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(No) Individual Health Insurance in the VI

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Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

This topic has been discussed before, but things have changed in the last year. I want to buy individual health insurance coverage for myself. I am hitting a brick wall! I live in the VI and I am not insured, nor do I work for a company with benefits. I have had suggestions of companies that will write me, but not so. NOBODY will do it! (I'm healthy, so it's not a pre-existing, just a no VI policy.)

To my best knowledge, I can:
MOVE to the states.
Lie...and get ex-pat coverage.
Lie...and get coverage stateside and hope it never catches up with me.
Get a job with a company with benefits.

None of the above are resonably acceptable. I would take a job, but my schedule doesn't allow it right now.

The most reasonable option (for me) is to have an address in the states, where I (actually) live at least half the year, change my voter registration, drivers license, etc. A little extreme, considering I LIVE HERE!

I would love to hear from people in similar situations and welcone any advice for people, such as myself, living in the VI.

Thanks....

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Topic starter Posted : February 6, 2011 11:08 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I thought at one time the St Thomas Chamber of Commerce offered a group plan for members. You should contact them via phone.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 12:54 am
specialk
(@specialk)
Trusted Member

Have you tried Marshall Sterling? Unless something has changed they used to offer individual coverage through BUPA.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 2:08 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Tunick - available - expensive --- but you can get a catastrophic deductible.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 4:42 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

UnitedHealthCare Expands Health Care Access to the U.S. Virgin Islands

Try the above A Lot of Phone Numbers

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Posted : February 7, 2011 9:36 am
LuckyGirl56
(@LuckyGirl56)
Advanced Member

I called BUPA a couple of weeks ago and they said they weren't accepting ANY new applications for individual coverage.
United Healthcare is outrageously espensive per month for catastrophic coverage.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 10:38 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Thanks for the suggestions. The answer is still NO. I had already tried the others, but I called Tunick this morning, and they told me the same thing. Nobody is writing it in the VI.

So, a word to the wise, if you are planning to move to the VI and get individual health insurance coverage, don't plan on it.

The companies I have talked to have all said the hold on individual policies is due to health care reform. One person told me they aren't sure how to comply, so they just aren't writing it until they figure it out.

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Topic starter Posted : February 7, 2011 12:26 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

Bupa is not writing any indiv policies now because of the health care reform bill. they are taking names and numbers so when they do they can contact you. they have to revise their plans to fit the bill.
you can contact Lionel Downer at Marshall & Sterling for any info. and get your name on the contact list.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 1:33 pm
swans
(@swans)
Trusted Member

Greetings,
I just phoned United Healthcare / Golden Rule/ affiliates and they do not offer healthcare insurance to the US Virgin Islands (to echo Juanita's research results.) Their representative said to contact a local insurance agent for questions regarding the islands.

Just a note: United Heathcare is absolutely unaffordable anyway.

Swan

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Posted : February 7, 2011 1:35 pm
stxem
(@stx-em)
Trusted Member

However, if you have United Healthcare/Goldenrule insurance based in the states, you can use it down here as long as the doctor is in the network. Perhaps it is more expensive for older people, but they have very reasonable individual plan rates for young, healthy people.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 1:53 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

I did not think of or know the health care reform problem -- sorry - I thought the Tunick Company was still offerering insurance for individuals.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 2:07 pm
Ms Information
(@Ms_Information)
Advanced Member

Just another reason we should have a single payer or universal healthcare. Eventually the robber barons from the insurance industry will be brought under control. In the mean time we all suffer from their greed.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 2:25 pm
STXoldie
(@STXoldie)
Advanced Member

Same with the cost of most everything here--food, clothing, vehicles and the list goes on and on

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Posted : February 7, 2011 6:54 pm
Leslie
(@Leslie)
Advanced Member

So if there is no available affordable insurance how does anyone go to Doctors or god for bid need emergency services? Do the walk ins or hospital do a sliding scale or payment plans. Man that is really sad that it is happening and some people who need a Dr most likely wont go due to lack of insurance. If and when we move to the VI we will have lost our insurance so this is good to now.

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Posted : February 7, 2011 8:32 pm
swans
(@swans)
Trusted Member

One of the best documentaries I personally have ever seen is Michael Moore's "Sicko." He addresses and exposes the U.S. Healthcare System for what it is. This country stands alone, as compared to other countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, France, Cuba and the hundreds of other countries when it involves providing healthcare for the citizens. If anyone has not seen this, I encourage them to take a look. It is quite an eye-opener.

Swan

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Posted : February 7, 2011 8:48 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

One of the health insurance, on line, brochures I viewed even made note that the US is special in their health care charges and not to expect the same cross-country reciprocity you would get from other countries.....be prepared for more expense, which was the reason for the insurance they were selling in the first place.

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Topic starter Posted : February 7, 2011 11:25 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

whats so sad also is that all of "us" baby boomers are getting old at the same time and no health insurance available to us.

i dont think a hospital can turn you away can they? as long as a payment system is set up.

of course they may just let you lay there and crook.

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Posted : February 8, 2011 10:51 am
Tippi
(@Tippi)
Trusted Member

Call Donna Christen's office and voice your concerns and complaints regarding your inability to obtain health insurance due to the National reform.

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Posted : February 8, 2011 11:52 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Call Donna Christen's office and voice your concerns and complaints regarding your inability to obtain health insurance due to the National reform.

I'm not sure that's the message I want to convey. I am in favor of health care reform. The problem, as I understand it from the insurance reps I have spoken with, is not that there is reform, but they don't know YET how to comply with it.

You know what I would love...an impartial, non-partisan, panel of "experts" in insurance and legalese to take the health care bill and put it in plain English. And sitting on the side, ready to clarify any mis-understandings, the people who actually wrote the bill (including Obama) to give their meaning of what they meant by what they wrote, not just someone's interpretation. It could be a mini-series.

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Topic starter Posted : February 8, 2011 12:25 pm
Tippi
(@Tippi)
Trusted Member

As a fyi just announced:

"Marshall & Sterling Insurance, headquartered in Poughkeepsie, announced Monday plans to acquire First Insurance Agency Inc. in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A tentative date for the acquisition has been set for March 1.

Marshall & Sterling will merge all Virgin Island-based First Insurance Agency employees, along with all active insurance clients currently with First Insurance, into Marshall & Sterling’s branch operations on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, according to a news release.

“This acquisition represents an excellent growth opportunity for our company,” said Timothy Dean, president of Marshall & Sterling Insurance, in a prepared statement.

Marshall & Sterling Insurance Inc. was founded in 1864.

It is an employee-owned company with more than 350 insurance specialists in 18 branch offices in New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands."

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Posted : February 8, 2011 12:32 pm
STXoldie
(@STXoldie)
Advanced Member

If individual insurance is not available here, Marshall & Sterling cannot sell it no matter how many agencies they buy.

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Posted : February 8, 2011 12:45 pm
Tippi
(@Tippi)
Trusted Member

If you don't feel comfortable advising Donna you can't get insurance, then let the Lt. Gov know. The Lt. Gov. is the insurance commissioner.

I hope for your sake you remain healthy until you can find a provider that meets your needs.

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Posted : February 8, 2011 12:51 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Thanks Tippi. Me too!!! LOL

I acutally, informally, applied for a job yesterday, but they don't offer health insurance, so back to the drawing board. One of the reps I spoke with did say she didn't think it would be too much longer before they could start writing individual policies again. Hope she's right.

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Topic starter Posted : February 8, 2011 1:00 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

I agree, Sicko was an eye opening documentary.
Hi Dixie, some hospitals can turn you away, but not the one here. If you have no insurance, the emergency room will see you but we had to pay about 140.00 just to get seen.

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Posted : February 8, 2011 1:07 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Dixie,
When the baby boomers hit 65 they are covered under Medicare. You can buy a medi- gap policy to cover the difference from ARRP. Medicare covers the cost of Doctors and Hospitals. When you're covered by medicare most Hospital insurance plans become secondary payers or flat out cancel you.:D

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Posted : February 8, 2011 7:23 pm
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