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Old 03-18-2009, 07:05 AM   #41
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Interesting. I wonder which individual policies the subscriber is allowed to choose from - is/can the state force a carrier to insure a high risk individual just because he/she has burned through COBRA insurance?
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:17 AM   #42
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Personaly I'ld keep the day job until your diagnosis is pinned down. Our healthcare has increased 50% in 4 years without a life-long illness. Can't imagine what they'll do to you coming in with one.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:24 AM   #43
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I'ts a damn shame the Georgetown University site is no longer available. Their detailed reports on the health insurance policies in each state would have been very helpful in answering all the questions on this thread.

When it comes to pre-existing conditions and individual health insurance, your options are very limited and entirely dependent on your state of residence. After my COBRA expired the only option we had to get DW covered without numerous exclusions was the state high risk pool at rates 2X what I pay for similar coverage on the open market. This quote from Martha in our FAQ section tells the story very well:

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COBRA only provides short term coverage, you will need to buy private health insurance on the individual market before COBRA benefits expire. What are your rights to a policy? Can insurers turn you down? Can they exclude preexisting conditions? Can they charge you more if you are not healthy or as you get older? What kind of underwriting do insurance companies do? Will they care that you had a hernia operation last year? Will they care that you take meds for high blood pressure or cholesterol? Can the insurance company cancel your policy later or increase your rates if you get sick? What if you move to a new state, is your policy portable? A number of these questions are addressed in the linked discussions.

If you are young and healthy you may be able to find a good policy at a reasonable cost. If you have health problems, HIPAA provides you with some protections. Your state may provide you with other protections. Unfortunately, there is no federal law which regulates the price of private insurance, so the cost of a policy may be quite high depending on your health, age and what state you live in.

All but five states (NJ NY VT ME MA) allow insurance companies to deny you individual insurance or charge you more for insurance if you are not healthy. If you are uninsurable, you may nevertheless have the right to buy insurance because of HIPAA. HIPAA requires states to provide one or more insurance policies to certain qualified individuals, without a waiting period. If you are HIPAA eligible there will be an insurance product for you to buy. It may be one or more policies offered by individual insurance companies, it may be through a risk pool, or it may be a conversion policy. A big problem though is cost. Federal law doesn't regulate cost and states are all over the board with what they do regarding cost.

To qualify under HIPAA, an individual must have had 18 months of continuous coverage (without a 63 day break), the most recent coverage must be through a group health plan, the individual must not be eligible for group coverage, Medicare or Medicaid and COBRA benefits must be exhausted. Here are the eligibility rules in detail: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post556826

States vary as to the quality of their HIPAA plans. Some have low lifetime limits, some do not cover prescription drugs, and some have limits on how much the policy will pay for a particular condition.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:16 AM   #44
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I'ts a damn shame the Georgetown University site is no longer available. Their detailed reports on the health insurance policies in each state would have been very helpful in answering all the questions on this thread.

When it comes to pre-existing conditions and individual health insurance, your options are very limited and entirely dependent on your state of residence. After my COBRA expired the only option we had to get DW covered without numerous exclusions was the state high risk pool at rates 2X what I pay for similar coverage on the open market. This quote from Martha in our FAQ section tells the story very well:
To the best of my memory, in this state there is no such thing as a HIPPA policy. There are HIPPA eligible individuals, and those who are not HIPPA eligible.

HIPPA eligible individuals do not fill out the health questionnaire or undergo underwriting. Those who want an individual policy who are not HIPPA eligible do fill out the questionnaire, and may be forced into a high risk pool depending on the scoring of their questionnaires.

If you are HIPPA eligible the company issuing your policy would have no way to differentiate you from anyone else HIPPA eligible. You could be perfectly healthy, you could have advanced AIDS. These are not special or high risk or rated policies.

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Old 03-18-2009, 12:01 PM   #45
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To the best of my memory, in this state there is no such thing as a HIPPA policy. There are HIPPA eligible individuals, and those who are not HIPPA eligible.
This is the way I understand it as well, and I believe it is true in all states. As you say, there is no such thing as a HIPAA policy; rather it is a policy made available to HIPAA-eligible individuals. The individual states regulate policies sold to HIPAA-eligible individuals in different ways. In my state, a HIPAA-eligible individual is guaranteed a policy without underwriting or waiting periods for pre-existing conditions, BUT he can be charged more for that policy than a "healthy" person (HIPAA or otherwise) who goes through underwriting for the same policy. It follows that a "healthy" HIPAA-eligible person will first try to go to through underwriting, and if that fails, be offered the same policy at a much higher premium as a HIPAA-eligible individual.

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If you are HIPPA eligible the company issuing your policy would have no way to differentiate you from anyone else HIPPA eligible. You could be perfectly healthy, you could have advanced AIDS. These are not special or high risk or rated policies.
This may be a difference between your state and mine. Are you saying that in WA, a HIPAA-eligible individual, would pay the same rate as a non-HIPAA eligible individual who is healthy and goes through underwriting?
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:22 PM   #46
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This may be a difference between your state and mine. Are you saying that in WA, a HIPAA-eligible individual, would pay the same rate as a non-HIPAA eligible individual who is healthy and goes through underwriting?
As of 4 years ago when I researched this and bought my individual policy, that was exactly correct.

I don't see what is so odd about this. After all, some states require that individual policies insure every applicant without any rating. I believe New Jersey is in this group.

States are different, thank heavens. The insurance companies spend a lot of money trying to get that torn down, since it is easier and cheaper for them to buy the US Congress than to buy 50 separate state insurance departments and legislatures.

Ha
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:17 PM   #47
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As others have said, your diagnosis of CLL makes the decision for you. I certainly don't like the way you were made privy to the other human resources issue for the other fellow, and made party to his termination.

I would watch out for this company. Get all you can get from them. If they did it with him, you may be next.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:50 AM   #48
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Quick question. Does your friend know that you essentially decided that he was going the be laid off by the company? If so, your friendship may be over.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:42 PM   #49
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Quick question. Does your friend know that you essentially decided that he was going the be laid off by the company? If so, your friendship may be over.
To me that would be an extreme reaction. How many of us expect a friend to take a bullet for us?

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Old 03-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #50
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To me that would be an extreme reaction. How many of us expect a friend to take a bullet for us?

Ha
Perhaps, but there's no need to tell him, right?
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:15 PM   #51
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Perhaps, but there's no need to tell him, right?
For sure. I was too dense to realize that there was a hint in your post.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:21 PM   #52
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For sure. I was too dense to realize that there was a hint in your post.
Me neither, but I guess that's what I was really trying to say. I think it's better to not tell him, since the OP had nothing to do with creating the Hobson's Choice scenario the OP faced. On the other hand, even if the OP told him, it truly was a "life or death" decision.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:00 AM   #53
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When discussing my situation last week with HR, I asked the question, what happens to my friend if I elect not to take his position. Their response was he is being laid off regardless. This was good news to me and made it much easier to say I will stay.

Yes he is still a friend and understands we are both victims of this economy. He was very professional during our meeting. Even though it was a difficult day it gave us the opportunity to look back at the many projects we succesfully completed. He will also be the first one asked to come back if and when the project starts up.
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