Healthcare Expert On Health Insurance

Medical_29065Denver’s reports: For people with preexisting medical conditions, looking for health insurance in the private market may feel like the ultimate fool’s errand. A 2009 report by the Commonwealth Fund found that 36% of people who tried to buy insurance in the private market were denied coverage or charged more because of a preexisting condition or had the condition excluded from their coverage. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and drug and alcohol dependency are certain to be automatically rejected by insurers — and even people who have minor conditions may find the search for an insurance plan tricky.

If you’ve exhausted your 18 months of COBRA benefits available after leaving a job, federal law guarantees you a policy from private insurers. In some states (including California), insurers are permitted to consider the state of your health when determining the premium, says David Rousseau, health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit healthcare organization. But you can’t be turned away.

When the health reform law takes full effect in 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions. In the meantime, new federally funded high-risk pools for the medically uninsurable have been established. To qualify, you have to be without insurance for six months. And you must show you have applied for, and been denied, insurance in the private market.

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About Karen Olson

Information Professional with twenty years experience in legal, public record, and business research. Fifteen years law firm experience.

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