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insurance ?

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi everyone,
I hope you're all doing well!
Does anyone have any experience in finding medical insurance as a cancer patient that is not through work? My X, we're separated, carries the insurance through has job. He may end up out of work due to some mental health problems so I may end up uninsured. I'm waiting to see what he actually does because he is unpredictable, but I want to have some kind of plan in place just in case.
Any information will be appreciated!
Thanks,
Jamie

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vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I believe under the COBRA law that the insurance that you had with work has to be available to cover you for 6 months. However you have to pay the premiums. It is a good idea to check with your state insurance commission.

Dick

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1363
Joined: Dec 2003

for what it's worth, you might also want to post your question to the insurance forum... bud

JADot's picture
JADot
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Jamie:

This is indeed a huge problem for those of us with the dreaded "pre-existing condition". I went through this scare myself last year, so I did a whole lot of research on this. Here's what I know.

After your or your ex's relationship with the employer is over, due to whatever reason, the employer is obligated to offer you COBRA. This means you can continue to be covered under the ex-employer's policy, but you have to pay the monthly payment. This payment is usually not too bad, since you are paying at the group rate. The trick here is to make sure that you ALWAYS send your payment via registered mail, so nobody can get smart and try to cancel you because one payment is late or went missing due to some reason.

Depending on which state you live in, you will eventually run out of COBRA coverage. In most states it's 12, some offer 18, CA, where I live, mandates a 36-month COBRA coverage.

After you run out of COBRA, because of the Kassebaum-Kennedy Law. you CANNOT be denied coverage by a certain class of insurance companies, even when you have a pre-existing condition. The name of the class escapes me (chemo brain bites:). Email me to remind me to give that to you in a couple of days. There is another condition for you to qualify for this - you must have been continuously convered for at least 18 months (?) prior to a change of policy. So YOU MUST NEVER HAVE A GAP IN YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE - HENCE THE EXTRA CAUTION WITH THE REGISTERED MAIL. AND REMEMBER, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT IS TO PAY THE COBRA MONTHLY PREMIUM, DON'T STOP. A GAP IN COVERAGE IS THE FIRST STEP DOWN A VERY SLIPPERY SLOPE OF BEING UNINSURED. I put the IMPORTANT STUFF in CAPS to emphasize how important this really is.

So, to give you an example, I worked for an Oregon based company. I quit the job at the end of 2004. 12 months later, I was diagnosed with Cancer. At that point, I only had 6 more months of COBRA left. After running out of COBRA, I was able to sign up with the HealthNet of California, paying pretty reasonable monthly premium, even less than what Babs pays, granted I also have very high deductible. But, the bottom line is that I am insured, pre-existing condition and all.

I hope this is clear. If it's not, email me, I'll be happy to explain it further to you!

Don't forget to write and thank Senator Ted Kennedy and ex-Senator Nancy Kassabaum if you, like me, are greatful for the Kassabaum-Kennedy Law!

Cheers,
Ying

lynn1222
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2006

i am on disablity and medicaid, i dont know how that applies to you in your state but here i have to pay a premium of 48 dollars a month i do have oncologist covered and scripts, it may be worth looking into.good luck and god bless.

lynn

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