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Denied Insurance Due to Previous Illness
Old 08-22-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
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Denied Insurance Due to Previous Illness

I am retiring early in a few days and recently met with an insurance broker to see about purchasing health insurance for my wife and myself.

The broker put out a bid to several insurance companies, all of whom declined to present a bid for me due to the fact that I had treatment for Hepatitus C about 4 years ago.

The good news is that I have been cured from the Hep C, but the bad news is I cannot get life or health insurance!

I was advised by a friend that I could get an updated blood test for Hep C and if its still clear negotiate health insurance for everything but the Hep C.

Has anyone had experience with being denied life or health due to a prior illness, even though you have been cured?
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:45 PM   #2
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If you currently have employee group health coverage, you should be eligible to continue that coverage under COBRA for 18 months. After that, your state should have a plan if you can not qualify for a commercial plan, but it will be very expensive.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:06 PM   #3
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Back in about 1996, I was denied coverage on an individual policy from several insurance companies because of a bleeding ulcer I had in '95. One company that I ended up taking insurance from put a rider on that illness and eventually removed it after a couple of years of no claims against that illness. I applied again 2-3 years ago and was denied coverage again by a couple of insurance companies (10 years later...with no recurrance of the illness). For the most part the insurance companes just want to cherry pick those people with NO risk for individual coverages. Can you blame them? It's legal and they're trying to make a bigger profit. In my opinion, our government needs to make insurance companies provide coverage to individuals who want to buy it rather than making them go to the state plan. I'm sure I'll get an argument from some people on this forum about that, but one of the reasons that health care in this country is so expensive is that insurance companies make outrageous profits. Something has got to change...maybe that industry needs to be more regulated so that profits aren't so high, sort of like utility companies. We probably need some sort of solution somewhere in between socialized medicine and the system we have now. It's very frustrating trying to buy health insurance when companies won't cover you...I feel your pain.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:05 PM   #4
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Assuming you plan to live in Arizona as indicated by your profile, to learn about your rights in that state read this insurance guide from Georgetown University:

Health Insurance Consumer Guide for Arizona
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:30 PM   #5
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Hep C is a tough one, Johnzo. Wonderful that you have been clear of it for some time--my mom (former nurse, got it from a needle stick) has had C for many years. She was treated with an interferon research study that cleared the Hep C, but did irreparable damage to her kidneys, resulting in a transplant. Hep C is (not surprisingly) was seen as a huge risk to insurers. If you can get a policy that excludes it, that would be ideal.
Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:58 PM   #6
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Ask your broker about the cost of a HIPAA qualified plan. BCBS offers them in Arizona and other insurers might as well. There will be no exclusions but the cost may be prohibitive.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:53 AM   #7
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Can your doctor confidently write a letter on your behalf that there is no chance of the Hepatitis C recurring and perhaps indicate how the disease was cured? With such a letter, it may be possible to negotiate with an insurance carrier for coverage. I would highly recommend going through a broker who can try to connect with upper management (in underwriting) prior to applying to find out if that is possible.
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:50 PM   #8
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We americans have the responsibility to elect leaders that will change this issue. Until then people like you and I with medical conditions will not be able tp purchase insurance on the open market. It is Efed up. Heck I run 70 miles a week but my bout with pericarditis in 2001 now has it so the life insurance guys will not let me buy a 10 year term to get my wife to SS if I die is unavailable to me at the rates that make it affordable.
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by newguy888 View Post
We americans have the responsibility to elect leaders that will change this issue. Until then people like you and I with medical conditions will not be able tp purchase insurance on the open market. It is Efed up. Heck I run 70 miles a week but my bout with pericarditis in 2001 now has it so the life insurance guys will not let me buy a 10 year term to get my wife to SS if I die is unavailable to me at the rates that make it affordable.
DO you have a group plan at work, or does your wife? Buy some that way..........
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:00 PM   #10
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DO you have a group plan at work, or does your wife? Buy some that way..........
At least some employer-group term life can be converted to individual term life policies without proof of insurability. My employer's plan is like that. I don't know how much more it would cost to convert it to an individual plan, though (wouldn't be surprised if it almost doubles the premium, but I don't know). Also, employer term life tends to get considerably more expensive at 40 and ramps up sharply over 50, since it's basically "one year level term" insurance.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:01 AM   #11
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At least some employer-group term life can be converted to individual term life policies without proof of insurability. My employer's plan is like that. I don't know how much more it would cost to convert it to an individual plan, though (wouldn't be surprised if it almost doubles the premium, but I don't know). Also, employer term life tends to get considerably more expensive at 40 and ramps up sharply over 50, since it's basically "one year level term" insurance.
The employer offers the benefit because they can subsidize a large part the cost, and get a tax benefit for doing so, which is why they often offer "free" an amount equal to the employee's yearly salary.........

I got DW an extra $300,000 of life for $4.35 a month, that's a good price.......
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:30 PM   #12
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If you currently have employee group health coverage, you should be eligible to continue that coverage under COBRA for 18 months. After that, your state should have a plan if you can not qualify for a commercial plan, but it will be very expensive.

Getting very frustrated trying to find COST information. I just began my 18 mos of CObra. I have asked the Ins people at my Co what it will cost me with the same Co. for a policy without preexistong condition issues when that Cobra policy expires. I want to get an idea what my costs will be - so all I ask is that they tell me what the price is now & let me extrapolate. Can't tell me. So where do I go to get an idea what my health ins will be costing me in 18 months? And especially to get an answer taking into account a move out of NY State - likely to PA or FL.

Likewise Life Insurance. I had a group policy for 30 years. I now retire & get my letter telling me I can convert to an individual policy without a medical exam. They put me in touch with the Ins Co & I get an astronomical rate. The rate is for a Whole Life policy! IF I want to convert to a Term policy I need a physical, won't cover preexisting conds., etc. SInce I've had a pacemaker over 12 yrs, I assume that if ANything related to my hear happens, I won;t be covered.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:35 AM   #13
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It is going to be about impossible to get cost estimates for 18 months from now from insurance companies. Maybe see a broker to talk about your options. Plus the broker should have a good idea as to what historical rate increases have been. I know when working with a broker in buying health insurance for my firm, the broker had a very good idea as to cost and at least near term expected increases.

If you are not insurable, be sure to check the Georgetown guide to health insurance rights for PA and FL at Health Insurance Consumer Guides. Unfortunately, there is no cost info in the guide.
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Old 10-28-2007, 03:37 PM   #14
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you will never get any private health insurance. Hep C is not curable; I am glad your viral titer is not measurable, but you still have Hep C and always will.

Your only choices are group health or your states high risk pool. Pray for health care reform.
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