Health Coverage for Expats in Houston
Health insurance may be provided for you and your family by your employer. Inquire as to the employee’s coverage and the cost before seeking independent health insurance coverage as being insured on your own can be very costly ($1500 and up per month per family member). Being insured under a company’s health plan may limit you to certain insurance companies, plans and doctors but the cost is more affordable ($1000 – 2000 a month with discounts for dependents). Note that health insurance costs vary widely and do go up every year.
At this moment, there is no health insurance coverage provided by Texas or the U.S except for Medicare and Medicaid. Adults over the age of 65 who have been paying into Medicare may be eligible for either Medicaid or Medicare health coverage. However, it is unlikely that individuals who are relocating to this country would have access to this health care due to the qualification period. Medicaid is provided by the State to low-income residents and there are certain requirements that need to be met before applying for Medicaid, http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/Medicaid/index.html.
In the event that your employer does not provide health care coverage as a part of their benefits package, it is advised that you seek individual health insurance coverage for you and your family members. The U.S. is undergoing changes in its healthcare system and the current law requires that by 2014 every resident will be required to carry healthcare insurance.
There are insurance plans for general health, dental and vision. Some dental offices offer affordable dental plans but then you are limited to that particular office.
If you are able to keep your insurance from your home country, that may be the best choice for the beginning as many expats have successfully done so and found it very convenient and cheaper than changing to a U.S. provider. However, you may have limitations on what you can be treated for in the U.S. and may need to return to your home country for major treatment or surgical procedures.
Note that as an expat in the USA, you might not be eligible for local plans in the USA, so it is recommended that most expats in Houston and the USA get an international medical plan. You can request a quote via:
Health Plans for Americans and Some Expats in Houston
Here are some of the leading individual health insurance companies to consider for your family’s coverage, either offered through your employer or when insuring as an individual:
- Aetna – 1-860-273-0123, http://www.aetna.com
- Humana – 1-800-486-2620, http://www.humana.com
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas – 1-800-445-2227, http://www.bcbstx.com
- United Health Care – 713-296-4800, http://www.uhc.com
- Eyemed – 1-800-521-3605, http://portal.eyemedvisioncare.com/wps/portal/emweb