Health insurance mandatory for non-residents?

Americans will soon be required to buy health insurance? What will be the effect on American citizens who are expats and seldom or never travel to U.S.A.?

I don’t know for sure but I doubt it will impact people who live overseas. I haven’t heard anything on that issue discussed about the bill.

Interesting question. Unless Congress thought about this point, it might not have crafted any exemption for expatriates.

As far as i know these things are usually connected with where you live. I know that a friend who moved to Canada had to get Canadian health care, while still being dutch. i think it’s the same here, if you’re a foreigner staying for a while, you need to get dutch health insurance.

But in some places where there are huge concentrations of expats (such as Mexico), there’s no local requirement for securing an insurance policy, although there certainly is coverage available (my company has me on such a policy, in addition to my “back home” insurance). The local, commercial packages are hardly answerable to the US or any state government, though.

Also while living in Canada for a year, we weren’t required to secure Ontario coverage, although we were close enough to enough US borders that, barring medical emergencies, it was better to go to a US medical facility.

My current plans include being a permanent expat one day. This has tax implications, and although required to file US taxes, most of one’s income is tax free to the USA. Since presumably the IRS will be handling the penalty phase of not purchasing insurance, it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of all of the expats.

I would say that it would be interesting to see the affect on all of the pseudo-expats (the foreign workers), but I have to assume that just like my company, the vast majority of companies that send their workers overseas provide insurance coverage anyway.

AFAIK, if you are a legal resident of Canada, naturalized or still foreign, you are a participant of the health care system of your province of residence. There’s some waiting period, like 90 days or 6 months or something…

Logically (who knows what the bill says?) if you don’t live in the USA and don’t use their health system, who cares about your coverage? The problem is, when does an expat become a resident again? While sunning on the beach in Mexico, can you get a friend to drive you into California when you start feeling chest pains? If you visit the friends back in Montana for Christmas and need a doctor, do you get coverage then? Why shouldn’t you if you are paying a share of taxes to Uncle Sam even while non-resident? The nit-picking details are complex. Guaranteed someone will have something to complain about.

Correct. To the best of my knowledge, a provincial health insurance plan covers all residents (Canadians and non-Canadians) of the province who have been resident in the province 90 days or more. There are some exceptions (I believe, but am not sure, that foreign students on student visas may be exempted under certain conditions), but it would be correct to say that the vast majority of people of all nationalities resident in Canada have provincial health coverage from their province of residence.

I suppose that to stay within the parameters of the bill, it could be argued that Americans permanently resident in Canada have “bought” their insurance from the province through paying federal and provincial taxes. Their proof would be the provincial health card that we all have, indicating that we’re covered.