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justin123
(@justin123)
New Member

I am stuck on health insurance and really need the helpful advice! 🙂

I'm looking for individual health insurance on St John. I am a US citizen moving on Island this month (August 2016). An employer plan is not an option as my employer has no plans available in the Virgin Islands. Here is what I have tried so far:

CIGNA GLOBAL: Used to offer health plans to US citizens moving to the USVI; now no longer does because a US Citizen living in the USVI is not considered an expat.

UNITED HEALTHCARE: Offers plans through employers only, not individuals.

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD VI: Offers plans in the Virgin Islands through employers only. Individual plans "might be available in a couple of months" (whatever that means), but nothing now

AGILE INSURANCE: Appears to offer plans available through United Life Insurance Company, but in fact they do not. Not for US Citizens at least living in the USVI.

I am at a loss and can't believe it is so hard to find insurance here! I mean I knew it was hard... but it is now looking IMPOSSIBLE. Please help, all tips and suggestions appreciated!

Justin

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Topic starter Posted : August 3, 2016 6:31 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Unfortunately, at this time there is no good news to give you. It's been discussed over and over on this forum but right now there is no affordable individual health insurance to be found here in the USVI.

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Posted : August 3, 2016 6:49 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Unless you're eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, you're completely out of luck on the health insurance front.

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Posted : August 3, 2016 7:06 pm
SausageInTheCan
(@SausageInTheCan)
Advanced Member

What? How about Nobama Care? Oh. Wait, that's a load of BS just like his presidency.

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Posted : August 3, 2016 7:34 pm
TommySTX
(@TommySTX)
Advanced Member

The USVI opted out of the ACA. At least that was my understanding.

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Posted : August 3, 2016 8:13 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

ACA not available for ANY territory. Only States. Congress changed interpretation after bill was passed. Mapp helped spread the misinformation on that issue.

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Posted : August 3, 2016 8:36 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

DeJongh opted out on buying into ACA so our government could get more $$$$ for Medicaid. They would have had to put money into participating in ACA.

That's one of my main reasons for moving to FL.
I'm too young for Medicare, not indigent enough for Medicaid and there's nothing else available.

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Posted : August 3, 2016 8:39 pm
SausageInTheCan
(@SausageInTheCan)
Advanced Member

Still BS where ever you are. Can't get it if your income is too low. Even then they still try to wack you for the fine. You have to get an exemption number for your tax return. So much for affordable health care for everyone.

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Posted : August 3, 2016 9:27 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Still BS where ever you are. Can't get it if your income is too low. Even then they still try to wack you for the fine. You have to get an exemption number for your tax return. So much for affordable health care for everyone.

Yup. That's what happens when you have for profit insurers covering health. Single payer is the only way to actually lower costs.

Also to the OP. BCBS VI is done writing new policies in the VI. So even employers here do not have that choice. United Health is the only choice for private employers now. One good thing about their plan is it is accepted in all 50 States too

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Posted : August 3, 2016 10:25 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

I am stuck on health insurance and really need the helpful advice! 🙂

I'm looking for individual health insurance on St John. I am a US citizen moving on Island this month (August 2016). An employer plan is not an option as my employer has no plans available in the Virgin Islands

Why do you need health insurance anyway? Are you prone to accidents or sickly?

If you're young and healthy, save your money. Its much cheaper to pay doctors and dentist visits as you need them for routine stuff. Most have discounts for those paying without insurance.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 11:14 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

The difference between healthy and not healthy is about a millionth of a second.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 11:53 am
SausageInTheCan
(@SausageInTheCan)
Advanced Member

I thought it was 1/10,000 of a second.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 12:23 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

It's a risk that a lot of us in the 'middle' class are forced to take in order to live here.
If I start getting sick with something serious, the exit strategy is a quick move stateside and signing up for coverage under the ACA. However we can't account for emergencies. A sudden appendix issue would be devastating financially. Likewise any serious accident/injury.

It does force one to be more thoughtful relating to matters of health. We try to eat healthier, but I still play some physical sports. You can't avoid life.

Recent case in point was a sports injury that, after a week and a half, was still very painful and possibly a fracture. Fortunately I knew a doc who could call in an order for an xray. Cost me $105 at the image center but a glance over the shoulder of the tech seemed to look like nothing was broken.

The one thing that is broken is our health care system. I've circulated one possible approach amongst a few senators but there doesn't seem to be much interest. Unfortunately it would take strong government leadership and responsibility - qualities that are in short supply.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 12:35 pm
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

But . . . this is one of our Lt Gov's TOP priorities. At least that's what he always says when the subject comes up. :X

Say what you will. But Obamacare worked out well for me when I was stateside. Lower premium and deductible than pre-ACA, and I kept my own Dr. That was in a state with a lot of competition, though. There are millions who now have insurance who didn't before, and health care costs are not rising as rapidly as pre-ACA.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 1:09 pm
Stxer1
(@Stxer1)
Advanced Member

Hi Justin. I just sent you a private message about the insurance issue. Check for it.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 1:40 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

If you know another person it the same predicament you can try forming a small group and get United group policy.

As an alternative buy catastrophic plan (high deductible) on the mainland that would have emergency care provision for USVI.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 1:41 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

<>

The increase in enrollment came largely from expansion of Medicaid. So yeah yours and mine federal taxes paid for it. Brace yourselves for 2017 as most insurers filed requests to raise premiums between 17% to 47% in different markets. Healthcare pricing is out of control in US.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 1:47 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Healthcare pricing is out of control in US.

When has it not been? For years and years the cost of healthcare in the US has surpassed that of most other first world countries and the very fact that it took so long for any sort of universal health care plan to be available to all simply demonstrates the inefficacy of the system. Nobody has ever disputed that the Affordable Health Care Act has a long way to go - it's in its infancy. Too many want everything for nothing, a grand free ride through life.

Contrary to what many seem to believe, neither is Medicare a free ride and seniors (who've paid into the system all their working life) contribute to it even after retirement/eligibility through deductions from the meager SS retirement stipend - plus there's an annual deductible, plus Medicare only covers a portion of medical expenses. Medicaid is something I know nothing about so can't speak to that from first hand knowledge. Other than full coverage for children and certain categories of disabled adults, the annual income limit to qualify for Medicaid appears to be a little over $5K/pa.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 2:13 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

The ACA/Medicaid coverage gap includes FL.

http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/the-coverage-gap-uninsured-poor-adults-in-states-that-do-not-expand-medicaid-an-update/

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Posted : August 4, 2016 2:29 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

There are actually more people that are uninsured now than before the ACA. There are 44 million now according to the most recent stats and I believe it was around 33M prior, that were uninsured.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 3:08 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

There are actually more people that are uninsured now than before the ACA. There are 44 million now according to the most recent stats and I believe it was around 33M prior, that were uninsured.

What insurance did they have prior to ACA? Many companies were dropping group health insurance for their employees way before the ACA was enacted.

PS: This report from September 2015 indicates that there was a reduction of 8.8 million uninsured post ACA.
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/blog/2015/sept/us-census-data-shows-uninsured-americans-drop

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Posted : August 4, 2016 3:22 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

There are actually more people that are uninsured now than before the ACA. There are 44 million now according to the most recent stats and I believe it was around 33M prior, that were uninsured.

no

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/33-million-americans-still-dont-have-health-insurance/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FiveThirtyEight

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Posted : August 4, 2016 3:31 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

I am at a loss and can't believe it is so hard to find insurance here! I mean I knew it was hard... but it is now looking IMPOSSIBLE. Please help, all tips and suggestions appreciated!

You have it right - it is not legally possible to purchase individual healthcare coverage in the USVI. This is one of many areas that St John is nothing like the states.

If coverage is a priority, do not move here. You will lose your current coverage and unfortunately gain the full range of consequences of being uninsured, from the risk of a major health issue you can't afford, to having a coverage gap when you return to the states.

MASA and similar transport insurance become even more important if you are uninsured -- they can get you off island for treatment that is unavailable here. Without it, the transport cost alone could mean not getting the care you need.

"So what do you do for health insurance?" Everything I can to stay healthy.

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Posted : August 4, 2016 3:59 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Just curious but when was affordable individual health insurance ever available here? I was covered by my employer my first 10+ years here (they drastically reduced their employee coverage 20 years) ago but during my 16 years as a business owner I didn't have any insurance as it simply wasn't affordable. I remember at one time individuals belonging to the STT/STJ Chamber of Commerce could obtain coverage under a group plan (not any more) but, again, has there ever been affordable individual coverage here?

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Posted : August 4, 2016 4:00 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

There are actually more people that are uninsured now than before the ACA. There are 44 million now according to the most recent stats and I believe it was around 33M prior, that were uninsured.

no

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/33-million-americans-still-dont-have-health-insurance/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FiveThirtyEight/blockquote >

Yes
http://www.usdebtclock.org/

http://www.pbs.org/healthcarecrisis/uninsured.html

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Posted : August 4, 2016 4:04 pm
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