How do current or previous medical problems affect my ability to get health insurance coverage?

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Asked January 21, 2013

1 Answer

Private health insurance, also called individual coverage, can be more difficult to get a policy from than group insurance providers. Because they are allowed to target specific health needs or health-related demographics, individual insurance may legally deny coverage to those who have previously existing health problems. For those people, group health insurance may be the more beneficial route, as changes in health care law are making coverage available to everyone, regardless of previous health history.

Traditionally, having a preexisting condition could present a roadblock to getting group health insurance. Many insurers would either deny coverage for those with preexisting conditions, or exclude items related to that condition from being covered. As the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the ACA and called by the nickname of Obamacare, goes into effect, insurance companies are being required to accept preexisting conditions, and that will change the face of health care for literally millions of Americans.

Because this portion of the ACA must be adhered to no later than January 1, 2014, many insurance companies have already making changes to their health insurance applications and acceptance requirements. If you do not know the status of your particular insurance company, contact your agent or the Human Resource officer at your place of employment. The department of insurance for your state of residence will also be able to tell you the status of the law in your area.

This change in health care laws could potentially impact millions of Americans who suffer from such conditions as asthma or diabetes who were previously unable to get health insurance coverage based on those medical conditions. As insurance companies adopt the new law, health coverage will be available to those with prohibitive health conditions. For most insurance companies this is an ongoing transition, and your particular company may have already made the changes.

Answered January 21, 2013 by Anonymous

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