As Canadians, we tend to take for granted the benefits we are entitled to when living in a country with universal healthcare. However, provincial healthcare is only available to Canadian residents who spend the requisite amount of time in their home province every year. Historically, when it came time for some Canadians to leave Canada, many were realizing that it was far from easy to get insured in the U.S., especially with a pre-existing condition or because of age. This obstacle alone could sometimes be a showstopper for those people who found themselves to be uninsurable.
The U.S. healthcare system is designed for those over age 65 to be covered through the U.S. Medicare program (“Medicare”). The problem with this for Canadians over 65 is that in order to be eligible to Medicare, one must either have had a green card for at least five years, be a U.S. citizen or be married to a U.S. citizen who has accumulated 40 quarters of social security. This means that in the past, people over 65 getting a green card and moving to the U.S. had to wait at least five years to be eligible to Medicare. If that person wanted to fill that five year insurance gap by getting private insurance for this period of time, it was nearly impossible to get coverage because private insurance companies were allowed to deny coverage to people of a certain age or having a pre-existing condition. Read the rest of this entry »