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Thread: Moving from Canada to Florida - Need Advise

  1. #1

    Question Moving from Canada to Florida - Need Advise


    I'm thinking of moving to Florida (if possible) from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
    Our economy and housing market is sizzling right now. My home purchased in '99 for $130,000.00 is worth about $450,000.00.
    I'm starting to really detest winter here as well. -30 F just isn't fun
    Presently, all my supplies (meds, leg bags, supps, catheters etc) are all paid for. My w/c is supplied and maintained for free.
    I have a w/c lift in my garage which is supplied and maintained for free.
    Homecare does 3 visits/day (up in the morning 1hr, afternoon 2hr, night 2hr). This costs $700.00/month.
    When I see my doctor for flu bug, bladder infect etc, everything is free. If I have to stay in hospital, get xrays etc everything is free.

    Now, is there anything comparable for me in Florida ?
    Can a C4-5 quad get health insurance ? Is it expensive ?
    Is public or state operated hospitals and/or medi-clinics really low budget ? I've heard a lot of horror stories about US healthcare.
    Are there any subsidized programs that pay for most costs associated
    with personal care products ?
    Is there such a thing as "Homecare" and is it subsidized ?
    Are there any programs that provide funding for caregiver costs ?
    Are any of these available for a foreigner ?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. At this time I don't know if I can even become a citizen. I may be dreaming at this notion.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Alberta, Canada
    This is no bash to my friends south of the border... but as a C5 quad myself, I would never leave Canada.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I have many Canadian neighbors. We call them snowbirds. They return to Canada for their healthcare.

    All the needs you are asking for is not available here without costly healthcare insurance, and you would have to qualify. Sorry, with your pre-exisiting condition, that is not likely.

  4. #4
    Are you employed? Are you a professional with an in-demand set of skills? It is extremely unlikely that you would get a permanent resident visa with a significant disability such as tetraplegia without that. If you come on a non-resident visa, you are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, and private insurance is very expensive and hard to find unless you can get it through an employer on a group plan. On a non-resident visa you would only be allowed to stay for a short period of time. Non-student, non-resident visas are often limited to 6 months.

    Considering the health care and support services you have available in Canada, I would not consider moving or trying to immigrate. You would have to private pay for much of what you get now, even if you were a USA citizen. Have you thought about moving to a more temperate part of Canada like Vancouver?


  5. #5
    You are lucky to be living in a country that actually cares for its citizens. It makes way more sense for you to become a snowbird. You could access a low cost winter living situation in Fla. in one of the many manufactured home communities, consider a used unit and modifying it to make it accessible. Watch out for the monthly expenses for the community. Maintain your home in Canada, summer in Fla is about unbearable anyway. You can access your healthcare and supplies through the Canadian system.

  6. #6

    Sounds pretty discouraging.
    Are public hospitals and/or clinics that bad ?
    For example, if I had bad flu bug and went to see a doc for some antibiotics, what would this cost ?
    Is it free through public or state hospitals ?
    As far as living there, couldn't a guy just hire p/t workers ?
    What is min wage in Florida ?
    How about Mexican or Cuban care staff ? I deal with a lot of Phillipinos and they are dependable wokers.
    If the heat is unbearable, why are there so many people there ?
    I'm a C4-5 quad. Not employable. However, I do own my own small meat market ( ) and have a few staff members. I was in the meat industry for 10 yrs previous to my mva in 1992.
    What is the work sitsuation there ? Lots of jobs available or not ?
    I'm going to see about dual citizenship come Monday.

    Thanks guys...........Paul

  7. #7
    Paul, stay where you are. You risk the healthcare you have.

    If there is a way, spend winters in Florida as a tourist so you can keep your healthcare and assistance in Canada. I have no idea what happens if you become ill while in the US.

    You might also consider winter visits to Cuba. I know a Canadian who's a para and sometimes travels there for his sun and warmth. We, as American citizens, are not allowed to travel to Cuba, but you can. I'm told it's less expensive than vacays in Florida.

    You'll be out of luck and the healthcare you need if you find a way to move here legally.

    Best to you on looking for a place where you are warmer.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Hospitals and clinics are not bad, just costly. I have insurance, so I can't tell you costs. Nothing is free, even at government owned hospitals. They are required to stabilize patients, but that is all. Then the bill collectors will start calling.

    You could hire your own staff, and there is an abundance of Hispanics around here. Just make sure they are legal, and you keep it legal, too, by paying their taxes.

    It is summer now, and damn HOT! I only go out in the morning or after sunset. This black chair gets really toasty in the sun! I become a sweaty mess just loading my chair in and out of the car. But it will be winter soon, and I won't have to deal with snow or ice.

    I fully understand why you want to live here. It is a good time to house hunt, too. Plenty homes available. Folks left in droves after the hurricane seasons of 2004 & 5, and now there are plenty of foreclosures on the market.

    What part of Florida are you thinking about?

  9. #9

    Do not be discouraged. Why not try an extended stay first? Rent a condo, say for the season to see if you like the lifestyle or area of interest. There are tons avaible down here for short term rent. I know many who do just this.

    As far as the heat, in FL everything has AC which makes it comfortable. Also there are parts of FL that are hotter/humid than others, inland for sure. I actually find the hot, humid summers of the north east far worse.

    Healthcare is a big issue were ever you decide to go. Even if you choose to go it 6 months of the year you still will need a reliable MD and hospital for things that crop up. We do not have socialized medicine as you know but there are private walk-in clinics for a price, last I heard about 50 bucs.
    There are plenty of houses to be had a good prices too due to the current slump in the market. You may want to look into condo lifestyle if you go the 6 month route, that way maintainence is taken care of while your in Canada.

    As you can may have guessed, I am a Florida gal through and through, right down to my tan lines and sandles. I hear ya too about the winters, I left the NE years ago because of this very reason. Too much cold, too much snow and I hated it. Winter in Florida is wonferful, come down for a winter and give it a shot. Ya won't be sorry.

    Edited to say, Paul I posted the thread link in the Florida Chapter forum for better visibility.

    Last edited by Princess "Leia"; 07-05-2008 at 04:11 PM.

  10. #10
    There are no free or public clinics that don't require payment, either cash or an insurance that is valid in the USA. It is not an issue of is an issue of $$$$. Those who get their care at county hospitals still have to pay, and still have to have Medicaid or Medicare to pay for their care. They have to apply for this, and must have a very low income and virtually no assets to get Medicaid, and be either disabled or elderly to get Medicare, and even then still have to pay premiums for their coverage.

    We have a significant number of employed poor who are totally uninsured...they have a job that offers no insurance (yes, this is legal in the USA) and they cannot afford to purchase insurance on their own. When they get sick, they either go without care until deathly ill, or they go into bankrupcy with private payment. Yes, an emergency room has to see you if you are emergently ill, but they do not have to admit you or provide you with prescriptions and non-emergent care is often denied. The first thing you are asked when making an appointment with a provider or clinic is what is your insurance or payment plan.

    Of course you can private pay for attendants if you have that kind of money, but if you do, you won't qualify for Medicaid even if you get citizenship and will have to private pay for all the rest of your care as well. Federal minimum wage is $7.55/hour, but I don't know many PCAs who will take just that, esp. since you would not be offering any benefits (such as health insurance). In my area, private pay PCAs make from $12-18/hour. Yes, you can hire illegal immigrants, but when they get picked up by the INS they will not show up for work, and often just don't show. The risks of getting ripped off or worse by attendants is always something you have to be concerned about as well.

    It is an abomination, but one that USA citizens live with daily.

    Have you seen "Sicko"? If not, get it and watch it.

    How would you qualify for dual citizenship??

    Why are you unemployeable? What skills do you have as a business person. If you have a desirable skill, you would have to get a USA job first and then your USA employer would have to sponsor you for a work permit. When they do so, they have to guarantee that you will not apply for Medicaid or Medicare or for any other government benefits such as SSI or SSDI or general relief (the dole).


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