Are telephone interviews legal?
Sep 7, 2005
I am about to finish my COBRA coverage and am in the process of finding a policy for myself. After submitting to an interview with Fortis over the phone and disclosing my HIV status and the drugs I'm taking they sent me an elegibility form in the mail I submitted it and just recieved two letters back. One states that they are denying me coverage based on "medical reasons" as stated in my telephone interview and the other is denying me based on "credit report" issues!! Should I not submit to these telephone interviews? Are they legal? I qualify for HIPPA and my COBRA doesn't expire until 9/11/05. I did however file for bankruptcy two years ago. Can I be denied coverage based on that even though I've made all my COBRA payments on time? p.s. Thank you for being here, so far you're the only source of infomation I've been able to rely on!
Response from Ms. Franzoi
As long as you continue to carry your COBRA coverage until it expires, you will be eligible for a HIPAA policy. An insurer that offers individual policies must extend a HIPAA policy to you as long as you don't have a break in coverage greater than 63 days. It sounds like you were applying for a standard policy and you could be denied that based on your health status. However, you cannot be denied a HIPAA policy based on health status. I am unaware of any situations where a person's credit record has any impact on purchasing a policy. Failure to pay the monthly premium results in cancellation of the coverage so credit history would not be relevant.
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