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Samblix Jan 15th 2014 8:32 am

Moving to the USA (TX) from UK. Questions regarding healthcare.
Hello everyone!

Looking for some general advice regarding my move to the USA to be with my fiance.

We are soon applying for my Fiances visa to allow me to marry him legally (then adjustment of status). I have done extensive research and I'm satisfied with most of the information I have however, healthcare is a concern for me.

In the UK, as many of you know, healthcare is essentially free. I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism in April 2012 and in the next two months I am due to have a complete Thyroidectomy. I have tried my best to look up how healthcare works in the USA, to no avail.

My partner has only just got insurance with his new job and doesn't really know all the answers.

So my questions are;

Can I get cover with my fiances healthcare insurer when unmarried?
Once I have cover with a job or through my fiances (then hopefully husband), how do pre-existing conditions work? Would I be allowed cover?
Any idea how I could find out how much my drugs could cost?

I'm sorry if this is posted in the wrong place, if so please let me know where I should post it!

Thank you guys! :) :)

Duncan Roberts Jan 15th 2014 10:46 am

Re: Moving to the USA (TX) from UK. Questions regarding healthcare.
Most likely you can't get on a plan when unmarried. Very rarely you can but mostly you can't. Pre-existing conditions are a non-issue now. Levothyroxine is cheap, you can probably pick up 90 days worth for around $10.

In your case I would seriously look into getting married ASAP and doing an immigrant visa then have your "wedding" as planned. That way you should be able to get on the insurance plan right away. The expensive part of your ongoing treatment will be lab tests and doctors appointments.

Samblix Jan 15th 2014 11:33 am

Re: Moving to the USA (TX) from UK. Questions regarding healthcare.
Thank you for your reply!

Would you be able to advise how much it could cost for Doctors visits/Labs? If not, any websites I can take a look at?

So the fiances visa isn't our only option? I thought he could only sponsor me once we are married. I should point out we are a same-sex couple.

EDIT: I am aware that Texas hasn't legalised Gay Marriage and I know we need to get married elsewhere.

Duncan Roberts Jan 15th 2014 11:47 am

Re: Moving to the USA (TX) from UK. Questions regarding healthcare.
As far as I know, if you are legally married then you can apply for an immigrant visa. I may be wrong.

For lab and doctor visits, the price varies wildly. Figure around $100 for a GP or $150 for a specialist and probably $100-150 for lab tests. If you have insurance the charge will be the contracted rate and you will pay based on your insurance. It could be anywhere from nothing from 100% of the amount.

NatashaB Jan 15th 2014 3:22 pm

Re: Moving to the USA (TX) from UK. Questions regarding healthcare.
It would be worth finding out if your partners plan covers 'domestic partners' - my employer's does, and you have to show a lease and joint bank account statement to prove you are living together.

Are you planning to have your surgery before you move? That is probably the best option unless your partner's insurance has a reasonable out of pocket max and deductible. Prescriptions wouldn't be such a huge issue, as far as I know thyroid drugs aren't too expensive out of pocket. But I would not want to pay out of pocket for doctors visits and lab tests - your doctor will probably want to do not only a thyroid test but every single other test under the sun. The blood tests for my last physical (thyroid, plus a 'standard' set of other tests which they run on everyone) were $1700 (my insurance picked up most of it).

Duncan Roberts Jan 15th 2014 3:45 pm

Re: Moving to the USA (TX) from UK. Questions regarding healthcare.
Lab tests are probably the most variable pricing. The exact same lab order is billed at one lab by me at just over $650 while another one less than 5 minutes away bills it at just over $126. It's not an in network vs out of network issue, it's just the base pricing they have.

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