While my husband has always been interested in moving to the United States, this vacation has only reinforced his desire to do so. Add that to my, shall we say extreme, desire to move back and you find us checking online job offers and brainstorming timelines.
One of the issues that most concerns my husband about moving back to the United States is health care, or rather how the health care system works. He doesn’t understand it and I’m having a hard time explaining it to him. My last job with American benefits was about twelve years ago, when I was single and childless, footloose and fancy free. I honestly can’t remember anything about the plan other than it was with an HMO (Kaiser Permanente) and I thought that it was fairly good.
My mother tried to explain a bit about how the health benefits work at her job, but as a single woman with no dependants to cover, what she was able to tell him wasn’t very useful. Add the fact that, as a computer geek he’s hard-wired to look for concrete data and you have a recipe for frustration. He keeps asking: “But what’s the minimum it could cost per month? What’s the maximum?” Saying “It depends” just isn’t cutting it anymore.
So I’m throwing the questions out to you, dear readers. What do you think a foreigner should know about health insurance in the United States? Do you have health insurance? If so, what is your plan like? Does it cover just you or your whole family? How much do you have to pay, both in employee contributions and out of pocket? If you don’t have health insurance, why not?
Go ahead, I dare you to try to explain the US health care system to my husband, a French guy. And next Sunday, I’ll do my darndest to explain the French healthcare system, with its low payments but staggering amount of debt, to you.