Advanced search want to move back home?

(12 Posts)
BabCNesbitt Thu 18-Oct-12 17:03:06

Moved to NYC with DH (who's a US citizen) in March, when DD was just 4 months old. I'm currently a SAHM. DH is an academic and has a year-long post here, and then he has a permanent job elsewhere in the US starting next summer (which I knew about before we moved). I also knew that healthcare here was likely to be expensive and bureaucratic, but we managed to get insurance through his work, so we're only(!) paying about $300 a month in premiums.

At the end of May, DD had a severe reaction to peanuts (yeah, we were idiots, gave her some sweet potato that had been in a peanut-based stew) and was in hospital for two nights. Even with insurance, that cost us nearly $2000. We now have Epipens for her, and were told that if we use an Epipen, we should immediately bring her into the ER afterwards to make sure she's ok.

The other night she ate something that seemed to cause a reaction - her lip started swelling up a little. There were no other symptoms - no itching, hives or anything like that. I wanted to use the Epipen straight away, because everything happened so quickly last time, but DH wanted to hold off. And I realised that I was also in two minds about using it, because at the back of my mind was the thought that an unnecessary trip to the ER could cost us $$$. And I feel like a fucking terrible mother, that the cost was even an issue for me, but we just don't have much money at the moment. (We kept a very close eye on her, and fortunately the swelling went down and she's fine.)

If we'd been in the UK, I wouldn't have hesitated, because the cost of emergency treatment wouldn't have been an issue. But this incident has brought home to me just how much I hate living under the US healthcare system. DH has agreed to look for jobs in Europe if Romney wins (because then even the minimal reforms of the Affordable Care Act will probably be out), but AIBU to ask him to start looking now? I don't want the decisions we make next time DD has a reaction to be influenced by thoughts of the cost. (I should add that I've been really homesick here, and have missed the UK and my friends and family hugely, but a major part of that has been the insecurity that comes from not being able to rely on the NHS.)

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 18-Oct-12 17:45:30

If he's agreeing to move then he should start looking ASAP.
We are waiting to move back too, the older boys are already moved so just Dh me and Dd, but we have to sell the house first.
I worked in healthcare and find it all just too awful, I worked in an area where there are a lot of low income people and they don't get the care they need. They didn't while I was working (now I'm home with Dd), and things here are even worse and I know they are getting even less care now.
It's very scary having a child who could need hospitalization at any time, I hope your Dh realizes it doesn't get better and moves you all home very soon.

ivesufferedenoughfools Thu 18-Oct-12 18:43:56

Hi, we have also recently moved to the US with a baby so I feel your pain! And whilst we have excellent healthcare coverage, I too hate the idea that some people just won't ever be able to access the care they need, purely through being born with an illness or whatever the case may be.
Like you, I always keep in the back of my mind that we could go back to the UK for anything medical if we really needed to. And it looks like you now need to. To anyone who hasn't experienced the joys of the (ridiculous) US system, this may seem like an extreme reaction. However, how can it be right that even well educated, solvent people like yourselves are questioning taking your baby to the Dr because of worries about cost? And having come from a country where all this was free before only serves to make things doubly hard. I'll never forget the feeling of powerlessness the first week we arrived and DD had a chest infection and we couldn't go to the Dr as we were waiting for our health insurance cards to come through (ok, we could have gone but for a massive price). And we'd moved from London where we had a walk in centre at one end of the street, a Dr's surgery at the other and three excellent hospitals within about 15 mins' drive...
Feel free to PM me OP and I wish you lots of luck. I'd be thinking about going back if I were you.

7to25 Thu 18-Oct-12 19:38:49

You are not being unreasonable.
My husband had a year in Boston (academic). I started out being very accepting of the NHS and after a year I sounded like Jimmy Reid addressing the red Clydesiders.
The pain caused to ordinary people by the American healthcare system is immeasurable. Americans would call me a communist, but I didn't care. Obstetric and cardiac survival rates are worse in America but they will not believe you when you tell them this because they think that the spurious notion of choice gives them the best care.
I told them that they had the best medical provision but the worst healthcare system.

AnnaLiza Thu 18-Oct-12 19:49:37

DH and I endured 1 year of US healthcare and basically decided to move back because of it! I was a SAHM and he had excellent cover so we endured a painful hospitalisation for totally spurious reasons because of the insurance cover!

SilverCharm Thu 18-Oct-12 19:52:58

Yanbu. That sounds frigging terrifying. The US system is terrible and God help people who can't afford insurance!

BabCNesbitt Thu 18-Oct-12 22:15:21

Thanks for the reassurance. I feel bad about wanting to go back, because DH's job is a permanent one, in a nice town, with colleagues he likes, and salaries in his area in the UK would be lower. But I'm just constantly worried about the financial difficulties we could face if anything like that were to happen to DD again (never mind trying to get insurance for her after we have a gap in coverage next summer, should the Republicans win - might nut allergy be considered a pre-existing condition?)

SilverCharm Thu 18-Oct-12 22:18:32

Even without an allergy, this situation would be horrible. Having another baby for instance would be so expensive...injury's can just can be way would I stay!

GenerationX Thu 18-Oct-12 22:36:25

BabC – I also live in the US and I am so sorry you are experiencing this - the US Health Care system is horrible and I worry about it constantly – God help us all if Romney gets into power.

To answer your question Nut Allergies would be considered a preexisting condition. But different states have different laws for example in CO if you are lucky enough to get coverage through an employer the insurance companies cannot refuse you coverage for a preexisting condition even if there has been a gap in coverage – so you might want to check into that.

But if you have the chance to go back and your DH can find work go – I would jump at the chance to move back – but at this point I have been in the US for 20 years and my Husband is not keen to leave – although he might change his mind if the Republicans win in November.

Also keep in mind that just because your DH’s salary might be lower in the UK it does not mean you will be worse off – I once did a comparison between US & UK salaries and Cost of Living and there was not much difference when you factor in Health Coverage, Insurance etc admittedly this was a few years ago, but I’m guessing its not changed too much

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 18-Oct-12 23:39:25

Don't give up home GenerationX
I've been here 25 years Dh and I are both Brits and he is looking foerward to the move home now.
But for him it took nearly dying and the doctors thinking he had lung cancer (he didn't but took meds for 18 months to get better) Before this he said he never wanted to move anywhere. Now he's doing up the house to sell and can't wait to leave his job.

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 18-Oct-12 23:39:51

Thats hope not home! GenX

DarkShadowsAndBags Fri 19-Oct-12 00:02:12

Wow, this really struck a note with me, OP. I've been here about a year and, similar to you, I think about going home a LOT. I can totally relate to your concerns about healthcare - similar to another poster, I work in healthcare, and I think it's scandalous what is paid and not paid for, and how easily insurance companies can 'cut' you if they decide you've had too much coverage. I honestly feel people don't have an idea what is or isn't covered until they're sick (even if you read the policy there are loopholes that you only find out about once you get the bill!) The idea that people can fit into the little boxes when it's something like healthcare is a frightening idea to me, and I feel like my husband and I are one step away from being in financial difficulty if we were to lose our jobs and become ill. One of my colleagues is currently pregnant for the first time and she's worrying about how long she can take off (due to the short amount of time you get off here - 8 weeks, anyone???) and the amount she has to pay to actually HAVE a baby. Shocking for a country that considers itself to be a world leader. And before I get cries of being American-hating, I'm not; I just feel the priorities are a bit skewiff.

I feel the same about about not having the NHS to rely on, and its impact of how well I'm settling in here (although there are others as well, of course!)

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