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Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Old Dec 16th 2014, 3:00 pm
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Default Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

My wife and I are planning to move to the US (California) with our 2 year old in May 2015. I’m a dual US/UK national who has lived in the UK for most of my life. My wife’s a UK national though her folks are USCs who live in California. Her visa application is pending and we’re hoping to be interviewed sometime in Jan/Feb and get the visa shortly afterwards. We have decided to move for a number of reasons and feel that this is the best time for us to do this – i.e. now or never.

We are also contemplating trying for another child relatively soon. Due to my wife’s age (early 40s) that is also now or never! That could mean that potentially shortly arriving in the US she could be pregnant and thus in need of healthcare!

My concern, and thus question for the kind people here, is what would be our/her status in terms of healthcare if we had just arrived in the US? I hope to be working as soon as possible after we get to the US and hope to be in a job which provides a good medical plan for the family. However do I need to have a Medical plan for a period of time before we can use it? What I don’t want to happen is we get to the US, my wife is pregnant and we find that all our savings are used on her healthcare - which would have been free (though it is paid for via our taxes/NIC!) if we had stayed in the UK.

I have yet to secure employment in the US but am confident (though nothing is 100%) that shouldn’t be a problem. My line of work is in University Management and the Healthcare benefits of the University of California (one or the employer I’m thinking of) seem to be OK. Which of the medical plans at Medical Plans | UCnet would anyone recommend? Coming from the UK where the NHS is our only option this is all a bit confusing..

Oh, and sorry for the novella..
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Immigration to the US is a qualifying event to use the healthcare.gov marketplace outside of open enrollment. That said you must read the fine print of the plans very carefully for pregnancy coverage for some it is very basic. It may make sense to look at the more expensive gold and platinum level plans.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

She can always get Emergency Medicaid for the pregnancy.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
She can always get Emergency Medicaid for the pregnancy.
Doesn't help with the pre-natal care though and a regular check up scan can go for anything between $300-1500 :/

ACA, would be the way to go as SE, above mentions.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Doesn't help with the pre-natal care though and a regular check up scan can go for anything between $300-1500 :/

ACA, would be the way to go as SE, above mentions.
Details may vary by State. However millions do use it every year.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Even with the ACA making criteria for obtaining health insurance much easier, I would personally delay becoming pregnant before moving since:

a) moving will be stressful enough without having to worry about pregnancy issues and

b) if you don't get a job immediately you arrive (while you are confident of getting a job this is by no means certain), then the stress of maybe having to pay for such pregnancy would only be greatly increased.

Some company health plans can have time delay periods which mean you can't claim until you have been on the plan for, say, 1 to three months; there may be restrictions with regards to pregnancy (company plans, while usually very good, can have any rules/regulations they want),obtaining an ACA plan may also take a couple of months before finalisation and being able to claim on it.

Why go through all that stress? Wait until you arrive in the US, sort out your health cover and then go for that second child. You are only talking about a few months.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Details may vary by State. However millions do use it every year.
Not millions now I think of it, but certainly a large number.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

What's 'university management'?

Sorry but I think to come over with no job and no healthcare with a potential pregnancy at a later age would be extremely stressful, especially as you are not familiar with the system. What's the big rush?
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

'I have yet to secure employment in the US but am confident (though nothing is 100%) that shouldn’t be a problem.'

How much interest have you had from employers so far?

Why do you think it shouldn't be a problem?
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
What's 'university management'?

Sorry but I think to come over with no job and no healthcare with a potential pregnancy at a later age would be extremely stressful, especially as you are not familiar with the system. What's the big rush?
I assume "university management" is a general term for all those BS jobs that have mushroomed in colleges and universities in the last few decades, student services, admissions, financial aid, development, on and on ad infinitum. Not to mention IT, buildings and grounds, etc. etc.

One potential problem might be, those fields have evolved very differently in the US and the UK, since colleges and universities are so different. I've noticed that colleges only seem to want to appoint folks who have exactly the right masters degree, and who are alums or are alums of very similar institutions.... so I wonder how easy it is for a foreigner to break into the magic circle..
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I assume "university management" is a general term for all those BS jobs that have mushroomed in colleges and universities in the last few decades, student services, admissions, financial aid, development, on and on ad infinitum. Not to mention IT, buildings and grounds, etc. etc.

One potential problem might be, those fields have evolved very differently in the US and the UK, since colleges and universities are so different. I've noticed that colleges only seem to want to appoint folks who have exactly the right masters degree, and who are alums or are alums of very similar institutions.... so I wonder how easy it is for a foreigner to break into the magic circle..
Their has been an explosion in the number of admin people to be sure. 'Management' is usually linked to departments though.

Just trying to get a clearer picture because at the moment it sounds woolly.
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Old Dec 17th 2014, 9:09 am
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Thanks to all for taking the time to reply with your thoughts. Agree that arriving with my wife pregnant with no guaranteed work for me would be stressful so we will bear that in mind. Thanks for the advice on ACA.

In regards to the questions about my work plans I currently work at a senior level within a University in London and have been doing similar jobs for a number of years. Robin is correct that the term 'university management' is a general term for various admin jobs in Universities. And yes, I guess they can be defined as 'BS' though so can a lot of other jobs in our economies that don't either produce tangible goods or serve a real purpose/need

I can't be sure that finding work won't be a problem and am aware of the issues that Robin helpfully raises about things being different in the US and how easy it will be for me to break into the 'magic circle'. But from the contacts in US Universities that I've spoken to and research I've done I think my skills/experience meet the requirements for jobs that I regularly see advertised. I've not actually applied for any of those jobs yet as its still a while before I'll be able to take up any offer and, although remote interviews can work, I think its best to be available to attend an interview.

There is obviously a risk that my job hunt will not go as expected and that is risk we are fully aware of!
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Old Dec 17th 2014, 10:28 am
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Originally Posted by wolfft View Post
Thanks to all for taking the time to reply with your thoughts. Agree that arriving with my wife pregnant with no guaranteed work for me would be stressful so we will bear that in mind. Thanks for the advice on ACA.

In regards to the questions about my work plans I currently work at a senior level within a University in London and have been doing similar jobs for a number of years. Robin is correct that the term 'university management' is a general term for various admin jobs in Universities. And yes, I guess they can be defined as 'BS' though so can a lot of other jobs in our economies that don't either produce tangible goods or serve a real purpose/need

I can't be sure that finding work won't be a problem and am aware of the issues that Robin helpfully raises about things being different in the US and how easy it will be for me to break into the 'magic circle'. But from the contacts in US Universities that I've spoken to and research I've done I think my skills/experience meet the requirements for jobs that I regularly see advertised. I've not actually applied for any of those jobs yet as its still a while before I'll be able to take up any offer and, although remote interviews can work, I think its best to be available to attend an interview.

There is obviously a risk that my job hunt will not go as expected and that is risk we are fully aware of!
Personally I wouldn't want to make that move without something more concrete to go on, although of course everyone is different in their risk tolerance. If you already have a senior post then you are potentially giving up a lot.

I think Robin's cautionary note was that you may well have the requirements for jobs advertised but you won't know if your face fits until you actually apply. If you can't find employment straight away you might get Medicaid but are you really going to want to be at the mercy of that system with a potentially higher-risk pregnancy?

So we are just feeling a certain amount of concern about the scenario as presented, rather than making any judgments.
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Old Dec 17th 2014, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

I once moved whilst pregnant, with all the trimmings from a multi-national company and a secure job for hubby sorted out, no worries about being presented with a big bill for medical care either. There's still stress, lots of it and this is why moving house and moving jobs are listed as 2 of life's biggest stress events. Google "stress and pregnancy" and if you're medically literate at all, stick with the research on pubmed. This was my third pregnancy, my second international move and I thought I knew it all and could handle everything. I became run-down and sick, my baby was born prem and almost died.
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Old Dec 18th 2014, 9:19 am
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Default Re: Pregnancy and Healthcare / Medical Plans - Shortly after arriving in the US

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Personally I wouldn't want to make that move without something more concrete to go on, although of course everyone is different in their risk tolerance. If you already have a senior post then you are potentially giving up a lot.

I think Robin's cautionary note was that you may well have the requirements for jobs advertised but you won't know if your face fits until you actually apply. If you can't find employment straight away you might get Medicaid but are you really going to want to be at the mercy of that system with a potentially higher-risk pregnancy?

So we are just feeling a certain amount of concern about the scenario as presented, rather than making any judgments.
Thanks for the concern and thoughts which are appreciated and will help us work out potential risks against the potential benefits
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