Canadian Immigrant to Florida

January 1, 2010

Q: My parents have just immigrated from Canada to the US as green card holders (permanent residents) and are living in Florida. They are 65 and 67 both with pre-existing conditions. One had an angioplasty 18 years ago, the other had cancer about 20 years ago. Both are doing well right now. They need insurance for about 3 years then Medicare will kick in. Are they eligible for this insurance?.

A: While many of the MedSave.com insurance plans are available, especially Inbound Immigrant, keep in mind the following points:
a) From your brief description, it is not possible to say whether this is a pre-exiting medical condition under Florida law or any specific policy definition. You will want to check that out in detail.
b) U.S. health insurance policy and laws are specifically intended to prevent the risk of foreign nationals coming to the U.S. for substantial medical treatment at the expense of commercial insurers or government sponsored programs. All insurance policies are designed to provide emergency and stabilizing care in a situation like this. The U.S. policy would not cover, for example, heart transplant. There is no way around this basic economic point that illustrates the differences between the health care system of the U.S. vs. Canada so this is a major financial planning consideration for your parents until they become eligible for Medicare.

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