Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions
There couldn’t possibly be anything as difficult as obtaining health insurance for pre-existing conditions—that much is well understood by most anyone. However, thanks to changes in the law that will require coverage for pre-existing conditions, it may soon be possible for Americans to find an insurance company willing to cover their health needs.
A change enacted by President Obama would allow for everyone to receive health services regardless of pre-existing conditions starting as early as 2014. However, debate about the policy has suggested that this ruling may be overturned, and it is with only weak confidence that we can assert that health insurance for pre-existing conditions will become a new product in the health insurance market.
Despite the legal uproar, there are a few things you can do to make sure you never have to go without health insurance, regardless of your current health status.
Seek State Help
While the Federal government debates the efficacy of health care reform, individual states have slowly made it easier for those with pre-existing conditions to receive health care. One way they’ve made it easier is to allow individuals to become a group by filing with a state. As a “group,” insurance companies are required by law to insure the group, even if it is made up of only one person. While a small minority of states have passed such legislation, consider calling your state’s insurance commissioner to see what you need to do to become a “group” in the eyes of the health insurance industry.
Next, consider seeking state-subsidized health insurance. Offered to low-income workers and people with pre-existing conditions, “high risk pools” for health insurance allow anyone to access health insurance at a slightly higher rate than what a healthy individual might pay for the same coverage.
Never Let Gaps Occur
Most people who get denied for pre-existing conditions are denied because they also have a “gap in coverage” where they went without coverage for one or many months. Avoiding these gaps is costly, as you’ll have to remain on either COBRA insurance after job loss, or seek out a private insurance company to insure you for periods of time while you remain unemployed.
This tip is equally important for people who do not have pre-existing conditions, as it is very possible for an individual to develop a condition, lose insurance due to job loss, and then be labeled as someone with a pre-existing condition for the rest of their life. Never, ever, allow gaps in coverage to happen if you can avoid it—they’re the death knell to getting future insurance.
Seek Membership for Group Coverage
The number of professional and hobby organizations providing health insurance options to their members continues to grow. In the professional scene, organizations like SCORE or the Chamber of Commerce help interested parties find ways to get insurance. Local chapters of each organization usually form a group once there are sufficient members, and once a member of the organization, you cannot be denied access to group care.
At the state level, a number of not for profit entities are forming for the sole purpose of protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions. These organizations are typically higher cost, since every member of the group is likely to have a pre-existing condition, so consider this as an alternative after professional organizations are exhausted. In most cases, AARP or AAA will be able to help those with pre-existing conditions, and membership to each group is as easy as paying very minimal annual dues.
Having a pre-existing condition is not the end-all to ever being insured again. Take the time to do some digging, and get on the phones to see which local resources are able to help. Chances are good that there is more than one group in your area dedicated to your cause of bringing health care to those with pre-existing conditions.