Health Insurance after COBRA
May 28, 2012
This afternoon I called Aetna to inquire about a individual health insurance policy. The represenatative immediately started asking question about health and preexisting conditions. I explained to her that I have no break in creditable insurance and therefore should be eligible for an individual policy. She told me that while my creditable insurance would result in a waiver of preexisting condition exclusions, I still have to go through the underwriting process and that I could be denied coverage. It is my understanding that HIPAA prevents insurance companies from denying to cover me if I've had continuous insurance. How do I find my ay through this?
Response from Mr. Chambers
While you have a guaranteed right to purchase health insurance under HIPAA as long as you do so within 63 days of your COBRA ending, each state handles these plans differently. Some make every carrier writing individual health coverage in that state offer two HIPAA plans. Other states put all HIPAA enrollees into a central pooled plan.
You can find out how your state handles it by clicking here. It's a long URL so if it doesn't work, do a websearch for "HIPAA plans by state"
If your state would require Aetna to offer HIPAA plans, call back and if they insist on underwriting, ask for a supervisor and, possibly, contact a legal services agency.
Good luck, Jacques
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