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Individual Health Insurance Plans Question & Answers

2016 January 15
by Sarah Fields

Sharon asks…

I am about to quit my job, need advice about insurance?

I am quitting my job in a couple of weeks to start my own business. I am shopping around for individual health insurance plans and have found a couple that will suit my needs. The problem is that the plans are both Anthem (Blue Cross California) and that is the same insurance that my employer carries. I’m worried that contacting Anthem to start the process of getting coverage will alert my employer that I am leaving. Should I be concerned?

Sarah Fields answers:

Nope. They won’t tell your employer.

But be DARNED sure the policy is in place, before you quit. See, that initial quote you have is subject to underwriting. So if you have anything wrong with you (preexisting conditions) the company doesn’t have to give you insurance at all – or they can charge a lot more for it.

Nancy asks…

Am i eligable on an Idividual Health Insurance Policy if I was declined by Golen Rule?

The reason stated was due to excessive marijuana and alcohol use. March, 2007, I admitted myself to a Drug and Alcohol Rehab facility. I admitted to using alcohol and marijuana. I am clean and sober today. I have no other health issues. I am a 51 year old female. I’ve and 5 feet 3 inches tall and weigh 115 pounds. I get regular physical and do not have anything wrong with me. When will I be eligible under an individual health insurance plan?

Sarah Fields answers:

Only if you live in a “guaranteed issue” state like NY, NJ, CT. There are three more, I just can’t think of them.

Besides that, you might actually qualify for a state high risk health pool, or the preexisting condition insurance plan – but it’s going to be very pricey.

And you’re completely incorrect. You’re a drug addict and alcoholic. You DO have stuff wrong with you.

Mark asks…

Can an employer refuse to hire because you don’t qualify for thier health insurance plan?

Ok, so under current law (until changes take effect anyway) health insurance companies can deny an individual coverage due to a pre-existing condition. I know that companies who employ over a certain number of people (I don’t know the exact number) are required to offer their employees health insurance. So therefore can a company refuse to hire an individual because they don’t qualify for that employer’s respective health insurance plan due to their physical condition?

Sarah Fields answers:

First, employers are NOT required to offer health insurance. Second, at the time of hire, the employer would have no way of even knowing if you “qualify” or not. Most group employer plans are REQUIRED to accept all employees – although they may exclude certain specific preexisting conditions.

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