Insurance for American Expat who also spends a lot of time in America!
December 1, 2014 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm a US Citizen, but I consider myself an expat in the UK, where i have permanent residence. I do spend several months out of the year in the US. What kind of health insurance should I have?

I bought a family travel policy from Virgin, but I think that it may not apply to US Citizens when they are in the US, which I figured out only after the fact. Oops.

What other options do I have for the 3-5 months I spend in the US? (Also would have to cover a child.) Is it worth just paying for an ACA plan? Getting some kind of expat insurance? Some other kind of travel insurance? Really stumped on this one.

posted by EtTuHealy to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Asked previously although that was a while ago.

There are travel insurance policies that cover you when you travel to the US as long as the US is not your permanent residence.

The difficulty for you is that 3-5 months is not a short visit but you may still be covered depending on the fine print.
posted by vacapinta at 10:02 AM on December 1, 2014

Get travel insurance, but be aware that this is essentially emergency insurance. If there is any possibility of waiting until you get back to the UK before treatment, or if it's cheaper to fly you back to the UK for treatment than pay for your US treatment and it's possible to do that, that is what your insurance will cover and no more. So, no preventative medicine, no prescription renewals, no having a family doctor, no finding out you have a gallstone and getting it taken out in the US, etc. It's intended for the kind of healthcare you mgith need on vacation, not for transnational living.

Yes, it would cover your child, but only in the same way.

If you are not legally a resident of the US (and thus of any state), I can't imagine that you even can get ACA.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:19 AM on December 1, 2014

Response by poster: Yes, I saw the previous ask -- but that was pre-ACA. Perhaps the situation has changed since then? Thanks!
posted by EtTuHealy at 12:42 PM on December 1, 2014

As I understand it, you are exempt from having to be part of ACA because you are a foreign resident. Presumably you qualify for this because you are a bona fide resident and not because of the physical presence requirement (you're not out of the US 330 days or more of the year).

Can you get ObamaCare anyways? Yes but then only if you use a US address and thus also lose your exempt status. This may have lots of consequences though. As I understand it, since you will also be changing your tax home, you will lose your foreign earned income exclusion on your taxes since the IRS now considers you a resident rather than an expat. This may have other negative consequences/complications for you as well depending on your tax situation.

Source: I'm also an American expat in the UK who tries to keep up..
posted by vacapinta at 1:00 PM on December 1, 2014

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