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Crohn's Disease Forum » Ulcerative Colitis Forum » Insurance in U.S. for non U.S. citizens


02-08-2014, 12:49 AM   #1
89red
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Seoul, South Korea

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Insurance in U.S. for non U.S. citizens

Hello, I am a 24 year old Korean and I have diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis since 2009. I tried a lot of medication and for about a year my doctor switched me to Remicade infusion. It has been working great on me.

In 2008 when I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in Korea when I was a senior in high school. I thought I wouldn't be able to go into college, but I safely graduated undergrad and now I am a graduate school student.

Right now I am planning to go to the states to get a Ph.D, but there is one well a big problem.
I need to get Remicade infusion every two months as well as other medication. The problem is I'm not sure if non-US citizens can apply for health insurance in the states even if they have ulcerative colitis.

Do you know anybody living in the US who is a non-citizen that has ulcerative colitis?
Do you know what insurance they have?
Do you know how much it costs to get Remicade infusion for a non-US citizen?

I really want to continue my studies, but I feel like my conditions has become more than an obstacle for me. It is stopping me from pursuing my dreams and I feel like nobody understands me. I would be grateful if you could provide me with some advice.

Thank you.

Last edited by 89red; 02-10-2014 at 11:04 PM.
02-10-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
Justin1982
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
There are college exchange programs for which you can study in the U.S. So long as you're here legally, I would guess insurance can be bought through the university. Universities offer students health insurance, though I believe quite expensive.

I'd recommend you check out the university in Korea in which an exchange program is possible.

If you hope to study here by picking up a student visa, you'll need to talk to the local immigration office. I imagine if you're here legally, you can purchase insurance. However, pre-existing conditions make insurance VERY expensive.
02-11-2014, 12:10 AM   #3
SarahLou
 
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Location: Portland, Oregon

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I'm a non-US Citizen and didn't have any issues getting insurance. Insurance companies must also now cover pre-existing conditions. Good luck!
02-11-2014, 01:05 AM   #4
Justin1982
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
While they must cover pre-existing conditions, they can also charm a fortune.
02-11-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
jwfoise
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Hudson/Akron/Cleveland, Ohio
There are college exchange programs for which you can study in the U.S. So long as you're here legally, I would guess insurance can be bought through the university. Universities offer students health insurance, though I believe quite expensive.

I'd recommend you check out the university in Korea in which an exchange program is possible.

If you hope to study here by picking up a student visa, you'll need to talk to the local immigration office. I imagine if you're here legally, you can purchase insurance. However, pre-existing conditions make insurance VERY expensive.
When I was a graduate student (30 years ago ), my health insurance was through my university. I suspect that has not changed, but I don't know. I would apply to the universities you are interested in for your PhD work, but before you pick one, I would talk with them about your insurance concerns.

As an aside, what is your field of study? Mine was in chemistry.
02-11-2014, 10:57 AM   #6
SarahLou
 
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Location: Portland, Oregon

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I'm sorry to hear that you have had to pay extra Justin, though that hasn't been my experience. I don't know whether it differs because my insurance is through my husband's employer but I haven't had to pay any more that anyone else. My Dr's also accepted my British medical records rather than starting again trying to get a diagnosis.
02-11-2014, 06:43 PM   #7
Justin1982
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
I'm a U.S. citizen, but I know the university I attended a decade ago offered student exchange programs.

Unfortunately, I was self insured, and the rates kept rising. These days, I'm uninsured which has been difficult. I saw doctor after doctor for a very long time and couldn't find a listening ear.

Suffice to say, insurance companies hate paying money. If you're under a group policy through a job, rates are negotiated by the employer. For a period, I was self employed, because my health has been horrendous. Now, I'm just flat out unable to work. Thus, no insurance.

I don't wish Crohn's upon anyone. Interminable nightmare. Doctors told me anything from there's nothing wrong, to gastric dumping, to IBS, to celiac, etc. All the while, I was getting increasingly sicker.

I use to be severely overweight at 5'3 230 pounds (though still very sick). I dropped to 109 pounds and quit eating I'd been complaining since about 13 or 14, but the last few years all hell broke lose.

Time I found a listening Dr, the pain was through the roof and Ive been very sick. In the last year, I've made 21 trips to Cleveland Clinic (4 Hrs away), 6 or 7 Surgeries related to Kidney Stones, and 4 Emergency roo visits. My left kidney is loaded with probably 25-30 6mm (1/4th) to 1cm (1/2) inch kidney stones. My right kidney has more and is severely undersized I guess from stones / infection. I've battled low potassium. low vitamin D, and on and off anemia.

I've gained some weight back. I'm around 125 now. Taking Entocort. But I've got a LONG WAY TO GO.

Suffice to say, no insurance company is going to touch me for a reasonable price. If you are sick, they CAN CHARGE an arm and a LEG.
05-20-2014, 12:10 AM   #8
DavidXU
 
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Location: Beijing, China

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Hi,89red. I got very similar situation as yours.
I have Crohn's and I am planning to pursue my PhD in the US.
I do not know whether I can get my Visa and medical coverage.
Hope there is someone who can share related information.
06-04-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
xmdmom
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: New York

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Take a look at a University grad school website for some info. This is Cornell U. info for grad students and it mentions international students. It looks like the require grad students to buy the Cornell U Student Health Insurance Plan
http://www.studentinsurance.cornell....fpay/index.cfm
If you click on related links you can see what it covers and cost http://www.gannett.cornell.edu/cms/p...P-Overview.pdf

You definitely don't want to pay for remicade out of pocket unless you are Bill Gates!

Hope this helps!
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