We assist our clients in determining both their short and long-term health insurance needs.
In the short term, Canadian IT professionals who move to the US to work for American companies are in the fortunate position of being able to join the health insurance plan offered by their employer. However, in order to position themselves to be eligible for Medicare, Canadian IT professionals hoping to move to the US on a permanent basis need to do some long-term planning centering around immigration.
Eligibility for Medicare begins at age 65 for US citizens and permanent residents/Green Card holders who have been living in the US for at least five years. Canadians who initially move to the US under a TN or H-1B visa, two typical pathways to the US for Canadian IT professionals, are not automatically eligible to become permanent residents. It is therefore important for Canadian IT professionals who move to the US under a temporary work visa like the TN or H-1B to embark on the path to permanent residency as soon as possible. Setting out on this path will ensure that Canadian IT professionals moving to the US are eligible for Medicare upon retirement.
Medicare is important because it provides a cost-effective solution to health insurance coverage later in life. If Medicare-eligible US residents have also earned enough credits to be eligible for US Social Security payments (typically achieved by working in the US for 10 years or by being married to a spouse who has earned enough credits), then they will not have to pay premiums for Part A Medicare benefits, which cover inpatient care at hospitals.
There are also Part B and Part D Medicare premiums. Part B premiums cover outpatient care, such as doctor visits and lab tests, and Part D premiums cover prescription costs. Medigap coverage is also available to supplement Part A coverage. Medigap can be used to cover Medicare deductibles and co-payments and to purchase coverage in addition to Medicare, such as travel insurance.