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Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Old Nov 29th 2006, 2:55 pm
  #1  
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Cool Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Hi all,

I am just asking this on behalf of a friend. The position is that a couple i know who are both retired/pensioners and live in the UK, have a daughter who is married to a US citizen and lives in the USA. The female of the couple had a hop operation maybe ten years ago in the UK and it wasnt done very well. As a result, it is beginning to deteriorate. They have travel insurance and they have booked to go visit their daughter just before Christmas . as the hip is a pre-existing condition, its a good guess that any problems with it wouldnt be covered by the insurance co. She is getting increasingly worried in case she goes to visit her daughter and something happens and she ends up needing medical treatment which ends up not being covered by insurance.

Would she have any access to medicare/medicaid in an emergency situation? I realise there is no direct reciprocal agreement between the UK/USA.

What happens with USA citizens who become ill in the UK ?

Thanks for any info..

By the way,her end destination is in Idaho.
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

With a pre-existing condition I think she is travelling on a wing and a prayer but maybe someone may have better news. Treatment here is very expensive.
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

The easy solution is to call the insurance company they have the policy with and ask them if it will be covered and if not, how they can get it covered. They wont be able to get Medicaid or Medicare. She would be able to get treated anywhere if something does go wrong but would get a bill potentially in the tens of thousands of dollars and quite possibly in the hundreds of thousands.
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

She will not have access to medicare or medicaid, as to be Medicare eligible one must contribute tax contributions for a certain number of quarters, etc. (and citizenship might be a factor--I'm not sure). It's not a socialised medical plan, but more of a baseline (in cases very baseline) cover for over 65s. Those who can afford it have a supplemental plan on top of this. Medicaid is only for the very poor and again has certain eligibility requirements.

Insurance here is either employer based, self-pay premiums or do without. If she becomes ill and needs care then a hospital or doctor will treat her, but for a private care fee. In other words, the hospitals won't turn away someone in an emergency situation, but they will issue a hefty bill (very hefty).

I'd suggest that she read her travel insurance policy very carefully and phone them with any questions, so that she is clear about the risk she is taking in travelling. Or, see if she can get it patched up before making any long-haul travel plans.

Others may have more suggestions, but her choices are limited.

I'm not sure what happens to US citizens if they become ill when visiting (not residing) in the UK. My husband had access to the NHS as he was a UK resident. I know that health tourism is being more closely monitored, but I've no idea how that effects visitors with emergencies. A friend of mine works in NHS Finance and has responsibility for chasing up payments from non-UK residents, but I've no idea how that works.
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Originally Posted by jen_andreson
She will not have access to medicare or medicaid, as to be Medicare eligible one must contribute tax contributions for a certain number of quarters, etc. (and citizenship might be a factor--I'm not sure).
We tried to get our Gran over here to for good (in her last few....) and found out that she could get partial Medicare if she had a green card and then would have to pay for it. The other part (B?) of Medicare was not available to her irregardless.

Private health insurance was a joke for an 86 year old as it only covered up to a certain dollar amount per policy and the premium was horrendous.

Per the American system, perhaps we should just take all the OAP's and use them for heating fuel, its not like they spent their lives contributing to anything is it?

Sorry about the soapbox, but it pisses me off no end.
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Originally Posted by jen_andreson

I'm not sure what happens to US citizens if they become ill when visiting (not residing) in the UK. My husband had access to the NHS as he was a UK resident. I know that health tourism is being more closely monitored, but I've no idea how that effects visitors with emergencies. A friend of mine works in NHS Finance and has responsibility for chasing up payments from non-UK residents, but I've no idea how that works.
They get free emergency care on the NHS
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

The NHS will provide free emergency care....in the US, you can expect to be left on the side of the road without insurance.

You might be able to find cover that would cover the pre-existing, but don't expect it to be cheap.
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Originally Posted by Big D
They get free emergency care on the NHS
Hmm,its as i suspected. It does seem a little one sided if that is truly the case. Perhaps as there is such a special relationship going on, there really should be some kind of reciprocal agreement?
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Originally Posted by dooper
Hmm,its as i suspected. It does seem a little one sided if that is truly the case. Perhaps as there is such a special relationship going on, there really should be some kind of reciprocal agreement?

I think its a lot more complicated that a reciprocal agreement, they are two totally different health care systems
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Old Nov 29th 2006, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

Originally Posted by Big D
I think its a lot more complicated that a reciprocal agreement, they are two totally different health care systems

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Old Nov 29th 2006, 10:01 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

You have to scroll down halfway through the page to get the info on travel insurance, but there is quite a lot of info (5 paragraphs) with links to websites + contact phone nos. for pensioners who need travel insurance and are either fit or have had problems with their medical history:

http://www.silverhairs.co.uk/help29.htm

I'm afraid they're going to need to do a lot of research.

My husband's 82 year old uncle came over from the UK to stay with us in September on his way to and from Seattle and a cruise to Alaska. His medical insurance cost around the same price as his flight....although he's had two heart attacks and was counting out 11 different tablets every morning which he had to take... (God knows how much his medication would cost if he lived here in the States...assuming he could even get medical insurance if he lived here, I can easily imagine most US insurers kicking him off their policies.....)

PS: I can't remember where he bought his insurance but I think it was either through SAGA or the Nationwide Building Society where he does his banking - the links are on the 'Silverhairs' website linked here.

Let us know how you/she gets on?
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Old Nov 30th 2006, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Query-healthcare for UK Traveller?

My parents travelled to visit us this year, both in their 80's and they got their health insurance through American Express UK. My dad has a previous history of high blood pressure and my mum has a history or a malignant tumour over 20 years ago.

They were both covered although I don't think my mum would have been covered if the same cancer returned but as it was a very slow growing cancer and she hadn't had it for over 20 years they/she/her doctor didn't think that would be a problem. My mum was even admitted to hospital about 6 weeks before the trip and she was still covered because she had already bought the insurance and couldn't have predicted the problem!

She had to inform the insurance company who rewrote the policy to include this and my sister called American Express several times to check they were still covered and Amex confirmed it each time! We were amazed and the cost was also only about 350 GBP for the both of them on the policy.

They tried to get insurance from other companies but because of their ages and medical history they either couldn't get covered or it was ridiculously expensive.

Maggie

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Originally Posted by dooper
Hi all,

I am just asking this on behalf of a friend. The position is that a couple i know who are both retired/pensioners and live in the UK, have a daughter who is married to a US citizen and lives in the USA. The female of the couple had a hop operation maybe ten years ago in the UK and it wasnt done very well. As a result, it is beginning to deteriorate. They have travel insurance and they have booked to go visit their daughter just before Christmas . as the hip is a pre-existing condition, its a good guess that any problems with it wouldnt be covered by the insurance co. She is getting increasingly worried in case she goes to visit her daughter and something happens and she ends up needing medical treatment which ends up not being covered by insurance.

Would she have any access to medicare/medicaid in an emergency situation? I realise there is no direct reciprocal agreement between the UK/USA.

What happens with USA citizens who become ill in the UK ?

Thanks for any info..

By the way,her end destination is in Idaho.
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