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International Health Insurance Covering Pre-Existing Conditions

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    International Health Insurance Covering Pre-Existing Conditions

    Hi all.

    So I got a pretty cool job overseas and I'll be spending the next two years in Israel. Of course this means that I'll have to switch plans get international health insurance, but unfortunately international plans were recently exempted from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act ( and I'm having a really hard time finding anything that is willing to cover me considering my medical history.

    Has anyone had any luck with international coverage?
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

    *bump. I still need health insurance - does anyone have any advice or leads?
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.


      Your employer can't cover you?

      otherwise, this is rough.... How is healthcare covered in Israel? Maybe you are eligible for something as a ?legal alien.


        My employer reimburses 85% of my monthly premium, so they're definitely taking care of me, but it's far too small an organization to offer anything in the way of group health plans that would overcome the whole pre-existing condition thing. You don't really have much bargaining power with the health insurance companies if you're just six or seven people, so they just let us find our own plans.

        I'm in the process of exploring the Israeli option. It's ambiguous and lengthy, and by default they try to exclude it but at least they're open to some sort of vague negotiation. Problem is, it will take a few doctors visits (at 150 a pop) to even find out whether or not they'll cut me a deal, and let's face it - there's a good chance that they won't in the end so I'm pursuing the expat coverage option as well.

        I don't know why this isn't classified as discrimination. If a hotel charged someone more because they required wheelchair access and whatnot, they'd have their asses handed to them in court. But somehow health insurance companies can actively seek out every disability related challenge we face and refuse service specifically for anything related to those limitations.

        I did some digging and as it turns out Congress passed a law exempting international insurance plans from Obamacare requirements back in April ( This isn't just an oversight, it's fairly evident that insurance companies invested a lot of money in order to legally discriminate against anyone with health challenges.

        I'm not surprised at all, but it's still bullshit. For what it's worth I started a petition that theoretically has a small chance of bringing some attention to the issue: So yea, sign it and tell your friends to sign it.

        Still, there has to be a way to get covered. I couldn't care less how much it costs - even if my premium is something crazy $1000 dollars a month I only pay 150 so I can afford it - I just want to have a bit of security.
        L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.


          I wasn't even aware you could buy a standard American health insurance plan to cover you overseas. Although they probably should be willing to, as I'm sure your health care costs will be much cheaper in Israel than they are here.

          Honestly, I would try to work on it from the Israel end. If American companies can discriminate for international policies well that nixes that option - no use to pursue any further.

          But really... shouldn't your boss/company be helping you with this? Will there be a sister company you are working with in Israel? If so, ask if you could speak with someone in their benefits department, just to get more info. I would think they sometimes hire consultants that might be in the same position.

          Can you tell your current boss the situation and ask if they can help cover the cost of those initial MD visits, considering the situation? If they are already paying a huge amount for transportation/living expenses to get you all out there, they probably wouldn't mind. And honestly, in the scheme of things, that isn't a lot of money even if you have to pay initially considering this potentially great opportunity.

          Maybe reach out to the American embassy in Israel online and ask for help.

          But you absolutely need insurance. No question.

          I would definitely bring a few courses of antibiotics with you, just in case...

          Great opportunity though. Congrats. Hope it works out for you.


            It's not a standard american health insurance plan. They're specifically designed for international coverage, but the company is based out of the united states and is providing services to US citizens. This is a lot cheaper for them. There are generally two options you can buy: one covers 100% after deductible no matter where you are in the world as long as it's not in the US, and the other one covers you everywhere in the world - US included. The one that doesn't include US coverage is usually in the 150 dollar range for remarkably comprehensive benefits (assuming no pre-existing conditions of course), and the one that includes US coverage is like $350 to $500.

            Technically Israel excludes pre-existing conditions too but they seem to be more flexible on the issue. It could definitely be abused if someone moved there for a few months just so they could get insured and then get that expensive heart surgery with only a few hundred bucks out of pocket. I think the assumption is that your country of citizenship should make coverage possible because you've been paying taxes there and what not your whole life

            The company is a fairly independent nonprofit, so there isn't really a benefits department to speak of. That being said there is some vague and loose affiliation with Harvard Law school that I don't quite understand so maybe exceptions could be made and strings could be pulled. I'll ask. They will definitely cover the initial doctors visits if they are part of the process of getting coverage, I was more saying that it's gonna take some time before I get a final answer (which very well might be no) so in the meantime it doesn't hurt to find a health insurance company that can offer a solution.
            L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.