We assist our snowbird clients in determining both their health insurance needs and the potential costs of insurance over time, including the cost of both Medicare and private insurance.
Private insurance can provide coverage for a wide range of needs, from outpatient care to prescription drugs, emergency room visits to surgery and everything in between. While private insurance can be expensive, there are ways to reduce or offset this cost.
Under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), not only can health insurance applicants not be refused for having pre-existing medical conditions, which is good news for Canadians moving to the US, but certain subsidies (such as premium tax credits) are also available to reduce the cost of private health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Another benefit to obtaining private health insurance as a US resident is the ability to open a Health Savings Account, or HSA. This account comes with a variety of substantial tax benefits that can make private insurance much more palatable in terms of affordability.
Note also that once snowbirds officially exit Canada and become tax residents of the US, they will lose their provincial health care coverage in Canada. Snowbirds may therefore want to obtain coverage for the months spent in Canada post-move. This can be achieved by ensuring that private insurance premiums include travel insurance or by purchasing Medigap.