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Pre-existing condition and job change?
Jun 28, 2014

I was wanting to look for another job and then I became HIV positive, so I just stayed because of the benefits. I really would like to start job hunting, but am concerned about starting with a new companies insurance having a pre-existing condition. Can they turn me down for insurance or put me into a several month waiting period? Since I take medication daily I cannot afford to be without for several months. Thanks.

Response from Mr. Chambers

Under HIPAA, a new insurance plan cannot impose a pre-existing conditions limitation if you are coming from insurance that covered your condition and the new coverage starts within 63 days of your prior coverage ending.

However, the new employer can make you wait up to 90 days to start your new coverage. Should that happen with your new job, you can continue your old coverage under COBRA (assuming your old employer is large enough, over 20 employees, to come under the COBRA law) or you can get coverage through a health exchange until the new coverage starts. Either way there should not be a pre-existing limitation applied.

When job hunting I suggest that, in addition to salary and vacation, ask questions about the total benefit package, life, retirement, disability and, of course, health insurance, when the benefits start, etc. If they seem curious, you can always say you like to plan ahead.

Good luck, Jacques

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