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How do I move back to the US with preexisting ITP 3 years 9 months ago #69160

  • ImPatient
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Obviously, it's not ideal in the current situation, but I've been thinking about moving back to California as soon as it's possible for me. I was actually only in Europe to study (have both citizenships) and got my ITP diagnosis here. I've been trying to get used to living here again for a few years, but other than great insurances, retirement plans and other safety things there haven't been any good reasons for me to stay. I've been wondering about four things:
Is it possible to get insurance in the US without a job?
How is ITP as a preexisting condition handled these days?
Can I find out whether I can get Promacta paid before I'm actually there?
Also what happens if I get too sick to work?
I know there are some theoretical answers to that, but maybe somebody can speak from experience because that's often not quite the same... I remember the last time I got unemployment there it wasn't even enough to pay rent just as an example.
My plan was to save up some money and stay with friends to find a job there. I've been applying from here, but it doesn't seem very realistic that an employer would wait for somebody to move from overseas unless it's someone highly qualified in some super niche thing- not me. It doesn't feel like a great plan, but I can't think of anything else.

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How do I move back to the US with preexisting ITP 3 years 9 months ago #69165

  • poseymint
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I live in California so I can answer some of your questions. But as you know, its the worst time to move anywhere without a job and place to live. California is about the most expensive place to live in the USA. There is a housing shortage and a lot of wealth here so housing is costly. Plus seems like most everyone is out of work during this pandemic. There is work in health care but you have to be licensed in California. There is probably work in grocery stores and big box stores. There is a need for elder caregiving, don't need to be certified. My son works in the wine country, north of San Francisco in a restaurant. Everyone in the hospitality/restaurants/wine is laid off due to the shut down. His unemployment is around $200. week plus some stimulus. Like you said, not enough to live on- he lives with me. My advice is if you come here, make sure your friends are REALLY committed to having you stay with them long term. Make sure they are very good friends because you wouldn't want to be without a place to live and no money. It would be better if you had a safety net like parents/family that could help you if you need it. So thats the bad news-

Check out Craigslist for housing and jobs. Search the area that you are looking to move to- sfbay.craigslist.org/

Yes, you can get health insurance without a job in California. Everyone can get health insurance. California is very generous that way, but not all states have free health insurance for low income people. Depending on your income and assets, it would come under the programs- Medicaid, Medi-Cal, or Covered California (ObamaCare nickname). To get enrolled you have to go to a health clinic in your area and talk to a counselor there to enroll you.

www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/Pages/DoYouQualifyForMedi-Cal.aspx

Obama eliminated the "pre-existing condition" discrimination. You can get insured no matter what illness you have or have had.

Finding out if Promacta is paid for is a more complicated question. You would have to know what health program you qualify for then research if Promacta is on their list.

If you get too sick to work- well, that would not be a good scenario here. To get disability you have to have worked for about 3 years. Then you have to qualify, ITP does not qualify. To get unemployment, you have to have worked for 1-2 years. You have to pay into those programs. The harsh reality is that there are over 150,000 homeless people in California and they most all have illnesses, emotional problems, or years of poverty has rendered them unable to work. And they have few resources available except for health care. Here is a link to info about temporary assistance- www.benefits.gov/benefit/1229

Take care and hope this helps in your decision. I am in my 60s so PLEASE take that into consideration, I have a different view of what is wise than a younger person. If you are young and resilient and willing to work hard and hustle, you can make it. I came to California in my 20s with no money but lots of energy (and parents I could fall back on). Good luck in finding your right place in this world!
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How do I move back to the US with preexisting ITP 3 years 9 months ago #69166

  • ImPatient
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Hi Poseymint,
Thank you so much for your lengthy helpful reply.
That's what I meant, after the Corona crisis maybe... Wow only 200$ unemployment benefits for your son, I'm sorry to hear that and great that he can stay with you at the moment. That is the question right, what does somebody do, if for some reason they don't have enough of a support network anymore. I still have a lot of friends there and we let each other stay as long as we need to, but more and more people move away due to the rising cost of living.
I lived in California for about 13 years and I'm 40 now, so it's worth considering what might happen when older. I have a graduate degree and several others, so I think I'd find a decent job once there for a while. But there isn't enough of a shortage in my field to get hired from here. Another option would be to work here and just visit California a few times a year, but that is really where I feel at home. Being able to get health insurance no matter what sounds positive at least. That would make it easier to get started again. I didn't know that. I had Healthy Way L.A. and Medi-Cal as a student. I'll think about it some more, what you wrote gives me enough info to know what I can do and that my concern about the possibility of becoming homeless for some unpredictable health or other reason is quite valid.

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How do I move back to the US with preexisting ITP 3 years 9 months ago #69169

  • poseymint
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Thats good that you are just thinking about it for now and will move after things are opened up again. We are still under stay home orders, masks are mandatory, most shops and restaurants are closed. My reply was a bit dramatic, but I was thinking you were possibly very young, college age and going to move during this pandemic thinking you could easily get a job, housing etc. You sound realistic and know what you are doing.
I like the doctors and health care where I am, San Francisco area. they have been great helping me get ITP drugs paid for and they've always been very up to date on treatments. I actually think that Promacta is paid for by most plans and programs but can't say for sure. I'm on nplate and its harder to get covered.
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How do I move back to the US with preexisting ITP 3 years 9 months ago #69172

  • ImPatient
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Hey Poseymint-
I also lived in Daly City and Santa Cruz for a short time, mostly in L.A. And I did move in my 20s, too, and didn't have insurance for 7 years. But looking back I'd say I was pretty lucky, that could've turned out worse even at that age. That said, I don't find your reply dramatic at all, I think it's good to look at everything that could happen and make a decision taking that into consideration.
As I understand it now, it wouldn't be so difficult to move to California again, I could have insurance and stay with friends a couple of months till I have work. My only concerns would be retirement and what to do if I got sick and couldn't work. So perhaps the plan is to save up enough money as kind of an emergency fund and worst-case scenario be able to return to Europe easily.
Where I live now you always get at the very least a place to stay, health and dental insurance, and about 450$ to spend on food and other things you need each month. But California was the place I stayed at the longest and have the most friends, I can relate to the way people generally are the most.

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How do I move back to the US with preexisting ITP 3 years 9 months ago #69174

  • Lman
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Hey Impatient how are you?
As you know I almost deal with the same problem. But after a couple of weeks of research, and as I think it's obvious to you, most European countries have socialism governments, while the US has a capitalist government. One of the consequences is better healthcare in most European countries. For example, consider Italy. Its grp per capita is almost half the amount of the US, but it provides free care for people with rare or chronic diseases. In the US, however, I think you should pay at around $8k per year, the amount of maximum out of pocket, which depends on your insurance. And this $8k would even climb up to $13k if you have a family. If you have visited Europe to continue your studies, probably you already have a master's degree. Then working in caregiving or grocery store is not suitable for you. Why don't you stay in Europe and don't worry about your condition and enjoy good social security?

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How do I move back to the US with preexisting ITP 3 years 9 months ago #69193

  • ImPatient
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Hi LMan-
I've been doing "okay" on Revolade/Promacta. Some side effects that are bearable. Yes I already have a master's degree, but since all my degrees are art related, I don't mind doing other jobs occasionally, if it's very short term. I've done audience/ extra work, waited tables and such things. Caretaking is a different category for me, because helping people would give me more meaning in life. Good to know that that would be an option in the US. I'm currently applying for teaching jobs in Germany, because I want to save up money and feel safe at the moment. And again there's is the nice feeling of actually doing something for others.
But in the long run where is the point of being a bit more safe, if I'm not really living, and I felt much more happy and connected somewhere else.
I'll take it one step at a time, I was just wondering what my options are. It looks like it'd be reasonable to go back with some money saved up and leave if I have to. Thankfully I have both citizenships and can do that.

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