Can I be denied health insurance coverage after being diagnosed with herpes?
UPDATED: Nov 10, 2014
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Asked November 10, 2014
Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, insurance denial due to herpes was determined by each insurance company. Some companies did not consider the condition as a preexisting condition, while others did. Either way, herpes is a lifelong condition that has no known cure, but some companies did not regard it as condition that had a notable influence on your overall health.
In that last 20 years, treatment of herpes has had tremendous advances. The condition is still incurable, but there are now treatments available which can inhibit the disease, limit its effects on your quality of life, and reduce the infectious nature. As those advances have been made, insurance companies have taken a stronger stance regarding the disease because it has had a greater impact on the risks of insuring an infected person. Today, the disease is largely considered a preexisting condition.
One of the aspects of the ACA, also called Obamacare, is that you cannot be denied coverage based on preexisting conditions. One of the most ambitious aspects of the new health insurance law, the requirement that insurance companies accept preexisting conditions is expected to make health coverage available for millions of Americans who were previously unable to get health insurance.
Even though the new health law is more frequently associated with asthma, diabetes and other illnesses of that type, it includes any preexisting conditions. Incurably sexually transmitted diseases are included in the list, opening health insurance to people who have been unable to get health coverage for decades.
Prior to the ACA, you could still be insured if you were diagnosed with herpes. To do so, you would have had to go through a high risk insurance pool or sign up for Medicaid. Those two options were designed with the idea that some people may not be qualified for standard health insurance coverage. Not all states had high risk health insurance pools, but Medicaid has always accepted those who were not qualified for group or individual health insurance.
Answered November 10, 2014 by Anonymous