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Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Did you check the date of the publication you're getting that information?

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Posted : September 17, 2016 6:22 pm
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

Indemnity coverage is a type that pays actual costs for covered illnesses up to a specific limit. They may pay a set dollar amount for each day you are in the hospital, or they may pay a set amount for a heart attack, for example. And they usually pay you, not the providers.

Don't know about Ace. Aflac does say they are available in some territories, but I remember seeing on a Facebook post on the subject last spring indicating that you couldn't get it in the VI. I don't know the person who posted, so unless someone chimes in here with better info, your best bet is to call Aflac and ask.

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Posted : September 17, 2016 6:56 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Indemnity coverage is a type that pays actual costs for covered illnesses up to a specific limit. They may pay a set dollar amount for each day you are in the hospital, or they may pay a set amount for a heart attack, for example. And they usually pay you, not the providers.

Don't know about Ace. Aflac does say they are available in some territories, but I remember seeing on a Facebook post on the subject last spring indicating that you couldn't get it in the VI. I don't know the person who posted, so unless someone chimes in here with better info, your best bet is to call Aflac and ask.

There are a couple of job opportunities available right now seeking agents for AFLAC in STT and STJ. You can find other VI AFLAC agents on the internet.

I know AFLAC was quite popular with employers in FL prior to ACA availability - employers claimed it was health insurance (which it is not).

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Posted : September 17, 2016 7:01 pm
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

Indemnity coverage is a type that pays actual costs for covered illnesses up to a specific limit. They may pay a set dollar amount for each day you are in the hospital, or they may pay a set amount for a heart attack, for example. And they usually pay you, not the providers.

Don't know about Ace. Aflac does say they are available in some territories, but I remember seeing on a Facebook post on the subject last spring indicating that you couldn't get it in the VI. I don't know the person who posted, so unless someone chimes in here with better info, your best bet is to call Aflac and ask.

There are a couple of job opportunities available right now seeking agents for AFLAC in STT and STJ. You can find other VI AFLAC agents on the internet.

I know AFLAC was quite popular with employers in FL prior to ACA availability - employers claimed it was health insurance (which it is not).

Thanks! I remember it being offered by my company back in the states as an optional add-on to our insurance. The benefit then didn't justify the premium, since we already had great coverage. But for here, anything is better than nothing.

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Posted : September 17, 2016 7:20 pm
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

Hi Alana, December 2015 is the publication date of this latest edition Settler's Guide, and and I'm sure many things may have changed since then, that's why I'm here pestering all you lovely people. 😉 Thanks for your replies everyone, I will call AFLAC on Monday and see what the deal is. If I find out anything that might be helpful to others, I'll report back.

Also, IF one is lucky enough to find a job on the islands that provides health insurance as a benefit, what happens if you quit that job a few years down the road, to work for yourself? Would you then be able to keep the insurance somehow. or no? Many thanks,

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Topic starter Posted : September 17, 2016 10:07 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Cobra is an option for 18 months after you leave job with insurance. You pay the full premiums though

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Posted : September 17, 2016 10:19 pm
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

Cobra is an option for 18 months after you leave job with insurance. You pay the full premiums though

Oh, good to know, I thought Cobra was only if you got laid off. 18 months isn't much of a solution though, unless one is planning to re-enter another employee situation, vs. veer off into self employment. I was looking for more of a true loop hole, ha ha. I'm realizing there isn't one. Indemnity plan might be better than nothing though, I'm curious to look into it.

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Topic starter Posted : September 18, 2016 5:21 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

An upcoming alternative is telemedicine. Haven't had need to use the service linked below and don't know if it will work in the VI - but might be worth a try.

FL legislature is initiating changes that should result in expanded online access to medical treatment.

https://baycare.org/BayCareAnywhere?gclid=Cj0KEQjw9vi-BRCx1_GZgN7N4voBEiQAaACKVmI_V1Tiy6pAyFvqSU3QKB2R7DA2RnqY-O3x56syU_oaAqXs8P8HAQ

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Posted : September 18, 2016 2:03 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Here is some interesting stuff about AFLAC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aflac

I believe that they sell it here as an add-on to the government Cigna, not sure if you can buy it otherwise. One lady told me that they paid for food and rent, etc. when she was medically disabled.

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Posted : September 18, 2016 3:20 pm
Pdmargie
(@Pdmargie)
Advanced Member

Why haven't the hospitals/Government of the USVI deemed this an urgent issue and done something about it? It's not like the problems hasn't been around,...forever.

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Posted : September 18, 2016 4:08 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Peter: The government rarely finds anything urgent. This is one of the things that can drive people crazy living here.

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Posted : September 18, 2016 6:27 pm
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

Just wanted to post what I found out today, for anyone who's been following the thread and might be interested.

~ Our Athem BCBS policy (we're in Nevada and self employed) will NOT be valid in the USVI. What will happen is this (according to the BSCS rep I spoke with, who has 31 years experience working as a BCBS agent): we WILL be able to use our BCBS policy when arriving to the island, but for true medical emergencies ONLY. But once BCBS determines (by their own criteria) that we have relocated there (as opposed to just visiting) then they will send us a termination of policy letter, which of course means, there goes the emergency coverage.

~ I spoke with an AFLAC rep who informed me that although some of their indemnity policies can be sold to individuals, the HEALTH one legally cannot . It's meant to be an
"add on" policy to major medical, and it is only available to employers insuring groups of employees. Too bad, because it does cover hospitalization and disability, not just accidents.

~ I looked up what ACE indemnity has to offer, online (because try finding a working phone number for them in an English speaking country, good luck). Can't figure out if ACE's policy is an "add on" policy like AFLAC or if it can also stand alone, and be purchased by individuals not just employers. But regardless, ACE does not (according to the website info) cover hospitalization for illness, only for accidents (and for cancer, if you get that separate policy as well). We are mostly worried about the risk of extended hospitalization, not just freak accidents, so ACE wouldn't work for us, even if we found out it's available to individuals at a reasonable rate for the "working class."

So... basically, if we move to the USVI we are screwed as far as health insurance goes. So much for the "benefits" of moving to a US territory. Obviously, the US government doesn't give a crap about its citizens in the USVI. I gather that islanders are a relaxed bunch, but still... I'm surprised this situation hasn't caused rioting in the streets, that's how damn serious it is. Sorry for the mini-rant, this is just super disappointing, to not be able to relocate there unless we decide it's worth putting our health and financial welfare at risk. Bummer. 🙁

And yeah, I know that we might be able to get coverage through an employer... I'm willing to consider that, but giving up the idea of self employment is a tough pill to swallow, once you've worked hard to make it happen.

If anyone knows of any companies that offer health indemnity plans to INDIVIDUALS, please let us know, before I completely give up the hope of finding some kind of solution besides having to punch a time clock after 24 years of schoolin' and 6 years in private practice.

Many thanks.

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2016 12:49 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

It is the local gov that has turned down obamacare. Local gov doesn't care for the transplanted mainlanders for sure. Locals get free care through Medicaid system.
The gov is in deep debt and is borrowing some more. It is a banana republic with corruption, theft and nepotism. The islands have only ocean and sunshine to offer. Not much else. It is the place to spend money one earned elsewhere.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 2:20 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Congress determined that ACA was for STATES only and deemed territories ineligible for the exchanges. And, the insurers have determined that offering individual insurance in the VI is not evonomically feasible. After all, insurance is a for-profit business.

If your business has employees, you can get coverage.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 5:10 am
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

Congress determined that ACA was for STATES only and deemed territories ineligible

Seems an inhumane determination. But I guess it is what it is. Thanks for your comment about being eligible for insurance if I have employees... I did consider that solution, but I don't really need or want to have employees, I prefer being a one-person enterprise, keeps it nice and simple. Plus, most days I have enough trouble just supervising myself. 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2016 5:20 am
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

It is the local gov that has turned down obamacare. Local gov doesn't care for the transplanted mainlanders for sure. Locals get free care through Medicaid system.
The gov is in deep debt and is borrowing some more. It is a banana republic with corruption, theft and nepotism. The islands have only ocean and sunshine to offer. Not much else. It is the place to spend money one earned elsewhere
.

Wow, that is sobering. Depressing actually, but I really appreciate your candor. This may be a naïve question, or perhaps a question that is just too complicated to answer on a forum like this, but do you all feel that the corruption is due to the wrong people being currently in office and that it may change if they are elected out, or do you feel that the corruption is just so deeply embedded that you feel hopeless about it ever changing?

Also, I'm confused as to what you mean when you say the "locals" get free care through Medicaid. What is the definition of "local?" ... were you meaning to say "natives," as in those born in the USVI? If not, then wouldn't the "transplanted mainlanders" be considered locals, once they establish legal residency in the USVI? Here on the mainland, as I'm sure you know, no one gets free care through Medicaid unless they are truly low income (or hiding their true income). Is it the same in the USVI or are all "locals" eligible for free care under Medicaid?

Thanks very much for the input.

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2016 5:38 am
MayaN
(@MayaN)
Advanced Member

An upcoming alternative is telemedicine. Haven't had need to use the service linked below and don't know if it will work in the VI - but might be worth a try.

FL legislature is initiating changes that should result in expanded online access to medical treatment.

https://baycare.org/BayCareAnywhere?gclid=Cj0KEQjw9vi-BRCx1_GZgN7N4voBEiQAaACKVmI_V1Tiy6pAyFvqSU3QKB2R7DA2RnqY-O3x56syU_oaAqXs8P8HAQ/blockquote >

Interesting. I'm semi-familiar with telemedicine because at one point I was considering offering my therapy services through Teledoc. The thing is, we aren't too worried about the ability to pay for the kind of medical care that would be available via telemedicine, i.e. prescription refills, follow up care, diagnosis of minor illness. We are just worried about the enormous debt that would result if we needed to be hospitalized with no health insurance. And honestly, I wouldn't even worry about that so much, except that my husband has a great credit score and I'd hate to see medical debt ruin that. Plus, our plan was to buy a home in the USVI, and I don't know if this is true or not, but I heard that if you have big medical debt, they can go after your home, even if you are making payments on your debt. Sounds like a nightmare. And on that cheery note!.... aye carumba.

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Topic starter Posted : September 21, 2016 6:06 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

An upcoming alternative is telemedicine. Haven't had need to use the service linked below and don't know if it will work in the VI - but might be worth a try.

FL legislature is initiating changes that should result in expanded online access to medical treatment.

https://baycare.org/BayCareAnywhere?gclid=Cj0KEQjw9vi-BRCx1_GZgN7N4voBEiQAaACKVmI_V1Tiy6pAyFvqSU3QKB2R7DA2RnqY-O3x56syU_oaAqXs8P8HAQ/blockquote >

Our previous congressional rep who is a medical doctor and has worked in public health and had input in ACA, was hoping that the VI and FL could partner so VI could become part of their exchange but that didn't work out, either. The current lieutenant governor has met with several insurers but still nothing has become available. It's not like the government here has been completely ignoring the issue. Individual insurance was available to Chamber members, but they ceased offering it years ago.

It is unfortunate that nothing is available.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 9:52 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

This may be a naïve question, or perhaps a question that is just too complicated to answer on a forum like this, but do you all feel that the corruption is due to the wrong people being currently in office and that it may change if they are elected out, or do you feel that the corruption is just so deeply embedded that you feel hopeless about it ever changing?

Thanks very much for the input.

The Democrats have been in power for donkey years. They have a set way of doing things and that isn't going to change. So no matter who you elect, if they are a Democrat or left leaning ( Independents and ICM) then nothing will change. The welfare state will proliferate and the taxing (the government calls it fees) will continue and the services will diminish. We face the every real socialist dilemma of what happens when other peoples money runs out.

For the fun of it, look at the ranking of the VI public education system compared to the US mainland. Now look at how much money is spent per child. Also compare teaching days per year in the VI to the mainland.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 10:05 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

It is the local gov that has turned down obamacare. Local gov doesn't care for the transplanted mainlanders for sure. Locals get free care through Medicaid system.
The gov is in deep debt and is borrowing some more. It is a banana republic with corruption, theft and nepotism. The islands have only ocean and sunshine to offer. Not much else. It is the place to spend money one earned elsewhere
.

Wow, that is sobering. Depressing actually, but I really appreciate your candor. This may be a naïve question, or perhaps a question that is just too complicated to answer on a forum like this, but do you all feel that the corruption is due to the wrong people being currently in office and that it may change if they are elected out, or do you feel that the corruption is just so deeply embedded that you feel hopeless about it ever changing?

Also, I'm confused as to what you mean when you say the "locals" get free care through Medicaid. What is the definition of "local?" ... were you meaning to say "natives," as in those born in the USVI? If not, then wouldn't the "transplanted mainlanders" be considered locals, once they establish legal residency in the USVI? Here on the mainland, as I'm sure you know, no one gets free care through Medicaid unless they are truly low income (or hiding their true income). Is it the same in the USVI or are all "locals" eligible for free care under Medicaid?

Thanks very much for the input.

Most people who live in the VI get health coverage as VI government employees and their families, VI government retirees, Medicare or Medicaid recipients, or through employer plans.

The VI hospitals are government owned and supported. $20 million or so of government funds go each year to cover care that was delivered that was not paid for through insurance or personal payments. You also can make the case these funds more likely pay for inefficiencies but that's another discussion.

By my estimation, there are 10,000-15,000 persons without health insurance in the VI. As is anywhere, health insurance is wealth insurance. If you have nothing, no worries.

It seems you are industrious and could establish a business quickly with both of you as full-time employees and qualify for health insurance through a United Health plan.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 10:31 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

aflac is a great add on to your insurance. i know many people at work who have used it. depending on the plan you choose, you get paid when you are out for a period of time. it has nothing to do with what your job offers or what pto you have accrued.
they have 3 major options available. sick, accident and cancer. you get paid for different things depending on those.
i dont know if an individual can get it or not??

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Posted : September 21, 2016 10:49 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

MayaN looked into it and reported her findings in a post yesterday.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 10:59 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

An upcoming alternative is telemedicine. Haven't had need to use the service linked below and don't know if it will work in the VI - but might be worth a try.

FL legislature is initiating changes that should result in expanded online access to medical treatment.

https://baycare.org/BayCareAnywhere?gclid=Cj0KEQjw9vi-BRCx1_GZgN7N4voBEiQAaACKVmI_V1Tiy6pAyFvqSU3QKB2R7DA2RnqY-O3x56syU_oaAqXs8P8HAQ/blockquote >

Our previous congressional rep who is a medical doctor and has worked in public health and had input in ACA, was hoping that the VI and FL could partner so VI could become part of their exchange but that didn't work out, either. The current lieutenant governor has met with several insurers but still nothing has become available. It's not like the government here has been completely ignoring the issue. Individual insurance was available to Chamber members, but they ceased offering it years ago.

It is unfortunate that nothing is available.

I indicated telemedicine as an alternative for those complaining about quality of care and access to care. Not an alternative for adequate health insurance. Telemedicine is going to become viable for Caribbean residents soon come.

FL is part of the national ACA exchange. Increased Medicare funding and a FL ACA exchange were blocked by the legislature and Voldemort, FL's governor.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 11:14 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

The complaints are to insurance access. Many people who have insurance go stateside for treatment, and the joke is that going to FL's Cleveland Clinic is like going to a VI reunion. I know we lost a cardiac specialist, and have not heard another was recruited. There may be other specialists that do not practice here, but the cardiac made the news.

There are many positive stories about the care here (on STT) and almost every year a visitor sends a letter to the newspaper thanking the hospital.

It's the limited availability of health insurance if you work for a private company, and lack of availability if you are self-employed that are the big problems.

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Posted : September 21, 2016 11:36 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

It's the limited availability of health insurance if you work for a private company, and lack of availability if you are self-employed that are the big problems.

Was the loss of private health insurance related to the enactment of the ACA?

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Posted : September 21, 2016 12:03 pm
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