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A little more information..
Apr 3, 2006

First off let me thank you for all the wonderful work each of you do. I'm sure few of us can understand how much work you have to do and yet you still take time out out of your day to answer the myriad of questions you must be receiving from us.

I'll try to be to the point. When I found out about my AIDS diagnosis I didn't have any insurance. As of now I still don't. For awhile I was on medical assitence but as soon as I went back to work I lost that. Long story short, I have since been looking for a job that offers a good insurance plan. However, I understand that even if I do find a job the offers medical coverage I may still be in the same boat due to the 'pre existing condition' monster.

Be that as it may, from reviewing this forum I have a bit better understanding of that proviso.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it:

IF I become employed at a company offering GROUP heath insurance, I am free of the pre-existing clause as long as I join during the open enrollment period?

If that IS the case then could you please clarify/elaborate by answeing a couple questions for me?

I am in the process of applying for several jobs that state they offer benefits. Is there any sort of 'lingo' I should look for or question I should ask to find out if that coverage includes a GROUP health plan?

And my second question stems from an answer given by Ms. Franzoi regarding the pre-existing clause. The answer given was the that the pre-existing condition clause can only apply for 12 months. Do I understand correctly that this means that IF by chance my condition still falls under the pre-existing clause that the insurer can only deny me covarage for 12 months? Meaning that if I still joined but got denied some coverage due to my status, that after a year they would be required to disregard my status and begin giving me full coverage?

If this is the case then perhaps there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. At least for thoes of us that, like me, are in general good health other then the medication I am taking. If I manage to procure a job offering medical coverage, the worst case senerio is that I will have to work hard at KEEPING myself extra healthy at LEAST for a 12 month stretch.

Do I have reason to hope?

Thanks again! 'Job Hunting in PA'

Response from Ms. Franzoi

If you were to become employed by a company with a group health plan and the plan has a pre-existing condition clause in it, it would apply to you during your first 12 months of employment only, provided you enroll during your initial open enrollment period. In addition, it would apply only with respect to your pre-existing medical condition, not other medical conditions. Some plans do not have pre-existing condition clauses. Typically, HMOs do not. If your new employer offers an HMO, you could become covered under that plan without any pre-existing exclusion (check the terms of the plan).

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