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Old 02-08-2013, 02:05 PM   #21
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The NHS is going through a tough time because of funding and politics. But it is the health insurance/service of choice for the vast majority of people in the UK and it gives excellent care and service. Only 1.5% of people in the UK buy their own private health insurance, another 10% get it as work benefit. My mother is 88 and gets excellent care for her diabetes with in home visits from the doctor. She had to wait 2 months for recent cataract surgery, but had laser treatment on some diabetes induce retinal bleeding within a couple of days of diagnosis because it was urgent. Total out of pocket cost to her was zero. The hospital even refunded the cost of a cab to take her home.

I will be very happy to get similar care if/when I go back to the UK. The bigger issue for US expats with foreign health coverage is whether to pay Medicare premiums when they turn 65 in case they ever move back to the US.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by bondi688 View Post
You hear about horror stories about NHS and long wait for elective procedures in Canada (propaganda?), and you guys are living in medical meccas in the US (Houston and Boston)
Yes those stories are mostly propaganda. There are issues with the NHS and politicians undercutting the service has caused a lot of trouble, but that happens everywhere, not least in the US with some of the policies of the private insurers. In the UK people fixate on how many people in the US don't have insurance and pre-existing conditions.

Boston is a mecca for health care, but it's also very expensive, but MA health reform is doing something to control the costs. If I was to ER tomorrow I could buy a 2k/4k plan through the state's website for $400-$500/month. So I have a line item for $6k in premiums and $4k annual max out of pocket costs. That $4k hopefully won't be a regular cost, but even with out it the $0 out of pocket cost of the NHS looks pretty good. That goes double given that my tax burden would be less in the UK and even with a 20% VAT consumption tax on good and services my expenses are less in the UK because I'm frugal and don't spend a lot on consumer goods and cars etc.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:16 PM   #23
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US, Canada is too flippin cold.
+1,000

I am a California boy, and "cold" is below 70. Above zero.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:23 PM   #24
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If he could afford it then snow-birding would be a good option...
Alan - right after retirement we spent a good month in AZ. You can't swing a dead cat there without whacking a Canadian. Seriously, probably 1/2+ of the motorhomes and other big rigs were from Canada. AND a sizable portion of the others were from "South Canada" aka North and South Dakota. Talked to a number of folks: They have it all dialed in. Insurance, taxes, everything. They move with the seasons and are very happy and content.

I would recommend that the OP's friend check out some of the RV sites. That seems to be the most mobile group for Canadians wintering south of the border.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #25
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Alan - right after retirement we spent a good month in AZ. You can't swing a dead cat there without whacking a Canadian. Seriously, probably 1/2+ of the motorhomes and other big rigs were from Canada. AND a sizable portion of the others were from "South Canada" aka North and South Dakota. Talked to a number of folks: They have it all dialed in. Insurance, taxes, everything. They move with the seasons and are very happy and content.

I would recommend that the OP's friend check out some of the RV sites. That seems to be the most mobile group for Canadians wintering south of the border.
This last year we spent 5 months touring in Northern USA (mostly Pacific NW) to escape the Texas summer and even then we did meet a lnumber of Canadians, so I can well believe it for the winter months
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:52 PM   #26
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Of course Alan the biggest reason to go to N. Yorks is easy access to warm Petches pork pies and big squares of black pudding!
Yes indeed. The challenge will be to keep the weight off. I put on 8lbs during that 7 month stay in 2011
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:40 PM   #27
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I'm a dual canadian-us citizen (living in silicon valley right now) but I haven't lived in canada for some time now.

I think that the passage of the ACA minimizes the biggest reason to live in Canada (healthcare). Yes healthcare will still be more expensive in the US but with the subsidy's for those earning under 60k I think the difference is not so great.

With regards to wait times, I haven't looked at any stats but I was astounded by how fast I was seen in the ER (the one time I had to go in the US). Also my cousin has complained bitterly about getting care for her dad in canada. But these are anecdotes.

The cold is no joke, but as an canadian he/she should know that. Even a mild city like toronto will get colder than -10c. Ottawa will regularly get to -30 and Edmonton I've heard described as "like siberia".
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:39 PM   #28
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I'm a dual canadian-us citizen (living in silicon valley right now) but I haven't lived in canada for some time now.

I think that the passage of the ACA minimizes the biggest reason to live in Canada (healthcare). Yes healthcare will still be more expensive in the US but with the subsidy's for those earning under 60k I think the difference is not so great.

With regards to wait times, I haven't looked at any stats but I was astounded by how fast I was seen in the ER (the one time I had to go in the US). Also my cousin has complained bitterly about getting care for her dad in canada. But these are anecdotes.

The cold is no joke, but as an canadian he/she should know that. Even a mild city like toronto will get colder than -10c. Ottawa will regularly get to -30 and Edmonton I've heard described as "like siberia".

Almost everyone in Canada lives on the southern border. My Canadian co workers called it the "best of the worst."
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #29
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DH is American but now has his Canadian citizenship as well. We have no plans to return to the U.S. after we retire either.

The decision for us is quite simple: we have two young children and University is cheaper in Canada, not to mention healthcare and there are JOBS JOBS JOBS (at least in Calgary).

For those of you who think Canada is colder than Alaska, some parts are, but Calgary has the highest number of sunny days of any major city in Canada and we are 30 minutes from the Rocky Mountains . I'm sure my MIL who lives in Boston would rather be in Calgary today where the sun is shining .
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