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insurance question

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2003

Hello Fellow Survivors,
I am a 20-year-old college sophomore who was diagnosed w/ thyroid cancer when I was 14. I will be entering the work force shortly and was wondering about the whole insurance coverage thing. Have those of you who have jobs now run into any problems with insurance companies denying you coverage or hiking up monthly costs? And what about companies who provide coverage except for pre-existing conditions (e.g. what if my cancer returns in 15 years...will my provider cover treatment fees?) I know a lot of it depends on what type of company you work for and which insurance policy you go w/, but I would just like to see how you all have dealt w/ this issue. Any response would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

dabbdc's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2002

If you join a company with 2-50 employees, in most states, the must insure all group members. They can deny a pre-existing condition unless you have evidence that you were insured under a previous group. It is very important if you leave a job:
Convert to COBRA
If you are still unemployed at the expiration of COBRA after 18 months, they are required to give you an individual policy, though it may be expensive. If you get a new job, get the evidence of coverage documentation from your previous insurer - you may need to depend on it some day.

If you have big bills and no job, start a 2-person company and call me. I'll set you up with group insurance. Good luck!

David Bershtein
15 year lymphoma survivor and founder

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2003

Thanks for your input and help, David. It's nice to see a reply. Thanks again, Courtney

Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2002

I am 22, and a college student as well. I had cancer when I was 15, and again when I was 19. I recently lost coverage under my parents plan and nearly freaked out, but then I found out that I could get it through my work. There are several options out there, but some of them cost a lot. However, if your job has medical insurance, the company CANNOT deny you coverage for any reason. This is because it is a group policy. Other options, if you are not working, are something called Cobra, and MediCal.

deejaysullen's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2005

I had a similar experience. My parents insurance droped me and threatened to drop them too b/c of my cancer., even though I am a student. So I went on the welfare insurace, here in TN its called TNCare and it state funded health insurance for low to no income families or the uninsurable. But facing funding they dropped me too. But then when I started at my current job, they didn't even ask for preexisting health issues. And I'm fully covered. I pay the same as my boyfriend who also works there, who has had no health issues in his entire life. So I really feel it is going to depend on your state and company.

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2004

I am a 35 year survivor of cancer of the salivary gland. Health insurance was a huge issue for me in my early 20s. I couldn't get it - or if a company was willing to issue it there would be all sorts of restrictions, like they wouldn't pay for the 1st year or for any recurrence of the cancer.
Fortunately, group policies like those that most employers offer cannot refuse you insurance unless you are currently receiving treatment - then they generally won't pay for the current treatment plan for that specific disease, they will pay for everything else.
How did I deal with it? Believe or not, I joined the Air Force! Got my doc to right a prognosis stating I was cured (It had been over 10 years) and fought for a medical waiver.


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