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If I am recently infected and no insurance
Nov 6, 2001

Dear expert,

If I don't have medical or health insurance and am recently infected with HIV, can I start to purchase insurance? Would you please give me some suggestions and advices? I am in San Francisco and planning to move to Vermont or New Hampshire. Thank you so much!

Response from Mr. Berg

First off, in California, an HIV+ test alone is not grounds for denial of an individual health insurance policy. If that is the only item in your health records, you can legally purchase health coverage. However, if there is a history of symptoms that could be attributed to your subsequent HIV+ diagnosis or viral load/t-cell lab reports showing a compromised immune system, then your application could be denied.

That's the story in California. If you buy a policy there and then move, it most likely will not provide coverage in the other state. (check with the agent or broker before buying it. Coveage could be temporary while you are considered visiting, but the only situation I have seen work is through dual residency and incur charges in both states. This is not guaranteed) Insurance is a state by state proposition. Blue Cross of CA is not Vermont Blue Cross. Some states have open enrollment or other insurance purchasing programs. Please check out to see what options are available in Vermont or New Hampshire. It may make a difference in your decision to move.

Response from Ms. Donnelly

I agree with Steve regarding your insurance options. Of course your employment could make a difference as well, if you are able to get insurance through an employer.

I would add that you might want to check with Positive Resources in San Francisco regarding options here in California that might transfer although this seems unlikely.

Positive Resources may be able to help you research options in the areas you plan to move. If you are unable to locate them, or they are not able to assist you in research, call the Project Inform hotline at 1-800-822-7422, for further information.

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