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I May Not Have Health Insurance After October 31st - Trying Not To Panic


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I may not have health insurance after 10/31. I just found out today and am very upset. I wish something would've passed on the healthcare reform front because there are so many issues that are just unfair to us (including pre-existing conditions, health care tied to your job, etc.).

What can I do in the meantime to prepare for the worst? I'll know for sure in a couple weeks.

I looked into a 'local government' healthcare plan in San Francisco and I meet the requirements except having no health insurance for 90 days. That's a gamble I don't want to have to take, but may not have a choice. I get so upset even thinking about it. 90 days with no coverage!

Medi-cal isn't an option as I don't have children under 21 and/or am not on disability and/or over 65. One shouldn't have to be completely disabled or have a child to get healthcare. :rolleyes:

I know there is HIPAA here, but I'm afraid my policy will be priced out of my range...does anyone know what that premium limitation is?

"What can I be charged for my individual health insurance policy?

-If you are HIPAA eligible, California law limits the premium you can be charged. Even so, you may find that your premiums are quite expensive."

Guys, I'm so upset. I just don't know what to do.

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I was told that CA law protects you as long as you don't go without insurance for more than 30 days...supposedly you can't be turned down by another company if you're a paying subscriber to another insurance. I was told this by multiple people but I'm not sure how it works and I'm not good at finding laws etc. Can anyone else confirm this? Anyone else know anything about it?

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The laws of every state are different. With COBRA you should be able to continue your current coverage for 90 days, but you will pay full price for it. Talk to A LOT of insurance agents/brokers if you can afford to pay for health insurance. Either way, get your medical records straight and get all your doctors' documentation. Most companies will not cover pre-existing conditions and may try to deny you on the basis of dysautonomia alone. If you can prove that it does NOT severely impact your health (would cause you to die) they would exclude paying for any costs related to it, but then pick up those costs after 6 months to a year. There are also different levels of coverage, from "catastrophic" down to "pay for every pill"; the "pay for every pill" type is going to be the most expensive.

There is a previous thread that EarthMother started about being uninsurable that you need to look at if you haven't. I think she got a few answers there, and she is in CA.

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Do you mind my asking why your health insurance may be gone after the end of October? I'm guessing it's through your work place, but I'm not sure. I have had to use COBRA a couple of times throughout my life, and while it's expensive, it can be a life saver. It'll cover you for up to 18 months if necessary, with no pre-existing condition limitations. You really can't afford to have a 'gap' in your medical coverage, and make sure you get a letter stating the time period you were covered with "X" insurance - whatever company you have now, and from COBRA when you go off of it (if you decide to take that route).

There are options out there, and hopefully you won't need a gap insurance for very long. I went from paying around $80 per month for my insurance at work, to about 6 times that on my long-term disability plan's insurance coverage. Thankfully, I go on Medicare December 1st!

Best of luck!

Jana

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Sorry to hear this. That stinks

First, if you need meds, see a doctor NOW to get supplies for up to 6 months or more (depending on the drugs, some refills expire after 6 months, some a year)

Individual ins policies ARE expensive and if you have a confirmed dx of ANS problems will be held against you (My room mate sold private health insurance policies for years and used to get heart sick at situations! folks laid off in middle of cancer treatments and needing brain surgeries! Cruel situations :blink: ) Pre existing situations and all that.

Anyway, look into all your options as states vary wildly. Are you able to get another job or thinking of applying for disability? I am sorry, I can't remember your history.

Good luck and keep us posted and again for any meds, make an appt NOW to get them filled.

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Hello everyone!

I've been researching - it's so overwhelming.

California requires insurance companies to cover me on HIPAA (but at a more costly monthly fee, something like $500-$600, on their two most popular plans) if I can sign up within 63 days of losing coverage. I'm gathering as much paperwork as possible to be ready, but don't know how fast I can force the current insurer to send the Certificate of Coverage letter once it ends. This way preexisting conditions are covereed.

I still have not found out if I can do this: can my spouse do a separate plan (so we'd each seek our own, rather than family, coverage). Family would be $1000! But he can get an individual decent plan for around $150-$200.

There is frustration as it can take weeks to process your application and they don't have back coverage. I can only apply when I learn for certain about our situation.

There is no COBRA option (size of company/situation). I've had to do COBRA before and while costly, at least it was easier to deal with.

At this point, I'm capable of a sit-down office job with no to minimal travel. So many jobs still want travel in this economy! But I know realistically it'll take 3-6 months to find something as the economy is so bad. I have to see if I can handle work and go from there. I'm not to the point where they would approve disability. But I really can't travel for work anymore. I know my limitations.

I'll contact Earthmother too - thank you. That will help. I'm going through so much right now it's hard to think clearly!

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Good luck. I know the research, reading, searching and COMPREHENSION with stress can make this quite the chore for you. Hope you find something that helps you out. :blink:

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I just went thru something similar when my COBRA ended. In NY none of the big insurance companies even offer to sell insurance to regular folks. I had to set up my own law firm and get it through the city bar association...maybe you belong to a similar professional group?

Ehealthinsurance.com is also very helpful. They gave me lots of good info, even though I didn't use them in the end.

Don't worry too much about the certificate of continued coverage. They mail that out (under law) the week you coverage ends - mine offered to send me mine early but my new insurance said I can just send it whenever I get it.

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Of course I'm not sure about CA, but I know that normally it's no problem for you and your husband to have separate insurance plans. If your husband got his through his job, and you got yours through your job, there would be no problem with that, and family insurance is incredibly expensive, so I know of others who do it in this manner.

Good luck!

Jana

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Thank you everyone!

I'll definitely look into non-family plans. I think partly they are so costly as they include children - which I don't have - so it'd be such a waste of $$$.

I don't have any professional association that I know of with marketing. :( But I'll check out things online just in case.

Health insurance shouldn't be so difficult and confusing.

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