Compulsory health care paymemnts for expats?


Mar 25, 2007
I brought this up before and was accused of 'scaring' expats. I think that expats need to be informed. WHAT is going to happen if the Obama health care reform bill is passed? Will expats living permanently in Argentina and elsewhere be COMPELLED to pay for health care in the US? Take a look at this article:
Note • Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement
The bill just (narrowly) passed in the House.

The below is from a piece in WSJ today:

On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer. (Link: )

You all may now officially start to worry.

One - the plan is still not final and there will be a number of changes to come.

And notes on the above - Denver - the costs you mentioned are less than what most people pay if they purchase their own insurance.

And I'm still not worried - if you are filing taxes in the US, one assumes you will have to provide proof of health care coverage. I have health care coverage here & yes, it covers me in the US. So until I see something that specifically states that I will have to carry health care coverage in the US, I'm not going to get worked up about it.
What people voluntarily pay for health insurance today is irrelevant. The House bill mandates that everyone must buy it or the IRS will take it out of your paycheck or your funds. That's a big difference.

This is Pelosi's method of 'solving' health care: Put a gun to everyone's head and force them to buy insurance. -Voila! We have universal health care. We are now also dirt poor, but hey...

As for expats; I believe a large part of the Americans 'living' here are doing so under a tourist visa. It would make sense that they would be treated as US residents living in the US. I doubt health insurance purchased abroad would be valid, unless you are a foreign national visiting the US temporarily. That could open up the market to a swarm of Chinese companies selling insurance to US residents via the internet.

The House bill must be consolidated with the current Senate bill, but with renegade people like Snowe looking to make a name for herself, there is certainly reason to worry.

Well, what's the alternative? Have people not buy health care and then get sick and either a) wind up bankrupting themselves because they can't pay their medical bills or b) have the gen pop wind up paying for the uninsured people's medical bills (because that is what happens in the end).

I think most people would like to have health care. Unless you are in a big company, it's *very* difficult and *very* expensive to get health insurance. Those I know that don't have health insurance in the US don't go without b/c they like living on the edge. They literally can't afford it. So if you're given the opportunity to do it, why not.

And again, this is for people who don't have health insurance. Those that do will continue on their way, with no changes in their life. No one is being forced to take the gov'ts plan or forced to switch their insurance provider or pay more.

Shrug - I think it's long overdue and am cautiously optimistic that this is a step in the right direction.

As always though, the bill is a long way from being finalized so I'll withhold judgment until then.
Dennis Kucinich on why he voted against the bill. This is not reform and the "cure" seems to be even worse than the problem it is supposed to address. Politicians like Obama, Pelosi and Baucus are the scum of the earth.
I think you are missing the point, citigirl.

You stated: 'Those I know that don't have health insurance in the US don't go without b/c they like living on the edge. They literally can't afford it.'

If this House bill were to become law, these people would be forced to buy private insurance in the market place at prevailing rates. The 'public option' which may or may not happen sometime in the future is a separate issue.

How will your uninsured friends be better off if they would be forced to pay $7,300 per year starting January? -Money that you said they don't have. What are they then not going to buy? Food?

I think you're missing my point - 7300 is a lot less than what most of them have to pay right now if they want to cover themselves.

In NY (which granted has exceptionally high rates), insuring a single person with less than exceptional coverage is over 10K year - or at least it was back when I had to do it. That 3K difference might make a big difference to a lot of people and represents a pretty significant savings.

Like I said - shrug - the final plan has yet to be determined and I think it will be a lot different.

My only ?/hope is that it is pre-tax dollars which would help a lot of people out.
I am not living on a tourist visa. I am legal. I have health insurance here and it covers me for $20,000 USD outside of Argentina - and this is with a top plan. Not really enough though. The cost of entering the ER last February and getting a simple ultrasound was $3,000 USD.

I am in favor of national health care, something along the lines of what the British have. I don't like the idea of being FORCED to pay for health insurance. I suppose that people with low incomes will be given free care ('subsidized') however the plan just voted on by the House of Representatives is not my idea of an adequate solution.

There are a lot of Americans living LEGALLY in countries all over the world. Will they be FORCED to buy health care in the US when they are covered where they live? THAT was my question.