My son has been genetically tested and has a strong liklihood of developing the same congenital disease as his father and grandfather. How can I make sure he can get insured?

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Asked January 30, 2012

1 Answer

At present, your health insurance company could refuse new coverage to your son if the likelihood of a genetic problem could cause an illness to develop. Such denials will become less common over the next couple of years, though, and by 2014 all health insurance companies will be required to accept people with genetic illness probabilities as well as those who are already suffering from preexisting conditions.

If you do not currently have insurance for your son, it might be best to look into purchasing him a separate health insurance policy. When filling out the applications online, skip over applications which specifically ask about congenital conditions. Focus instead on those companies which do not. Claiming a preexisting condition on his insurance application could complicate his chances of getting coverage at present, but only applying with companies which omit questions about genetic conditions and other preexisting conditions will help. If you are adding your son to the group health insurance you receive through your employer, this question should not come up at all, as group policies are required to accept all group members.

By 2014, when the healthcare overhaul is finalized, no insurance company will be allowed to deny coverage for genetic or other preexisting conditions, nor will they be allowed to charge people with preexisting conditions more for the coverage. This may not be of much use to you now, but it might, because many insurance companies are adopting the requirements of healthcare reform ahead of schedule.

In the meantime, if you are not able to secure coverage for your son, you may be able to get insurance through government sponsored health insurance such as Medicaid. The qualifications for this type of coverage is generally limited to persons with low incomes, but having a condition that is otherwise uninsurable is also grounds for acceptance under Medicaid.

Answered January 30, 2012 by Anonymous

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