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Health thru Domestic partner
Apr 23, 2007

I was diagnosed HIV+ in Aug 2006. I began meds a little over a month ago. I currently have medical coverage with Kaiser Permanente in California through my Domestic Partner's employer (this coverage was in place long before I was diagnosed). My concern is what happens if my partner decides to switch jobs? Can I continue with Kaiser as an individual? If my partner's new employer does offer DP benefits, would I be eligible now that I have a "pre-existing" condition?

Fortunately, my partner has no plans to change jobs any time soon, but it is something that I worry about on a regular basis. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Unfortunately, domestic partners don't have COBRA protection. If your partner were to change companies and the new company did not offer domestic partner coverage, it is unlikely that your partner's existing employer would allow you to carry COBRA-like coverage. Some employers offer COBRA-like coverage to domestic partners in the event of the death of the employee or upon termination of employment by the employee but only if the employee elects COBRA. If the new employer offers domestic partner coverage, you would be eligible for the coverage, regardless of your pre-existing condition. In addition, if the new plan has a pre-existing condition exclusion, it would have to recognize your prior coverage towards this exclusion period which can't be greater than 12 months, as long as you don't have a break in coverage of 63 days or more.



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