Ask anyone who has lived in the United States and almost all of them have a history of health insurance. Even if they didn’t, they knew someone had.

Ask anyone who has lived in the United States and almost all of them have a history of health insurance. Even if they didn't, they knew someone had.

Ask anyone who has lived in the United States and almost all of them have a history of health insurance. Even if they didn’t, they knew someone had.

Medicare is notoriously expensive and complicated in the United States. Unlike Canada, most European countries, and many other countries, where Medicare for All provides basic health care coverage for all citizens, the United States has private and two government-run health insurance plans. Basic health insurance in California and Florida can cost $450 a month, while a similar plan in New York can cost more than $600 a month.

COMMON SENSE OF HEALTH CARE

Public programs called Medicare and Medicaid are designed for seniors, people with disabilities, low-income families, and individuals. Everyone else needs to buy private insurance, either through their employer or themselves. If you’re not insured, you’ll still get treatment in an emergency, but you’ll be responsible for the medical bills, which can be astronomical.

Even if you have an insurance plan, you can get unexpected bills. Most insurance plans require you to pay a deductible to the doctor, and coinsurance (the share you and the insurance company pay together) can come as a surprise to many foreigners who are not used to the system.

Here’s a guide to help you crack the puzzle of US health insurance, including some advice on what to do to save on medical bills before moving to the US

How does US health insurance work?

Private health insurance is either provided by your employer or school, or you must buy it yourself. You can choose the plan that’s right for you from the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace. The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” provides subsidies for those who can’t afford high insurance premiums. The amount of the subsidy depends on personal income. States such as California, Colorado, New York, and Massachusetts have their health insurance markets.

The health insurance industry also has jargon and a lot of jargon. Learning some basic terms will help you understand your insurance plan:

  • Premium: The monthly cost of your insurance plan.
  • Deductible: The amount you pay out of your pocket before insurance pays.
  • Co-Insurance: The percentage of the cost that you will pay after the insurance is paid.
  • Co-pay: What you pay your doctor for each visit.

Health insurance costs vary widely, depending on the type of coverage you choose. Usually, insurance plans with higher premiums cover more medical expenses. In 2018, the average monthly premium for individuals was $440 and the average monthly premium for families was $1,168.

How to insure?

If you are employed by a US company, you may be covered through an employer-provided insurance plan. Some employers pay the full cost of the insurance plan, while others may pay part of the cost and ask you to pay the rest.

If you have a work visa but plan to start your own business, you will need to purchase your health insurance. You can find an insurance plan on the Affordable Care Act’s Medicare Marketplace during registration time, usually from November of the current year to December of the following year. If you arrive in the US outside of enrollment hours, you are still eligible to apply for an insurance plan due to your unique circumstances.

If you are a student or exchange scholar (F-1 and J-1 visas)

For international students on F-1 visas, most schools require proof of health insurance before enrolling, usually at the start of the semester when students are automatically enrolled in the student health insurance plan.

The United States requires all exchange scholars (J-1 visa holders) and their accompanying spouses and children to have health insurance. You can get an insurance plan through your university.

By aamritri

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts