - the ones that are luckily include the term HSA in their name
Thanks for the tip, i'll have a good look again tonight on the website and see if they say HSA in the titles.


Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
If you're going to be using an ACA plan for a while, then hopefully switching to an employer plan that may not be HSA-compliant, be aware that the amount you can pay into a HSA is pro-rated. So if you have a HD, HSA plan for 3 months, you can only put 1/4 of the annual allowance into your account.
Thanks, i'll keep that in mind.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by Mangaboy84 View Post
Thanks, was just frustrated after the call. it was like fine if you wont help set me up an account before i move then why should i bother after i land. i think i'll just open a bank account with chase or wells fargo (since they get mentioned all the time) using my passport number not SS# and then transfer the money using transferwise. my credit history can be pulled over from Amex when im ready.
You may well need a SS# when opening a bank account as banks have to report into the IRS. Possibly for a non-interest bearing checking account you might be able to open an account without a SS#.

However, getting a SS# should be quick enough.
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Old Sep 6th 2016, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: HSBC & Health Insurance

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
You may well need a SS# when opening a bank account as banks have to report into the IRS. Possibly for a non-interest bearing checking account you might be able to open an account without a SS#.

However, getting a SS# should be quick enough.
It has been reported a number of times here on BE that Wells Fargo will open a basic checking (current) account without an SSN, and an SSN certainly isn't necessary for a non-interest earning account.

The requirement, per the USA PATRIOT Act, is for new customers to provide evidence of four pieces of indentifying information: your name, addess, date of birth, and a "government issused ID number". A passport provides three of these sufficient to meet the USA PATRIOT Act requirements, the exception being the mailing address.

If the bank employee baulks at opening an account without a SSN ask to speak to the supervisor or manager, ..... and if the supervisor/manager also refuses, tell them (these specific words) that "the USA PATRIOT Act only requires a government issued ID number, not an SSN specifically". If they still baulk, go to a different bank.
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