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long term coverage
Mar 30, 2004

I am unemployed and pay for private health care coverage. I have recently tested positive for HIV through an anonymous testing site. I am considering a change in health care providers and considering a move to a different state. Should I disclose my HIV status, seek treatment, and then pursue a change in health care providers? Or, establish a coverage plan under a new provider first? If I do disclose, and then decide to change coverage, what potential obstacles am I likely to face, particularly with regard to higher premiums or pre-existing condition guidelines?

Response from Ms. Franzoi

If you disclose your HIV status or receive care for an HIV-related illnesses prior to your new coverage taking effect, you would be subject to the pre-exisitng condition clause (if there is one) under the new plan. However, you would have the benefit of HIPAA which would require the new plan to recognize prior periods of coverage unless you had a 63-day break in coverage towards that period. In applying for an individual policy, a pre-existing condition might require you to purchase a HIPAA policy which is typically more expensive.

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