Biggest Fear of Moving to the USA

movingMoving internationally is not an easy job, especially with a pre-existing condition. Destination USA and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Repatriating after living in Germany is going to be tough. And today I experienced a prime example of what awaits me.

I recently filled out an online form to register for state health insurance. Thankfully this time it worked, as the last time I tried to register, the website was down and not functioning. To receive further guidance on how MNSure functions, I sent an e-mail to my local county office.  I provided all possible details: date of return, importance of pre-existing condition coverage, city we will live in, etc. I then asked to schedule a telephone appointment to receive more information as soon as possible.

Thankfully, I did receive a reply within one business day; I cannot complain about that. But here’s the answer I received:

Good Morning, Leah!

I received a copy of your e-mail to XZY re: a MNSure appointment.

I will be in the ABC office on Monday, 9/24/2018. I have scheduled an appointment for you at 10:00 am. The address…..

Wait. Stop.

The in-person appointment that I was given is actually two and a half weeks AFTER my entrance to the US. I specifically asked for a telephone appointment to clarify everything BEFORE I enter the US.

My biggest fear is coming true. Lack of accessibility to health insurance.

My response:

Dear XZY,
I appreciate your quick response.

I would prefer to already have coverage when I arrive in the US. Unfortunately, having a pre-existing condition in the US is a death sentence, even with insurance. Because of this, I cannot risk one day uninsured.

Can we schedule an appointment by phone this week or next?

I don’t even care if it sounds extreme. It’s true.

Healthcare in the rest of the developed world is a right, not a privilege. 

All I can imagine is arriving at the airport in Minneapolis – St. Paul, getting in the car, and getting in an accident where even with just whiplash, I’ll be paying medical bills for ages.

I think it’s even harder for me to imagine living in the US again because I have experienced what life is like in another country. I’ve lived in Germany for three years and have not one single time had to worry about not getting the care or supplies I need to live. In the US, that was a constant fear of mine, even though I had a great job with decent insurance.

It’s all about perspective and I hope the US positively surprises me.

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