(Closed) Kind of a wreck because I can’t get married till 2018 thanks to health insurance

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Wow.  That’s an incredibly difficult situation to be in.  I don’t want to start any debate with my personal views, but well, the American health care situation is ‘unique’ to developed countries.  Have you ever thought of pursuing grad school in another country?  It might take some investigation because of the specifics of your situation, but most countries have radically different systems.  I know the Canadian system best because that’s where I’m from (although the system isn’t quite the same for a student visa) – but I now live in South Korea and several American friends on basic work visas have had a baby here because even with copayments it is FAR FAR FAR less expensive than having a baby uninsured in the US (and a similar level of care, especially in Seoul).  I also have an American friend studying in Belgium who is under an AMAZING system even as a foreign student.  I know that moving to another country may seem extreme, but so does waiting til 2018.  So perhaps you could try investigating grad school options in other countries?

Post # 4
272 posts
Helper bee

Are you hoping that by the time he’s 30 one of you will be employed by a company that both a) provides health insurance and b) has a plan that offers more than a million dollars per sickness?  I don’t want to be the harbinger of bad news, but that might not be any more likely than what either of you’ll have through graduate school.  If you did get married now and both got health insurance, is there any way to “double up” so that you are both doubly insured through the others’ plans?  Is there a way to buy private supplemental insurance, just in case?  What have the doctors said about his prognosis and chance of reoccurance?  I wish you both the best of luck, it must be a scary position to think about all the potential what-ifs and to feel like everything is on hold for so many years.  I hope you two can look at all your options regarding health insurance, and come to some sort of arrangement that works besides common-law marriage.

Post # 5
272 posts
Helper bee

Also, I forgot to add – I’m a graduate student too, but I also work part-time for the university, technically making me a staff member.  I carry (a better, more expensive) health insurance through their regular employee benefits, not the regular student benefits available to everyone.  Take another look at all possible insurance plans offered through the university, not just the standard student insurance.  Good luck!

Post # 6
1509 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Why don’t you have a destination wedding?  If you get married out of the country, you by United States law are not married until you go to the courthouse.  That way, you can still get married, have the wedding, even change your last name, but not make it legal by paper until that year you mentioned at which time you can go to the courthouse.

Post # 7
1220 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I don’t understand why you can’t carry supplemental insurance if need be.  A 1 million policy is actually a pretty decent policy, but as you know won’t come close to covering a major bout of cancer.  But it’s still a good policy.

Post # 8
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Hmm.. this is tough and I can’t relate BUT all I know is that I would want to marry someone rather than worry about health insurance.

There is no guarantee that in 8 years the health insurance issue will be resolved and unfortunately, is it worth the gamble? Without sounding insensitive or morbid but if my Fiance had issues with cancer and there was ANY chance in the whole wide world that it would come back … I’d want to marry him now and deal with it as a wife.

I don’t know, I just can’t see letting health insurance dictate my marriage.

Post # 10
188 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Such a tough situation. Is supplemental insurance available? Something to consider: When you have a job out of grad school, you don’t always have the luxury of selecting a place to work based upon who provides the best health insurance. In fact, when my Fiance was a post-doc, he had better insurance than I did working at an energy company – an industry that offers some of the best benefits. It actually may be best if you are married and he has insurance through his institution, but co-insurance under your policy. 

Post # 11
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009


Wish i could offer advice but you have every right to be distraught!! Youre engaged and you WILL be married… dont think of the way others view you. Hopefully something will change with insurance because it sounds like a frustrating situation to be in

Post # 12
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I would suggest you go and talk to a local insurance agent and see what policies are there for you.  In some states there are healthcare programs that are amazing and cheap that offer lots of coverage.  Aflace and Assurant offer programs too that are affordable. 

A lot of healthcare insurance providers are really uncertain what will come when the new bill passes.  It’s hard to say still because it keeps changing.  But I think it would still be worth knowing what your options are.  Also, I think you might considering getting a job with benefits while he finishes his grad program.  Lots of couples do this all the time. My step-brother and his wife just did that.  They both had their MS, he continued to get his PHd and she worked to support them both.  He just finished a year ago and is now a Prof.  She is going back to school and doing part-time work because they moved when he took this job.  My step-brother is 31 and she is 28. 

Good luck.

Post # 13
1336 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through.  I really hope things change soon in your favor so that you don’t have to wait so long. 

Post # 14
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I hate to say this, but I have a friend who did this (something similar happened to her) and she had cancer.

She was fully employed during the time and as a result of her illness, she became unable to work and had her insurance cancelled.  They tried to drag her insurance out as long as the hospital legally could b/c they cared so much for her.  She could not afford to buy new coverage and also had the pre existing conditions also.  We spoke with her and some folks in financial aid at our hospital and she chose medicaid.  It was a good choice.

She ended up immediately on medicaid and it was covered.  If your income is meager and there is an issue of not being able to buy health insurance, you can do this for him.  I am assuming you are both grad students and on a fixed, definite income also right?  My friend ended up getting disability and was also on a fixed income.

Do check with your university and the other policies offered too.  On my own insurance policy, it’s pretty damn good and it maxxes out at a point also. 

I am in health care.  I serve all types of patients and the care the medicaid patients receive is the same as my other patients.  I even do the pet studies on medicaid patients with cancer.  Including liver cancers too.

There are options.  If you’re still not getting answers, call a hospital and talk to a person who helps with financial aid.  You’d be surprised.

My friend got the finest care btw. 


Post # 15
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I really think you need to explore other options, as other posters above have said. Figure out what his options would be if he had a reoccurance, figure out how much supplemental insurance would cost, and figure out how much independent insurance would cost. I have insurance that is independent– not linked to my job or school and while it is HARD to find if you have a pre-existing condition, it is totally possible if you go to a high-risk insurance broker like I did. What sucks about my insurance is that I have a high deductible and stuff like ERs are not covered at all until I reach it, but it keeps my monthly premiums low and I”m covered for catastrophic injury/illness. 

Also– try to stay positive. I believe in my heart that change is coming to this country’s healthcare system. It won’t be perfect, but I do believe that in the next few years we will see a major change in the way things are being run. 

Lastly– if you explore all your options and my optimism is premature, try to keep perspective that although this SUCKS it is not the worst thing that could happen. We (Americans, westerners, people living now) are super spoiled… we don’t see our men go off to war for 2+ years at a time with nothing but snail mail to keep up connected; we don’t see our loved ones in peril every day just trying to live; we don’t get separated at refugee camps, etc. Be soo grateful that you have found the love of your life and that you’ll get to be together and live together and build a life. It’s not fair that you won’t get the paperwork for an extra 7+ years, but just think how lucky you are that you found your guy now rather than not even meeting him until you were 30! It will all work out in the end. 

Post # 16
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this situation. My Fiance and I have had to think about health insurance stuff too (he has type I diabetes so it’s hard for him to get insured) and we always decided we’d get married if necessary to pull him (or me) onto the other person’s insurance.

But, since both of you are thinking about grad school, it seems like you’re having the exact opposite problem :(. Being married would hurt his insurance chances!

I wonder if, with insurance reform, individual health care plans will be remotely affordable with pre-existing conditions.

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