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On my next job, can insurer refuse coverage?
Nov 7, 2001

Hi, this website is great, I have gotten plenty of good information from it..thanks! I have been diagnosed positive in March 01 and have been layed off late march 01 (coincidence!) I am now on cobra and am taking odd temp jobs since then.(bad time to find a real job) Cobra will carry on for 12 months at the rate I currently have. What is the law saying about HIV+ people who are able to work and who are just slow at getting a new job? I am worried that if I stay too long doing temp jobs that have no insurance coverage, I will be denied coverage when I finally find the full time job I am seeking. My old insurance company sent me a letter saying that I was covered for at least 6 months in a row prior to being diagnosed..How is that relevant to my future job's insurance carrier? Any information would help!

Response from Mr. Berg

Like many of the questions posted here, your sitiuation is covered under the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. This law prohibits employers from excluding new employees from their health plan due to a pre-existing condition. If there is more than a 63 day gap from the end of your last coverage (COBRA in your case) and enrollment in your new employer's plan, then they can impose up to a 12 month pre-existing waiting period before any expenses can be paid on that pre-exisiting condition. If there is no gap, then you will be given credit for every month of coverage under your prior plan to reduce or wipe out the pre-existing waiting period on this new plan. This waiting period usually only applies to PPO plans as HMO plans often allow you access to services once the coverage is activated. Please read up on these provisions at www.hcfa.gov and www.dol.gov/dol/pbwa .



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