Friday, June 27, 2008

Well, crap.

Thank you Alex for pointing out that I might not be able to get individual insurance at all, due to my infertility treatment. I was naively assuming that because it was over and done with, and I am not trying to conceive any more that it wouldn't be a preexisting condition. Just goes to show that you should never underestimate the evilness of insurance companies.

The good news is that going part-time at work such that you no longer qualify for health insurance is an event that can trigger COBRA continuance of coverage. Of course, that is crazy expensive, and only lasts for 18 months. But it is there if I need it. And a fellow Sunshine-stater (not naming names to protect the innocent, but you know who you are) managed to find a health plan that covered her after a 12 month exclusion period. So if I get the same plan, at least I know I can switch from COBRA after 12 months.

I will keep digging, of course. But thanks for letting me know! What would I do without my bloggers?

Oh, and for Kymberli, I am going to study acupuncture! So I'll be involved in infertility in one way or another for the rest of my life. It's the gift that never ends...


Stephanie said...

I thought that pre-existing conditions were excluded if you had continuous insurance coverage- even when changing carriers.

The biggest issue as I understand it is a lapse in coverage along with preexisting conditions.

I might be wrong but, that's what I have always been told. We worried about it when DH changed jobs (and, therefore, insurances) about pre existing conditions.

Cindy said...

I think that if it's been 6-12 mos since you had the condition then you can get coverage. At least you will have Cobra until then. I would call one of those insurance brokers like and talk to someone about your options. They aren't the insurance company so it won't influence your future application if you talk to them.

Alex said...

Sarah, glad to be of some help rather than just, you know, alarmist (which I don't think I am being, but then, would I know)? I would recommend exploring your options (don't take my word for it) but honestly would never recommend anyone in the US who has ever been diagnosed or treated for anything assume they can buy an individual policy, much less a reasonably priced one (do I sound cynical?).

Stephanie, the big distinction is between individual policies (what Sarah is seeking) and group policies (generally provided through employers). The latter are subject to much stricter rules concerning what they can and cannot do and you are correct that there are limitations to what they can exclude. The former are (in many states) almost unregulated, meaning that they can sell you a policy (or not), can exclude conditions, and can price what they sell you however they want. Here's a helpful page for those seeking individual coverage:

Sarah, in terms of COBRA my understanding is that you have 18 months of eligibility through that and afterward (this is important) if you use it all up, you have more/greater legal protections when it comes to purchasing and using an individual policy than you would have had you not exhausted your COBRA eligibility. So it may well be worth doing that (for the legal protections) despite the cost involved. But this would depend of course on your personal preferences and willingness to accept risk, so the real message here is just to make sure you have accurate information about the implications of the different choices available to you.

And, best wishes for success in your acupuncture studies and practice!

Justpassingby said...

You may be able to get student health insurance. I am self employed and was trying to adopt a baby and so was denied an individual policy. But, I'm in a masters program at a state university and as long as I'm enrolled in one class per semester, I qualify for student health insurance which is cheap and I get to use all my own doctors. It's a fabulous deal. May be worth looking into with the classes you'll be taking in the fall.

Almamay said...

Completely useless with insurance advice. Loving you none the less. xoxoxo

Kymberli said...

I don't know the first thing about insurance coverage (other than my policy) so I'll be of no assistance to you there. I do, however, want to give you a little cheerleader jump and a GO, SARAH! for pursing acupuncture! :)

Marie-Baguette said...

My nanny uses the insurance of the Freelancers union -- you might qualify for it. It costs about $400 a month, and to my knowledge there is no 12-month wait
Good luck