From Ipswich, Suffolk, UK:
I am a dual national of the UK and USA, currently residing in the UK with my husband and two sons. We really want to move to the States to be near my Mom and Dad in Florida, but we are worried about the cost of health care in the US as our 9 year old son has Type 1 diabetes. Here in the UK, all health care advice and medicine is free, but we are unsure how much my son's diabetes would cost in the USA. If there is any advice you could give us about this or any links or people we could talk to, we would be most grateful.
The most affordable method of access to comprehensive levels of medical care is to have coverage under a health insurance plan. The two main avenues of obtaining coverage are to purchase a plan directly for your family or to obtain coverage as a benefit of one's employment. Usually the cost of the coverage for the worker and sometimes their family is subsidized by the employer. Unfortunately, you did not mention if you or your spouse planned to work while in the states.
One other option is coverage for your children only through a state sponsored program, loosely called Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These plans vary from state to state and usually have income limitations to determine eligibility and net cost.
Another issue that is of concern would be a pre-existing exclusionary or waiting period required by many, but not all health insurance programs. This means that insurance will exclude from coverage during the first year coverage for the expenses due to any illness that was present from within one year of the beginning of coverage. With that said, most HMOs do not have such a waiting period and many large group health plans (associated with an employee benefit program) do not have this requirement.
I recommend that you take the time to learn more about US style health care coverage at a web site designed by the Georgetown University School of Health Policy. It provides state by state information that might be of help to you. The web site is www.healthinsuranceinfo.net.
Original posting 6 Feb 2004
Posted to Insurance/Costs
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:52
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