If you are someone who is lucky enough to have health insurance benefits provided by your employer, you should count your blessings. Many individuals who are self employed, or whose employer doesn’t offer health insurance benefits, have to find their own coverage. And many of these individuals who you and I might consider otherwise healthy, are being turned down for health insurance. It doesn’t take much these days to be considered “uninsurable.”
Health insurance companies make you fill out very detailed applications that ask you for details about your complete medical history. And the questions are getting tougher these days. Most companies used to ask if you had been diagnosed or treated for conditions in the last 5 or 10 years. Now, many are asking if you have EVER had those conditions. If you have had something (depending on the condition), there’s a good chance you’re going to be declined for coverage. This is making it harder and harder for many people to obtain health insurance.
I recently had a client who applied for coverage for the whole family: mom, dad & two kids ages 9 and 6. The mother had a mild complication during her son’s pregnancy 10 years ago, but no other problems since then, and was on no medications. The 9 year old son had a short period of time about a year ago where he was feeling dizzy and they didn’t know why. They did an MRI and it was normal. He was told by the doctor that it was some kind of vertigo. He had no other health conditions before or since then, and was on no medications. The dad and daughter were approved for coverage, but the son and mom were declined. Both the family and I were shocked.
Many states now have Insurance Risk Pools that provide somewhat affordable, individual health insurance coverage. In North Carolina it’s called Inclusive Health, also know as the North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool (NCHIRP), created in 2007. If you are someone who doesn’t have access to a employer-based plan, or you’ve been declined for coverage, or you’ve been quoted a rate that is too expensive due to an existing medical condition, then you can apply to your state’s health insurance risk pool. Many of these plans also offer coverage to people who have lost their jobs due to the effects of international trade and are eligible for the health coverage tax credit under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.
Keep in mind that not all states have a health insurance risk pool such as this. You can call your state’s insurance commisson to find out. If you would like to learn more about North Carolina’s program, you can find it at www.inclusivehealth.org or just give us a call today at 866-983-4222, and we can help you apply.
Health insurance is a very important part of your personal financial plan. If you have a story about someone who has been declined for health insurance, I’d like to hear about it in the comments section below. Maybe if enough people hear about this problem we can get it fixed.