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Looking for another individal health insurance policy
Jun 19, 2012

Hi there! I have been healthy and HIV+ since Dec of 2006. I am currently employed and do have great health insurance benefits under my employers health plan. I also have a seperate individual policy through BSC that costs me roughly $511/month. I work in the health care industry and too often I have seen breaches in confidentiality especially when it comes to hospital employees. I am absolutely paranoid and obsessed with keeping my health information PRIVATE! To alleviate my anxieties, I only use my employer's health insurance to cover things like my regular doctor visits (she doesn't know my status), my lab tests ordered by my HIV specialist at UCSF (I usually go to Quest Diagnostic), my medications (I only pay the copays)and other non-HIV related issues. My individual policy is used to cover the cost of my routine visits to my HIV specialist; usually annually. Unfortunately, she is not covered by my employer's insurance. The cost of my individaul policy is steadily increasing at a rate of about $50 every 6 months. Eventually I will not be able to afford this policy. I would like to continue to have a seperate individual policy. Does my status make this impossible even though I will not have a lapse in coverage since I would still be insured through my employer's health plan? If it is possible, are there any companies that you know of who routinely insure HIV+ clients?

Response from Mr. Chambers

Regrettably, any health insurance plan that requires medical underwriting to obtain coverage, will not accept you once they learn you are HIV+, and there is no point in trying to hide it from then as that gives them a huge loophole through which they can just walk away from covering you when they do find out.

There are a few states that offer either guarantee issue coverage (which tends to be very expensive) or offers coverage at open enrollment periods. This site can help. This site can help.

I wish you luck in finding a suitable policy.

I must add that the stress of maintaining such secrecy about your status must be very difficult, however, that is your choice and I won't try to change your mind. I do have some concerns about your primary care physician treating you without knowing your status. I'm not medically trained but I would think there could be some problems with her prescribing treatments without knowing your status or what other medications you are taking.

Good luck, Jacques

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