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health insurance

 
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FabSprout



Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:03 am    Post subject: health insurance Reply with quote

I am leaving soon for Chile after finishing my CELTA. I am hoping to pick up some part-time hours at a couple institutes at first and then get a contract when the new school year starts in March.

My question is about health insurance. I have several options for health care while in Chile because I know a physician there and will likely be covered by the national health plan once I get a contract. However, I would also like to have basic major medical coverage here at home (the US) in case I get really sick and need/want to come home. I am currently covered through my employer, but the COBRA costs will be prohibitive once I leave my job and the coverage ends.

How have other people handled this situation? Buy major medical here in the States and don't tell them I'll be out of the country for a year or more? Track down a travel insurance policy that also provides home country coverage? Stop worrying about it and go without US insurance?

I would love to hear your tips and advice. Thanks!

FabSprout
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khmerhit



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to Cambodia with a one-way and no insurance. Never used it. It's for kids. Just stay off motorcycles and you'll be fine. (Come to think of it, I rode motorcycles w/o insurance.) Save your shekels!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8926
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously, medical costs are usually much cheaper abroad. Your employer much pay for it. Or look for local insurance when you get in Chile.
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shirley



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before leaving the US I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which I didn't want to totally give up because I may never get it again. I contacted them and told them I was leaving the country. They said as long as I was out of the country for at least six months they would freeze the policy and I could reinstate it when I returned at the same rate plus the annual increase for age. My monthly policy fee increased about 20$ every birthday. I'm not sure they will do this with COBRA but it's worth a try. I had to send a letter and they sent a return letter verifying my eligability for continued coverage upon my return. I hope it works for you. You're right to be concerned about the future. I know US insurance is too expensive to pay out of foreign teaching earnings, but what if you really need it sometime? Today it's almost impossible to get individual health insurance in the US and if you return sick, you can forget it, no one will cover you. Hope it works for you.
Shirley
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shirley



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before leaving the US I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which I didn't want to totally give up because I may never get it again. I contacted them and told them I was leaving the country. They said as long as I was out of the country for at least six months they would freeze the policy and I could reinstate it when I returned at the same rate plus the annual increase for age. My monthly policy fee increased about 20$ every birthday. I'm not sure they will do this with COBRA but it's worth a try. I had to send a letter and they sent a return letter verifying my eligability for continued coverage upon my return. I hope it works for you. You're right to be concerned about the future. I know US insurance is too expensive to pay out of foreign teaching earnings, but what if you really need it sometime? Today it's almost impossible to get individual health insurance in the US and if you return sick, you can forget it, no one will cover you. Hope it works for you.
Shirley
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shirley



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before leaving the US I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which I didn't want to totally give up because I may never get it again. I contacted them and told them I was leaving the country. They said as long as I was out of the country for at least six months they would freeze the policy and I could reinstate it when I returned at the same rate plus the annual increase for age. My monthly policy fee increased about 20$ every birthday. I'm not sure they will do this with COBRA but it's worth a try. I had to send a letter and they sent a return letter verifying my eligability for continued coverage upon my return. I hope it works for you. You're right to be concerned about the future. I know US insurance is too expensive to pay out of foreign teaching earnings, but what if you really need it sometime? Today it's almost impossible to get individual health insurance in the US and if you return sick, you can forget it, no one will cover you. Hope it works for you.
Shirley
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FabSprout



Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 3
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Shirley. That is a great suggestion. I will contact my carrier and see if they can work with me.

Just to be clear about my question...I am not asking about coverage abroad. My question is about maintaining coverage here in the US.

I'm looking forward to hearing other suggestions!

FabSprout
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