Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions
Posted July 17, 2013 | Filed under topic High Risk Health Insurance
People with pre-existing medical conditions can face problems when need arises for them to purchase health insurance. That is why such people need to shop around for a policy and read all the fine print before they sign the bottom line. Health insurance for pre-existing conditions is available and it is possible to find reasonable rates. Get multiple free quotes above to see what is available to you.
Among the most common pre-existing conditions are diabetes, pregnancy, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. But there are a myriad other conditions that may also qualify.
It is important to understand your state’s laws regarding pre-existing conditions. Clearly, if you are under treatment for diabetes or some other condition, you have a pre-existing condition. But, what if you had cancer in the past but have been “cured” only to have the disease come back. Is that considered pre-existing or not? You need to check with your state to find out.
In some cases, an insurance company may not want to issue you coverage; in other cases, it may be that the company will issue a policy under certain conditions. Not all companies operate the same way, so that is why it is important to shop around for health insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Here are some possible insurance options:
Guaranteed Issue States
Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont require all insurance carriers to offer policies regardless of health, age, or risk. Washington has a similar program, but you must meet certain criteria to qualify.
If you join a group policy offered by your employer, there is good chance you will be accepted, as is essentially required by law. That is the easiest way to get coverage, but if you belong to certain professional organizations or are a member of a motoring organization you may still be able to join their group insurance plan.
Some states will allow you to become a group of one. While perhaps not as inexpensive as a regular company’s group insurance, it is nonetheless, coverage. You may also have to hire a relative so that together you can become a group of two, which works for those states not allowing a group of one.
Most states have an insurance fund where you can get coverage. They often are not that comprehensive, but in the event of a catastrophic need, such policies are better than nothing.
Affordable Care Act
The Department of Health and Human Services (www.hhs.gov) is offering guaranteed-issue health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. Such plans are a part of a program that will fill the gap until 2014, when insurance companies will have to offer insurance to individuals regardless of health. You can find more details at the department’s web site.
Elimination Periods, Exclusions, and Waiting Periods
In most states, if you have been without insurance for 61 days or more, you can still get health insurance that will cover problems other than you pre-existing illness (exclusions). Once that period passes, that condition will also be covered.
If it has an Elimination Period, you simply cannot get coverage for the condition. Waiting periods usually run 12-18 months, after which your condition would get covered.
If you get laid off, you can get COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) coverage. Available since 1986, it is quite expensive, but it may be the only alternative and beats having no coverage at all.