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Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Old Jul 10th 2013, 7:11 pm
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Default Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Hello all,

My British husband and I (USC) are hoping to move to the Chicago area in 6 weeks time with our 2 young kids. My husband's interview at the London embassy is tomorrow so all fingers are crossed!

Although I have started applying for jobs, we will be moving there without any jobs lined up. I understand that most employers offer healthcare coverage of some sort and was hoping for advice on what to do in the period between arriving in the US and securing a job (I realize that it could take some time to find a job)?

Should we find short term coverage (if that exists)?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 10th 2013, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Originally Posted by sleepygirlzzzz View Post
Should we find short term coverage (if that exists)?
Either that, or make sure you have enough in savings to cover an emergency, if needed.

For example, my husband had a kidney stone attack and went to the ER in Los Angeles. He was in ER for a few hours, they did a scan, found more stones, and lasered them to break them up so he could pass them. They gave him some pain meds and sent him home. The total bill was around $15,000. He's covered under my insurance through my work, so we only paid $100 out of pocket. That $15K bill probably could be lowered if paying in cash. But that's the kind of thing you need to be prepared for, if you don't get insurance.

Rene
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Old Jul 10th 2013, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

I would not move without having medical insurance from the second my foot hit the tarmac. Maybe I am over-cautious but I would be the idiot that fell down the airplane strairs.

We even had the cash to take the hit of a medical bill as we had recently sold our house but who wants to pay a $15,000 medical bill that was supposed to be a house deposit or new car.
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Old Jul 10th 2013, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

You should be able to sign up for All Kids for your kids if you don't have any income. You didn't say how young your kids are but if they're going to school you'll need to get physicals for them before they can start, there's a form from the state that has to be filled out by the Dr.
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Old Jul 10th 2013, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Originally Posted by sleepygirlzzzz View Post
Hello all,

My British husband and I (USC) are hoping to move to the Chicago area in 6 weeks time with our 2 young kids. My husband's interview at the London embassy is tomorrow so all fingers are crossed!

Although I have started applying for jobs, we will be moving there without any jobs lined up. I understand that most employers offer healthcare coverage of some sort and was hoping for advice on what to do in the period between arriving in the US and securing a job (I realize that it could take some time to find a job)?

Should we find short term coverage (if that exists)?

Thanks in advance!
Most jobs will have a waiting period before the cover kicks in; mine was 3 months! I also doubt that you'll want to risk your kids not having any cover.

Best to get something to keep you going. Do your research and make sure you have cover as you get off the plane. Note that travel insurance won't be any good if you intend to be US residents.

Take a look at this one:

http://www.imglobal.com/img-insuranc...insurance.aspx

or do a search on ex-pat medical insurance. They are usually limited to 2 years (you'll need to double-check that).
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Old Jul 10th 2013, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Yes you need to find short term cover. We got ours through Medibroker when we moved over there a long time ago. I just cancelled it once my work health insurance kicked in.

It'll seem expensive but that's because health insurance here is...
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Originally Posted by Lbjen View Post
You should be able to sign up for All Kids for your kids if you don't have any income. You didn't say how young your kids are but if they're going to school you'll need to get physicals for them before they can start, there's a form from the state that has to be filled out by the Dr.
Thanks to all for your posts. I'm looking into medical insurance now.

Lbjen - Thanks for the info on ALL Kids. I hadn't known about this program before so this is great because having the kids covered is a priority (ages 3 & 5). Do you know if the kids would be eligible even though my husband will be on an immigrant visa? Does All Kids qualify as 'means-tested public benefits'?

For info, the Illinois Dept of Healthcare and Family Services website says that getting health insurance benefits such as FamilyCare or All Kids will not make him a public charge or affect his immigration status. This to me sounds like it would be fine but just wondering if anyone has an experience with this. I wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize my husband's visa.
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Originally Posted by sleepygirlzzzz View Post
Thanks to all for your posts. I'm looking into medical insurance now.

Lbjen - Thanks for the info on ALL Kids. I hadn't known about this program before so this is great because having the kids covered is a priority (ages 3 & 5). Do you know if the kids would be eligible even though my husband will be on an immigrant visa? Does All Kids qualify as 'means-tested public benefits'?

For info, the Illinois Dept of Healthcare and Family Services website says that getting health insurance benefits such as FamilyCare or All Kids will not make him a public charge or affect his immigration status. This to me sounds like it would be fine but just wondering if anyone has an experience with this. I wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize my husband's visa.
My kids, aged 14 and 10, have been on All Kids' equivalent in Washington State for 3 years now and it was not a problem when we naturalized in October 2012.
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

I don't really know much about All Kids, other than my neighbor had it for her kids. She had already naturalized when she had her kids I think, who are all USC anyway because they were born here. Looks like there is some info on this site anyway about it http://www.allkids.com/hfs8269.html

One thing I will tell you is that when she enrolled her kids in full-time K at our school district, which came with a $2500 fee, they waived the fee when she showed her All Kids card!

IL also requires a dental screening and vision screening for school FYI.
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Originally Posted by Lbjen View Post
I don't really know much about All Kids, other than my neighbor had it for her kids. She had already naturalized when she had her kids I think, who are all USC anyway because they were born here. Looks like there is some info on this site anyway about it http://www.allkids.com/hfs8269.html

One thing I will tell you is that when she enrolled her kids in full-time K at our school district, which came with a $2500 fee, they waived the fee when she showed her All Kids card!

IL also requires a dental screening and vision screening for school FYI.
My kids are not US born and were naturalized last Ocotober with us. They also have free vision and dental with the Washington plan. In addition, they are also eligible for reduced fee lunches and a discount on all after school activities.
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

There's a wiki here on health insurance and a couple options for temporary cover.

Best bet would be for the kids/other half not to move till a job is secured that offers insurance.

Depending on the job, as mentioned, benefits might not kick in on day one and worst case scenario being that only the employee gets offered medical insurance and family cover gets offered after a year. It is a real possibility to be considered.
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

I would also not assume a job you may get will have benefits or have good benefits.

My family is from the US and living in the US, and while they all have decent jobs, the only one with medical insurance through work is my dad who has a government job, everyone else either their employer offers no benefits, or offer poor benefits.
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Old Jul 13th 2013, 1:54 am
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
I would also not assume a job you may get will have benefits or have good benefits.

My family is from the US and living in the US, and while they all have decent jobs, the only one with medical insurance through work is my dad who has a government job, everyone else either their employer offers no benefits, or offer poor benefits.
Of they're to expensive to afford taking up.

Where the missus works, new hires have to work a average of 30 hours a week to be eligible for benefits and aren't considered full time till they work 35 hours. It's a pretty large corporation too.
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Old Jul 13th 2013, 4:41 am
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Default Re: Medical insurance help pls - buy immediately or hope for coverage via work?

Certainly around here one of you getting a job with a Governmental entity seems the way to go.
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