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HIV Positive Starting Massage Therapy Bussiness New Health Insurance
Sep 3, 2004

Hi There,

I am 27 years old and have been positive since I was 21. For the most part I have held a full time job since testing poz which has provided me with health insurance. I am now in school for massage thereapy and plan to open my own bussines out of my home in June of 2005.For many reasons including reducing my stress level, better or I should say less work hours a week (currently I am working 50-60hrs a week)and overall a better quaulity of life.I am in a bit of a conundrum as to what to do in regards to health insurance. I have researched the Aids Drug Assistance program in my state which will cover me as long as I make $26,500 or less a year. I know that eventually I will be making at least $35-40 a year provided my bussines does as well as projected. Heres is where my problem beguins. The meds I am on right now cost close to 15,000 a year when you add in doctors visits, blood work, and basic preventative care we are looking at around 20-25 thousand dollars a year to keep me alive. So more than half of what I will be bringing in will be going to medical expenses I am not even factoring in trivial things such as my mortgage, food, clothing ect. I am by all accounts a healthy person my T-cells range from 750-1200 and my viral load is undetectable. I plan to be a contributing member of society for many years to come and will be doing as much charity work with the HIV/Aids comunity as possble. Dispite all of this I know that there isn't a health insurance company out there that will provide me with coverage due to my "pre-exsisting condition" So what should I do spend the rest of my life miserable working for someone else, never really realizing my true potential, or having the quality of life I long for? This is not an option any longer.I must live my life to the fullest extent I can with as much pride as I can. I am a citizen of one the richest counrtys in the world. A country founded on principlas that include Life, Liberty, and the pursuite of Happiness.I am a good person who for all intents an puposes lives a good and decent life. I just happen to have an incurable yet "managable" ailment that if not treated with life sav will eventually lead to my demise. Ok so that was long winded to boil is down how can I recieve the lifsaving meds and treatment I need with out spending most of what I earn a year to do so?

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Since you are currently covered under an employer's health plan, you should be eligible for COBRA benefits when you cease to be an employee. If you elect COBRA, when your COBRA coverage ends, you would be able to purchase a HIPAA policy from any insurance carrier in your state that offers individual policies as long as you don't have a break in coverage of greater than 63 days. This HIPAA policy would have to recognize your prior period of coverage towards any pre-existing exclusion period and that period cannot exceed 12 months. Therefore, a pre-existing exclusion would not apply to you because of your prior coverage as an employee and then under COBRA.



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