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Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-10-2007, 01:17 AM   #1
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Living in Canada and Medicare

Hi-
I have a friend from the States who is 63 years of age. In a couple years she wants to get Medicare, but likes Canada and plans on living there. Can you live in Canada, perhaps near Seattle area or someplace else near the States, and declare yourself a resident of a particular state.

I am sure there are many American retirees living in Canada. Can they still venture to the States for medical coverage through Medicare? Is it common and legal?

Thankyou.
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-10-2007, 02:33 AM   #2
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

Medicare does not care where the person lives, it cares where the treatment is received. Nothing prevents a US citizen living elsewhere from returning to the US for treatment ... that's 100% legal. A dear friend just recently went back to the US for "laser knife" brain surgery because he had no health insurance here. Medicare paid over $200,000 in treatment costs compared to the about $25,000 the whole package was going to cost here in the Philippines, but he had neither insurance nor $25,000 so back he went.

Your friend can live in Canada as long as Canada will let her ... currently 6 months at a time unless she chooses to become a permanent resident of Canada ... and she can cross over to the US and be seen by a Medicare doctor, be admitted to a Medicare hospital, etc. as she chooses Certain states have funny funding and residency requirements for Medicare patients in state-supported hospitals, but that's a side issue.

The problem (or not, it's only my view) with Medicare is it doesn't provide treatment overseas ... Medicare stops at the US border, except for limited amounts of time when a person is an actual tourist. But Medicare Part A is not even optional, virtually every American Citizen gets it free at age 65 and virtually every American Citizen can elect to take (and pay for) Medicare Part B at age 65 or at any time thereafter.

An American citizen has the right to live anywhere legally that he/she chooses and has no obligation to have a residence or address within the US. But he or she will not be able to avail of Medicare _outside_ the US.
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-12-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

Your friend may have a tough time moving to Canada at all. Canada has a "points" system that determines if you can get in or not. If you are young, educated and can show that you have financial assets that you'll be bringing to the country, you get more points.

Also, once you arrive in Canada, you are not considered an automatic resident. You are first considered a landed immigrant and then need to be sponsored by someone to become a Permanent Resident. It took DH two years to become a Permanent Resident after I sponsored him.
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-13-2007, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

Yes, but you can be a "seasonal resident" without any paperwork or application process. You just have to return to the US every 4 (or is it 6) months. We have a cottage in the Thousand Islands to which we will someday soon retire. We have many American neighbors who spend the whole summer there.
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-13-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

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Originally Posted by riverlover
Yes, but you can be a "seasonal resident" without any paperwork or application process. You just have to return to the US every 4 (or is it 6) months. We have a cottage in the Thousand Islands to which we will someday soon retire. We have many American neighbors who spend the whole summer there.
It's six months. See the Service Canada Website. Of course, to obtain a health card, you must be a resident of Canada (and pay taxes). Health is a provincial responsibility.

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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-13-2007, 10:23 PM   #6
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

Make sure you don't have any kind of criminal record:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg.../23/NEVIUS.TMP

This applies even to casual visitors including family and friends that may want to come visit you.

Kramer

Quote:
Going to Canada? Check your past
Visitors with minor criminal records turned back at border


There was a time not long ago when a trip across the border from the United States to Canada was accomplished with a wink and a wave of a driver's license. Those days are over.

Take the case of 55-year-old Lake Tahoe resident Greg Felsch. Stopped at the border in Vancouver this month at the start of a planned five-day ski trip, he was sent back to the United States because of a DUI conviction seven years ago. Not that he had any idea what was going on when he was told at customs: "Your next stop is immigration.''

Felsch was ushered into a room. "There must have been 75 people in line," he says. "We were there for three hours. One woman was in tears. A guy was sent back for having a medical marijuana card. I felt like a felon with an ankle bracelet.''

Or ask the well-to-do East Bay couple who flew to British Columbia this month for an eight-day ski vacation at the famed Whistler Chateau, where rooms run to $500 a night. They'd made the trip many times, but were surprised at the border to be told that the husband would have to report to "secondary'' immigration.

There, in a room he estimates was filled with 60 other concerned travelers, he was told he was "a person who was inadmissible to Canada.'' The problem? A conviction for marijuana possession.

In 1975.
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-14-2007, 02:23 PM   #7
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer
Make sure you don't have any kind of criminal record:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg.../23/NEVIUS.TMP

This applies even to casual visitors including family and friends that may want to come visit you.

Kramer
This cuts both ways. A man who was a pillar of the community in my area was denied entry to the US for his son's graduation because he had the same name as a criminal from another province. Even though he had an alibi.

Travel is not what it used to be!
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-15-2007, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

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Originally Posted by Meadbh
It's six months. See the Service Canada Website. Of course, to obtain a health card, you must be a resident of Canada (and pay taxes). Health is a provincial responsibility.

Not so true. In Ontario, if you earn less that $6k I believe, you do not need to file taxes and as long as you are a Canadian Citizen, can get a health card providing you have a Residence and a Passport and a Bank Account for at least 3 months. Been there done that. I still have an OHIP card that I renew every 5 years (I think). Oh and I actually live in Florida. I have a residential address in Ontario.

SWR
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-15-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider
Not so true. In Ontario, if you earn less that $6k I believe, you do not need to file taxes and as long as you are a Canadian Citizen, can get a health card providing you have a Residence and a Passport and a Bank Account for at least 3 months. Been there done that. I still have an OHIP card that I renew every 5 years (I think). Oh and I actually live in Florida. I have a residential address in Ontario.

SWR
Well, SWR, the fact is that you, as a Canadian citizen registered as resident in Ontario, are eligible to be considered a taxpayer and just don't meet the minimum income criteria to pay any. Also, my understanding is that Rob's friend, the subject of the discussion, is not a Canadian Citizen.
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare
Old 03-16-2007, 07:13 AM   #10
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Re: Living in Canada and Medicare

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Originally Posted by Meadbh
Well, SWR, the fact is that you, as a Canadian citizen registered as resident in Ontario, are eligible to be considered a taxpayer and just don't meet the minimum income criteria to pay any. Also, my understanding is that Rob's friend, the subject of the discussion, is not a Canadian Citizen.
Yes you are perfectly correct of course. I am a Canadian (And US) citizen, I just do not let my OHIP or Drivers license lapse in Canada. I maintain all the required credentials. This is because one day with the state of Health Care in this country (US), we will end up in Canada in our old age. OHIP is far better than any US Medicare health plan when you are over 65. Till then we will stay in the US while my wife has a very comfortable, low stress, low workload State job with full benefits. Me, I just make hay while the sun shines. It does that a lot here in Florida.

Ian
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