Will Americans in Israel still have to pay for U.S. health insurance?


Americans living in Israel are concerned that health-care reform may mean they have to pay for health insurance in the U.S. — even though they won’t be able to use it. The Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel has alerted its members (as have other groups of American living abroad) that the mandate to buy insurance in the Senate health reform bill would require every American, wherever they live, to pay $750 annually. But as Haaretz reports:

However, "the proposed U.S. insurance plans will not cover medical expenses outside the U.S.," the Association said.

The exact details of the proposal and how it would be legislated are not entirely clear at this point, said David London, the Association’s executive director.

London added that his organization’s opposition to this element of the bill "should not be seen" as opposition to the reform plan in general.

"This doesn’t mean that AACI, which is a non-partisan organization, is speaking against the new health policy," he said. "We’re not taking a stand on it. We’re concerned that this bill could be unjust to U.S. citizens living in Israel."

It does appear, though, that at least some in Congress are aware of the issue. The House bill passed over the weekend does exempt Americans living abroad, and AACI is urging the Senate to use similar language in its legislation.

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