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How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 28, 2006 10:27PM
So, I've been fortunate to be able to have my health benefits continue through my previous employer after being laidoff in July 2005. However, they've just switched into COBRA mode- so I went from paying $50/mo to now over $400/mo. I can't afford this - and it's virtually impossible for me to get insurance because I've got a pre-existing condition.

I'm in Illinois - and I've tried to do some research on state-funded programs - but I don't seem to be eligable for any of them.

Can anyone out there lend some helpful advice??

Thanks!
Jerry
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: JoeBob
Date: March 28, 2006 10:37PM
Jerry, you have my condolences.
Your choices are pretty much:
1-Get a job with a large company that insures a huge number of employees.
2-Medicaid, check with the dept of social services in your area to see if you qualify.

However, I know someone that recently got insurance through Blue Cross,
and the only questions they asked regarding pre-existing conditions were if he had been hospitalized in the last 2 years.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 28, 2006 10:39PM
The problem is that I'm in school. I don't have time for a full-time job - and the college I'm currently attending doesn't offer any health coverage.

UGH......



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: March 28, 2006 10:44PM
You may be able to get coverage if you obtain insurance within a certain period of time. Might be 60 days or 90 days after your current coverage expires; check on it.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: JoeBob
Date: March 28, 2006 10:48PM
Wish I had better news, my friend.
Maybe someone in Illinois knows of something better.
I am only familiar with the system in NC.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 28, 2006 10:48PM
Well, the thing is my COBRA benefits don't expire for another 12 months or so - unless I elect not to continue them. I'm so conused..



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 28, 2006 10:54PM
a la Desperate Housewives. . .if you get married. . .you can get some insurance. . .

grinning smiley


i think what kajot said is correct. . .I don't remember if it is 60 or 90 days. . .





_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2006 10:57PM by NewtonMP2100.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: stephen
Date: March 28, 2006 11:35PM
There are some companies... Starbucks, for example, who provide group insurance benefits. It's possible they do it for part-time workers. I'd check.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 28, 2006 11:42PM
If only this small college town HAD a starbucks.



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 28, 2006 11:43PM
I'm doomed.




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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: davester
Date: March 29, 2006 12:16AM
Thank your politicians and remember this next time you vote. Sorry to say, but my family has been in this awful pre-existing condition bind for years. We pay insane amounts of money and have difficulty changing coverage. Fortunately we're in California where we can get extended COBRA, but that is running out so we'll probably end up in the ultra-expensive state high risk pool. The only solution I can see is to move to Canada, Europe, Australia, etc or get a job with a big corporation.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2006 12:16AM by davester.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 29, 2006 01:23AM
Would it make any difference if I were to write my local politicians and give them a piece of my mind?



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: SteveO
Date: March 29, 2006 02:19AM
Couldn't hurt, Jerry. Remind them that they represent YOU, NOT the health insurance companies. And demand action.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: chopper
Date: March 29, 2006 06:16AM
"The only solution I can see is to move to Canada, Europe, Australia"

Can you actually immigrate to Australia these days? It used to be that if you went there on a long visa they'd actually check you once you got off the plane to make sure you had adequate money to support you during the trip--so you wouldn't take a job away from an Oz citizen.

Europe is the same way. We have friends that now have dual citizenship in France but it was hard and ... they fly back to the US for medical care.

And Canadians .... well, ...

C
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: shadow
Date: March 29, 2006 06:57AM
Please don't take what I'm about to say as gospel, check with someone who knows 100% for-sure (and I don't mean people on this board) -- I mean someone that can talk about you, your specific situation, and the state laws that affect you.

This information may be out of date, not applicable to you, or flat out wrong.

IIRC, you have the option of not electing COBRA until AFTER you need it. For example, supposed you don't elect it and then after 3 months you need the coverage. You can get treated as if you had coverage and then pay the back payments for the previous three months plus the month you are in (so, 4 months).

Now, this can come in handy. Let's say you end up on a group plan in 6 months. Since there was a break in coverage, the insurer can pull the "pre-existing" crap with you for some period (1 or 2 years). However, if you pay the 6 months of back charges for COBRA, there would no longer be a break in coverage, hence there would not be any waiting period for your pre-existing condition.

Even if you are not eligible for state programs, I guarantee that there is someone either at the state level or at your college whose job it is to assist you in finding the options available.

- Shadow
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: msglee
Date: March 29, 2006 07:01AM
Come here Son...we need to talk.

[www.goarmy.com]



Bowleys Quarters MD
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: JoeBob
Date: March 29, 2006 07:37AM
Like shadow said, someone is getting paid to help you find some help.
Call the social services department (or local equivalent) and find out your options.
Those people are masterful at finding help for you.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Robo
Date: March 29, 2006 07:43AM
Well, are you prepared to make tens or hundreds of thousands of $ in donations to them? Because I'm sure the health insurance industry is donating at least that much to whatever politicians you planned on writing and I'm sure your letters will seem more important to them than those donations. Don't you love America? Isn't it great that we don't have socialized medicine? Better dead than red I say!

That's sarcasm in case you're wondering.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: dmann
Date: March 29, 2006 09:14AM
shadow has it right- the key is to NOT have a lapse in coverage. Even if you can't find a job with benefits, try and find a job that will help you cover a few months of COBRA until you get this worked out.

I am in Illinois and have switched jobs twice in the last 3 years. I have severe asthma and none of the insurers have been able to deny me coverage because I had coverage with the previous insurer.

Every college has a student health center- I'd start there and see if they can offer any suggestions.

DM
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: March 29, 2006 09:49AM
I'm in the same boat.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 29, 2006 10:35AM
I got some information from the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan and I think I may be elibigle for one plan - but it states that my COBRA benefits must have been exhausted OR my current premiums must be higher than the premiums through the state program.

So, if I'm paying $450/mo for COBRA benefits - and the monthly premium for the Illinois program is $200 - wouldn't I be eligible?



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Randalls
Date: March 29, 2006 10:35AM
You might call some local union halls (Teamsters, UAW, Electrical...) and or non-union trucking companies-they hire part timers and were alot less critical of who they offer insurance to_even part timers.
Worth a shot. Just my 2 cents. You might wind up working in the office or on a dock but the pay is generally good (compared to $5 an hour).
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: March 29, 2006 12:11PM
Isn't america great? I was describing our (lack of) health care system to 2 swedish producers recently and they were, well shocked.

All this BS about people coming from countries with full health coverage over here is just that.



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: GeneL
Date: March 29, 2006 12:29PM
Hi! Guitarman.

I disagree with you on this as far as the issue with Mexican illegals.

I'm sure that they would not get the same free medical care in Mexico that they get under the requirement that hospitals here have to care for everyone that needs it or am I mistaken about this.

This burden on hospitals has meant the closure of many emergency rooms and a diminishment of funds for those that legally qualify for Medicare and Medicaid.

I doubt that Mexico would provide free medical services for Jerry®?

As I always say, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: March 29, 2006 12:56PM
A little different. If you have any assets at all, the hospitals will sue you into a state of homelessness, espeically with the new bankruptcy "reform" bill. The situation with the mexican illegals is a built in part of our lousy medical system that runs the middle class into poverty, yet sort of takes care of the poor's emergency needs. Of course these needs are caused by the lack of routine health care in the first place, but who's counting.

Also, mexicans wouldn't need that free health care if their greedy us empolyers would pay them a living wage and include health care, but then americans might fill those jobs instead and the illegals wouldn't be needed anymore.



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: shadow
Date: March 29, 2006 01:35PM
Guitarman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was describing our (lack
> of) health care system to 2 swedish producers
> recently and they were, well shocked.

Were they also shocked when you told them that your combined tax rate (local, state, federal) is around 32% before deductions (assumed 28 + 3 + 1)?

Theirs is closer to 70% (split between national and local taxes).

I'd rather keep the other 38% in my coffers, thank you.

- Shadow
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: March 29, 2006 02:40PM
GuitarMan Says.:
"Also, mexicans wouldn't need that free health care if their greedy us empolyers would pay them a living wage and include health care, but then americans might fill those jobs instead and the illegals wouldn't be needed anymore."

GuitarMan, minimum wage was never designed to be a living wage, it was always designed to be an intro into the work force, and an incentive to get more education and move up.

Here is something that GuitarMan, and folks that think like him forget, or don't realize, or choose to ignore, for every penny that minimum wage goes up, everyones spending power goes down the same amount. In other words, if you don't raise the ceiling when you raise the floor, everyones living space gets smaller.

BGnR
I guess that GMans racial slur "Mexicans" I assume he was trying to say illegal immigrants but couldn't spell the words, went unnoticed. The word "Mexicans" in of itself is not a racial slur, but using it as a blanket statement like he did is a racial slur.
Several of my coworkers were from Mexico, they are well educated people, some were managers, several were in the IT department.
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 29, 2006 02:42PM
OK--so back to health care.....



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: March 29, 2006 03:25PM
shadow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Guitarman Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I was describing our (lack
> > of) health care system to 2 swedish
> producers
> > recently and they were, well shocked.
>
> Were they also shocked when you told them that
> your combined tax rate (local, state, federal) is
> around 32% before deductions (assumed 28 + 3 +
> 1)?
>
> Theirs is closer to 70% (split between national
> and local taxes).
>
> I'd rather keep the other 38% in my coffers, thank
> you.
>
> - Shadow
>

Ever add in all the other taxes you pay? Gas and tax on your electric bill and sales tax and property tax and all of that and figure out your rate? Then add in your health insurance premiums and figure out what you and your kids would save having free college (yep free higher education) and controlled housing costs. They have a much better life style over there. Let's put it this way,

Also they pointed out how americans are incredibly naive to think the quality of life is better over here. At least for the middle class.



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: billb
Date: March 29, 2006 04:27PM
Actually, Australia is begging for Professionals.
Young Professionals.
If you all ready have a degree and/or a trade, they want you to become a citizen. You'll get the red carpet treatment.

What they don't want is a burden on their health and social system(s).
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 29, 2006 04:58PM
So the problem is in order to get insurance I need to get a full-time position with a large corp. But the thing is that I'm going to school full-time and barely have time to study.





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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: March 29, 2006 05:08PM
Move to Minnesota and enroll in our high risk plan?

$500 deductible plan

Age 15 - 29 Quarterly $619.17 Monthly $206.39

Age 30 - 34 Quarterly $690.24 Monthly $230.08

Six month exclusion for pre-existing conditions only, then full coverage. $2 million lifetime benefit. My 15 year old daughter who has had two kidney transplants has this policy and they have always paid without any hassle.

[www.mchamn.com]

[www.mchamn.com]
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 29, 2006 06:56PM
CRAP! I just moved AWAY from Minnesota!!!



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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: trisho.
Date: March 29, 2006 08:23PM
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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: March 29, 2006 08:32PM
I do not know what qualifies someone as a resident if they are a student. Maybe if you can establish residency from the past and your move was to become a student but you maintain some sort of 'permanent' residency in MN then perhaps the rules allow you to qualify. Worth checking? Your call.

Jerry® Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CRAP! I just moved AWAY from Minnesota!!!


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Re: How to get health insurance when you've got a pre-existing condition?
Posted by: Jerry®
Date: March 29, 2006 08:36PM
Hmm....didn't think about that. My mom has dual-residency in IL & MN - I'll have to ask her how she did it.

Thanks

Speedy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I do not know what qualifies someone as a resident
> if they are a student. Maybe if you can establish
> residency from the past and your move was to
> become a student but you maintain some sort of
> 'permanent' residency in MN then perhaps the rules
> allow you to qualify. Worth checking? Your call.
>
> Jerry® Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > CRAP! I just moved AWAY from Minnesota!!!
>
>
>






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