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Moving to the US and healthcare...

Moving to the US and healthcare...

Old Aug 27th 2009, 10:44 am
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Default Moving to the US and healthcare...

If I were to move to the US, would I be able to come back to the UK for health care if I was seriously ill?
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Having read your previous posts saying you are only going to the US on vacation, then as a visitor you should DEFINITELY take out medical travel insurance to cover any illness/accident while on holiday. You would be treated and/or flown home should anything serious happen to you. Even less serious illness/accidents could cost $$$$$$$ so medical insurance is a no-brainer for travellers.

However, if you moved to the USA, then that would then be your country of residence, therefore you can't fly back to the UK and use the NHS. To be entitled to that you have to be a resident of the UK.
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
UK .. the NHS. To be entitled to that you have to be a resident of the UK.
If only it was ever thus......in reality far too many non-UK residents take full advantage of our NHS when they have absolutely no right to any treatment at all outside of an emergency such as at A & E Departments....it seems as if there is no real check for entitlement at all in many of the NHS Trusts in the UK. It's a scandal really, especially with all the immigration in recent years from all points of the global compass, although that is declining now thank goodness.
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Old Aug 27th 2009, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Originally Posted by Sc09 View Post
If I were to move to the US, would I be able to come back to the UK for health care if I was seriously ill?
As I understand it, at that point you would have to move back permanently.
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Old Aug 28th 2009, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
As I understand it, at that point you would have to move back permanently.
but if your serioiusly ill you might not be able to fly, so not a great plan to rely on...
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Yes you need to have taken up residence in the UK again

But it's a great backstop

The individual health plans in the US are notorious for the insurance companies wriggling out of their responsibilities

My wife's brother was employed by an insurance company to do that and the grounds for refusing to pay were weird and wonderful

Say my wife retired early and we had an individual plan and one of us got sick and it was going to cost a fortune and the insurance refused

We know we can go get a British Green card for her in 20 minutes at the Chicago Consulate because we did it once
No Police certificate - no health check - nothing


We can arrive and she will be treated for free - they say they will bill you if you go back within 3 months - ie your residency isnt genuine - but if it's serious enough to go through these hoops then 3 months soon passes

I worked 40 years in the Uk and paid NI and taxes. I was paying £30k per annum for many years so I wouldnt have any ethics problems doing that.
The alternative would be to let me or my wife die or lose everything in the US including our paid for home and become bankrupt

They do that to you here in the US

But just flitting back and forth to get fixed is a no no

When I left the UK I wrote to my Doc and asked to be taken off the list
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 7:49 am
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Originally Posted by exvj View Post
Yes you need to have taken up residence in the UK again

But it's a great backstop

The individual health plans in the US are notorious for the insurance companies wriggling out of their responsibilities

My wife's brother was employed by an insurance company to do that and the grounds for refusing to pay were weird and wonderful

Say my wife retired early and we had an individual plan and one of us got sick and it was going to cost a fortune and the insurance refused

We know we can go get a British Green card for her in 20 minutes at the Chicago Consulate because we did it once
No Police certificate - no health check - nothing


We can arrive and she will be treated for free - they say they will bill you if you go back within 3 months - ie your residency isnt genuine - but if it's serious enough to go through these hoops then 3 months soon passes

I worked 40 years in the Uk and paid NI and taxes. I was paying £30k per annum for many years so I wouldnt have any ethics problems doing that.
The alternative would be to let me or my wife die or lose everything in the US including our paid for home and become bankrupt

They do that to you here in the US

But just flitting back and forth to get fixed is a no no

When I left the UK I wrote to my Doc and asked to be taken off the list

All accurate and correct. It might also be worth noting that the NHS will provide emergency treatment to visitors for free, regardless of their nationality.

Having said that, I had an interesting experience in the States back in 2000. Needed emergency treatment during a brief visit, and 12 months later received a bill for about $3,000. I pointed out that at the time of my visit, I had travel/health insurance, but that since then the policy had lapsed and the company likely would no longer allow a claim. The hospital accounts department department wrote off the bill. So while I agree that US health care/insurance is generally expensive and cut-throat, there are some people in the system that have an ounce or two of humanity and common sense.
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 2:29 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
All accurate and correct. It might also be worth noting that the NHS will provide emergency treatment to visitors for free, regardless of their nationality.

Having said that, I had an interesting experience in the States back in 2000. Needed emergency treatment during a brief visit, and 12 months later received a bill for about $3,000. I pointed out that at the time of my visit, I had travel/health insurance, but that since then the policy had lapsed and the company likely would no longer allow a claim. The hospital accounts department department wrote off the bill. So while I agree that US health care/insurance is generally expensive and cut-throat, there are some people in the system that have an ounce or two of humanity and common sense.
That's great to know.... I have a need for a root filling on a tooth - my insurance is blown for this year so I have been trying to limp through to january 1 on antibiotics to the new insurance year as it is $780
I had 2 done on the NHS and they were about £15 each and 25 minutes or so and a piece of cake. In the US they make out like it's a big deal

Actually I will call em this morning- sometimes when you have no insurance they will do it for less as there is no insurance company admin work

I am coming to the UK for a week's hol in Oct and its bound to flare up then if I dont get it fixed - then I will have wasted a couple of grand for the sake of £500 and wasted my holiday too

It's hard to force open a Yorkshireman's wallet but it has to be done
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Old Sep 1st 2009, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
...So while I agree that US health care/insurance is generally expensive and cut-throat, there are some people in the system that have an ounce or two of humanity and common sense.
probably because they did a cost assessment and figured it would cost more than $5K to try and recover the debt from johnny foreigner who isn't in country...
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Old Sep 1st 2009, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US and healthcare...

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
probably because they did a cost assessment and figured it would cost more than $5K to try and recover the debt from johnny foreigner who isn't in country...
Actually, at the time they came chasing me, I was in the same town ... my emergency room visit occurred during my job interview, believe it or not, and so 12 months later I was living there. I think my rationale that "If you'd told me it was going to cost me 12 months ago when I had the treatment, I could have claimed" coincided with a moment of common sense on their part. Miracles happen now and again, even in the US health care system.
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