US expats may lose out on heathcare after House rejects bill

US expats may lose out on heathcare after House rejects bill

US expats may lose out on heathcare after House rejects bill

The failure of a bipartisan bill aimed at changing how expats and their insurers fit in to the controversial Obamacare scheme was due to its possible creation of huge gaps in the provision of care.

The proposal was aimed at loosening up rules and regulations applicable to insurers covering US expats living overseas as well as for foreigners resident in America. The bill was rejected following a push towards opposition from Democrats who believed the definition of expatriates was too broad and would open up too many exemptions for those covered by health plans.

Bipartisan support for tweaks in the new health law as it applies to insurers offering expat health plans is still strong, but major Democrats consider the definition of expatriate as given would provide loopholes for insurers to avoid their responsibilities. Another concern was that the bill would result in a rush to sell inferior health policies.

Expat health insurance policies in the USA must comply with the Affordable Care Act, with the bill as presented giving too many chances for insurers to claim exemptions. Another objection by immigration and labour movements was that the bill would have encouraged companies to employ migrants rather that American citizens.

In the house, opposition to the bill mounted all day as the debate continued, ending with its rejection on a number of grounds. Whilst a tighter construct of expats abroad and migrants arriving to work in the US is good for those insured, it’s sure to make US citizens living overseas worried about their positions should they need to return to the USA for emergency treatment.

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