I am an American expat who has lived in New Zealand for 8 years. I am looking for a job in the USA, but will only be willing to work there if I will be guaranteed pre-existing condition coverage.
I will be applying to positions all over the country. As my question is not region-specific, I cannot simply ask a regional broker.
I am concerned about this because I had a near-miss when visiting the USA in July. I had to go to the ER twice and my travel insurance almost didn’t cover me – this would have cost me at least $10k. I got lucky due to a technicality.
So basically, my question is, if I move to the US, am I immediately covered as soon as I get American insurance?
When you return to the US as an expat you can either enroll in a health plan through the Marketplace via special enrollment, or if applicable take employer coverage. Employer coverage may have up to a 90 day waiting period for new hires, so you may want to get Marketplace coverage in the meantime if this is the case. You can only get cost assistance if you project to make between 100% - 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, so keep that in mind. Since you are a US resident you may also have Medicaid options if your income is lower.
Whatever you do, you'll want to make sure you enroll in coverage at least 15 to 30 days before you move so your coverage can start on or close to your arrival date.