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Old 08-30-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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I need help folks.

I am 65 years old and my wife is 67. We are both completely retired in the UK where we are citizens. Our son married an American girl and moved to Charlotte 3 years ago. He is now an American citizen. We are now eligible for US residents’ permits and may come to the US to live permanently.

We both have good pensions and we have enough money to buy a house outright and will be able to live quietly but comfortably on our pensions and remaining capital.

We will put no strain on the American economy whatsoever. Rather we shall spend our money mostly in the Charlotte area.

I need your help in the matter of Medical Insurance. I do not understand how it works at all. We have spoken to an excellent insurance agent and she has given us much help. I have now set aside $20 000 per year to cover our medical costs but I cannot find out what happens once we pass 70 years of age.

We are not eligible for Medicare since we have never worked in the USA.

If anyone can help me understand how you Medical Insurance scheme works for a retired couple who are in-eligible for Medicare then, I would be much obliged.

We plan on moving to the US sometime during 2012, but only if I can make the Medical Insurance work for us.

If you need more information from me then I'll do my best to provide it in this thread.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by krokus; 08-30-2011 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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Very good question. As you may know, this is a hot debate going on the the States right now. The price of medical care is skyrocketing here and most people depend on Medicare and supplemental insurance and still have to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars during their retirement.

You will need to buy a private healthcare insurance plan. The largest insurer in North Carolina is Blue Cross Blue Shield NC (BCBS). I would call them and explain your situation and see what rates they charge. You will then have to pay a monthly or yearly premium plus a co-pay (out of pocket cash expense) each time you visit the doctor or need medical care.

BCBS website;
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina - Your Plan for Better Health| BCBSNC
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Frank, Great information. Thanks. I shall be on the phone to Blue Cross shortly. We will be over on vacation for Thanksgiving so I can also drop by and meet with them if neccessary

With one company, we are currently looking at an annual premium of about $10 000 + deductibles (each) of $2 500 followed by paying the 1st $1 000 of the next $5 000 (each). After that we get to pay each time we visit a doctor and then we pay a portion of any medication we need.

There is a lifetime limit of $10M each on this particular policy. As you may imagine, I am looking for options.

My biggest fear is that even with enough money, insurance companies will refuse to insure us purely on age grounds.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Rochester Hills, Mi
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If you are not medicare eligible you may be able to purchase private insurance. I would at least have major medical/hospitalization coverage. Dr visits can run $100-200 for a basic visit for a general practice/internal medicine physician. Specialists even more. 20k medical savings could be wiped out with one hospital stay. Prescription meds--vary widely depending if you can use cheap generics from walmart
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Florida and the Rockies
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The US has bilateral retirement (including social security) treaties with certain countries. The UK is one of them. However, Medicare is not included in that treaty.

Since your are not eligible for Medicare, the only other government health insurance scheme (as of now -- this may change over time) is Medicaid, which is designed for the destitute. Medicaid requires nearly zero assets -- not your situation.

Doesn't the UK National Health Service have specific health insurance benefits for retirees abroad? That would be applicable in your case. I advise talking with a UK professional about your situation.

Here is the official retirement treaty information: Description of the U.S.-U.K. Social Security Agreement
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Florida and the Rockies
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I should add that certain state governments also have state-sponsored health insurance "pools" -- North Carolina is one of those, apparently: Inclusive Health - Insuring Individuals with Medical Conditions

This may or may not be cheaper than private health insurance.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alise007 View Post
If you are not medicare eligible you may be able to purchase private insurance. I would at least have major medical/hospitalization coverage. Dr visits can run $100-200 for a basic visit for a general practice/internal medicine physician. Specialists even more. 20k medical savings could be wiped out with one hospital stay. Prescription meds--vary widely depending if you can use cheap generics from walmart
I was not initially clear. The $20K is an annual number and will bve derived from investments. I intend using this money to pay insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pay fees, etc.

You are right, $20K is peanuts when you talk medical
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:06 PM
 
642 posts, read 1,072,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
The US has bilateral retirement (including social security) treaties with certain countries. The UK is one of them. However, Medicare is not included in that treaty.

Since your are not eligible for Medicare, the only other government health insurance scheme (as of now -- this may change over time) is Medicaid, which is designed for the destitute. Medicaid requires nearly zero assets -- not your situation.

Doesn't the UK National Health Service have specific health insurance benefits for retirees abroad? That would be applicable in your case. I advise talking with a UK professional about your situation.

Here is the official retirement treaty information: Description of the U.S.-U.K. Social Security Agreement
Thanks for your reply. I am eligible for UK medical care, which is free, IF and only if I am in the UK. Once I levae - even on vacation, I must make other arrangements.

We have full travel health insurance but happily I have never tested it in the US.

I shall do as you say and try to find a company in the UK who can offer permanent cover for us.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Rochester Hills, Mi
812 posts, read 1,785,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krokus View Post
I was not initially clear. The $20K is an annual number and will bve derived from investments. I intend using this money to pay insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pay fees, etc.

You are right, $20K is peanuts when you talk medical
1 medicare aged couple could easily go thru 20k in a year. I work in healthcare! Assuming neither one of you run into any major/chronic illnesses then you would be fine--but it is the What If scenarios that will "bankrupt" you!

Even premiums of $500/mo each person would put you over 1/2 of your budget. That doesn't necessarily leave much for the copays, rx copays or deductibles. My husband has corporate backed insurance and some of our prescriptions run almost $100/mo if they don't have a generic.

Also consider long term care and the cost of that insurance or monthly fee if you were unable to remain at home.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:48 PM
 
642 posts, read 1,072,356 times
Reputation: 640
Quote:
Originally Posted by alise007 View Post
1 medicare aged couple could easily go thru 20k in a year. I work in healthcare! Assuming neither one of you run into any major/chronic illnesses then you would be fine--but it is the What If scenarios that will "bankrupt" you!

Even premiums of $500/mo each person would put you over 1/2 of your budget. That doesn't necessarily leave much for the copays, rx copays or deductibles. My husband has corporate backed insurance and some of our prescriptions run almost $100/mo if they don't have a generic.

Also consider long term care and the cost of that insurance or monthly fee if you were unable to remain at home.
Thank you for your insight. The opinion of someone who works in healthcare is invaluable.

I shall just have to budget for whatever the premiums and monthly costs run to. My number of $20K was a budgeting number only.

Long term care is a serious problem no matter where you live. We have just gone trhough some of that with my wife's mother over here in the UK. It was horifically expensive even though the gov't helped out somewhat.
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