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Individual Insurance in the VI

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jones_st.croix
(@jones_st.croix)
Advanced Member

We use HealthCare International without any issues. We're US citizens and we get one month covered in the States for travel. They separate the USVI from the US for coverage. The rates are very reasonable as long as you don't need more than one month of coverage in the continental US. I just got an email from our agent saying that he would be in St. Thomas next week to meet with the hospital and clinics.

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Posted : December 1, 2014 11:47 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

...since the VI did not opt into the affordable health-care system but took the money for Medicare and left everyone else in limbo.

Medicare is insurance for the "elderly". One must pay into the system in order to be eligible at age 65 (or earlier if you are disabled). On the other hand, locally, the territory took a pay-off and put it into Medicaid (aka "Medical Assistance") which is insurance for the poor. Lots of this money is going to people who have been here for short periods of time and who did not pay into the system like they do for Medicare.

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Posted : December 2, 2014 1:10 am
MissJustice
(@MissJustice)
Trusted Member

To Sky's the Limit, ask your employer to use IRS form 8941 the get a tax credit for a portion of the premiums that she pays on your behalf. Then ask him to give you back all or some of that credit which amounts to 30%. There is another form for credit for individual coverage but I do not know what it is.

As for an employer, the ACA provides she can can still get a deduction for the employer portion of the premiums in addition to the credit.

For individuals, the high deductible plans make sense because they cover preventive care.

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Posted : December 2, 2014 7:26 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I don't think any business in VI qualifies for ACA credit because we don't have an insurance marketplace.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Small-Business-Taxes/What-Is-Form-8941--Credit-for-Small-Employer-Health-Insurance-Premiums/INF26159.html

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Posted : December 2, 2014 11:07 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Another article: http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news/blue-cross-blue-shield-considering-individual-policies-for-v-i-residents-1.1795963

"Blue Cross Blue Shield considering individual policies for V.I. residents"

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Posted : December 2, 2014 11:17 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

From what I remember, they've been considering it for a while.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 8:09 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

But will it be affordable?

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Posted : December 3, 2014 4:44 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

According to the Daily News, premiums s/b $250 - $315 per month, but no other details like what it covers or deductibles and co pays. They also have to convince doctors to accept it.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 4:55 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Wow...that would be super cheap but like MS411 suggests, we'll have to wait and see what it covers, where it covers and who it covers since they'll have three tiers like Cigna Global.

If it only covers hospital care in the VI and not Florida, I wouldn't be interested at all.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 5:12 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I think BCBS of the VI only covers the VI and maybe PR, but not States unless they changed.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 5:21 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

If it requires government approval then we'll be waiting for the 32nd legislature.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 5:42 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

If it requires government approval then we'll be waiting for the 32nd legislature.

You're being optimistic.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 5:47 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

BCBS of the VI had low rates until this year. Went up 50% and the copay went up, like from $30 to $50 for a generalist visit. If you go to a PR provider, it's only $5. Additionally, there is only one dentist on their provider list now.

It should be called BCBS of PR.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 6:48 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

We lived on STX for 8 years and loved it. However, we had insurance through my pension from my previous employer. Without it, we could not have even considered living in the VI. Lack of insurance availability should seriously considered.

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Posted : December 3, 2014 9:07 pm
DonExodus
(@DonExodus)
Advanced Member

Additionally, there is only one dentist on their provider list now.

It should be called BCBS of PR.

Which is an absolute shame. We got a letter from BCBS stating that they would pay NOTHING for out of network dental visits, something completely unheard of. They want dentists to join their network, pay them next to nothing, then lower reimbursement rates even more once contracted as thats where most of the business is now coming from and the dentist can't say no. I've never seen or heard of any insurance company with balls that size....

Unfortunately, if one dentist says yes and patients don't know any better (being paid half for procedures means you must do twice as many in that same amount of time, what do you think happens to the quality????), that one dentist will do pretty well while everyone else suffers.

/rant

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Topic starter Posted : December 4, 2014 10:52 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

One must never forgot that insurance companies are in the business of not paying as many claims as possible or paying as little as possible if made to pay a claim.

There not there to protect you, there there to protect their shareholders.

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Posted : December 5, 2014 11:22 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

One must never forgot that insurance companies are in the business of not paying as many claims as possible or paying as little as possible if made to pay a claim.

There not there to protect you, there there to protect their shareholders.

And that is why everyone should invest in insurance companies !!!

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Posted : December 5, 2014 11:43 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

The idea of insurance was to buy protection from those things you could not foresee- sudden death of a bread winner, unexpected illness, car crashes, etc. People now see health insurance as the right to free medical care from birth to death.

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Posted : December 5, 2014 7:58 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Insurance of all kinds is not free. Someone, usually the recipient, pays for it. It's a way of spreading risk. And it is not inherently good or bad, it is just a tool.

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Posted : December 5, 2014 11:45 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

The idea of insurance was to buy protection from those things you could not foresee- sudden death of a bread winner, unexpected illness, car crashes, etc. People now see health insurance as the right to free medical care from birth to death.

You mean like he was before "for profit" insurers and hospitals got involved and like it is for the vast majority of the world?

Growing up there was ZERO premium contribution for my dad. I remember many times mom taking three kids into a doctor with strep throat. No money changed hands. Then off to the pharmacy we went where again no money changed hands. Yup the market is always right

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Posted : December 6, 2014 9:28 pm
MissJustice
(@MissJustice)
Trusted Member

The idea of insurance was to buy protection from those things you could not foresee- sudden death of a bread winner, unexpected illness, car crashes, etc. People now see health insurance as the right to free medical care from birth to death.

Just like the right to free public schools from K to 12.
Just like the right to free police protection and court access.
Just like the right to some free roads and bridges.
Just like modern civilization.
It's called socialism. It is the American way. If you don't like it, go and live in the Sudan. You don't pay taxes and you don't have a right to free anything.

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Posted : December 7, 2014 11:17 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

I don't expect healthcare to be free but I really liked the Canadian system where you pay for it in your taxes. We haven't lived in Canada for 10 years, but as a Canadian citizens, we can go back anytime (and we do from time time, usually in the summer) and take advantage of the great healthcare system they have and never get a bill.

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Posted : December 7, 2014 11:20 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The idea of insurance was to buy protection from those things you could not foresee- sudden death of a bread winner, unexpected illness, car crashes, etc. People now see health insurance as the right to free medical care from birth to death.

You don't pay taxes and you don't have a right to free anything.

Say what?:S

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Posted : December 7, 2014 11:45 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

It's called socialism. It is the American way. If you don't like it, go and live in the Sudan. You don't pay taxes and you don't have a right to free anything.

Say what, what??:S

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Posted : December 7, 2014 12:33 pm
OMARHAEDO
(@OMARHAEDO)
Active Member

I represent BCBS USVI. Some facts might help the discussion. Feel free to contact a local agent or me directly at ohaedo@bcbsusvi.com

- We offer plans with worldwide access (PR, VI, USA) and WW in case of emergencies
- And we also offer PR/VI only plans
- Employers over 10 can offer both and their employees choose what's right for them
- All plans are ACA compliant (e.g. metal tiers)
- Many Dentists have joined the network in the USVI, yes we continue to pay out of network Dentists - I believe if memory serves me right - we have 6-7 in STT and over 10 in STX
- Our Small Group plans go to 2 persons and up
- All our plans have medical - pharmacy (with 90 day maintenance medications locally or though home delivery) - vision - MASA emergency travel and Dental
- rates for 2015 went up 9% for the open access plan and 0% for the PR/VI plan
- An employee in my agency sent out a letter promoting going direct with the carrier - I went crazy mad - as we support local agents - and apologized for it. Stuff happens.
- We're working on Individual policies for 2015 - very hard - well aware of the need.

My faith says to all MERRY CHRISTMAS; if it's not your faith, then have a Wonderful Holiday Season and a healthy 2015

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Posted : December 27, 2014 2:45 pm
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