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Life after COBRA
Jun 17, 2005

I'm HIV+ and am seeking to open my own business this fall. After I resign, I'll have COBRA for 18 months, so what are my options in New York City for Individual coverage? My biggest concern is prescription coverage. What about pre-existing condition issues? (I believe most policies will not cover them for 6 months after enrollment, so should I enroll at least 6 months before COBRA ends?) Thanks

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Once your COBRA runs out, you will be able to purchase a HIPAA policy from any insurer in NY that offers individual coverage. Since you will have been covered for more than 12 months without a 63 break in coverage, a pre-existing condition clause would not apply to you. I suggest that you contact an insurance broker about 60 to 90 days prior to your COBRA coverage ending to apply for coverage. Blue Cross and Blue Shield offer HIPAA policies and a broker can advise you of other coverages available in your area as well a comparison of the plans.

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