In this tough economy, if you are among those who have a medical problem and do not have medicall insurance you must be anxious about you and your family’s health. But don’t get bushed. While reading about healthcare insurance, I came across a lot of questions people have for health insurance in case they lose their job; how will they be able to manage their health. I found the article on WebMD which provides some information and useful emergency tips on the healthcare insurance in the tough times. Though it is not the 100 percent solution of raised problem, but it may provide you some guidance to keep yourself and your family safe and protective. In my previous post I have discusses few tips that can help you to save health insurance cost. Here are some tips on what you can do:
Important to know about type of insurance you have: Most of us get insurance through an employer. This kind of coverage, called group coverage, has special protections for people with pre-existing conditions. If you go from one job with group insurance to another with group insurance, you are usually guaranteed coverage regardless of your medical history. People who don’t get coverage through work and have to buy individual insurance can face more serious problems, if they have a pre-existing condition.
Know the laws of your state: Each state has different laws that apply to your ability to get and keep health insurance. For instance, some states outlaw underwriting, some allow it. Underwriting is when an insurance company looks into your medical record to see what illnesses you have been treated for. Your first step is to find out how things work locally. For more information browse healthinsuranceinfo.net, it summarizes state wise getting and keeping health insurance.
Move fast and stay focused: If you lose your group insurance through work, you need to stay on the ball. If you have to shift to individual coverage, a federal law called HIPPA guarantees that you can get insurance — but not if you wait too long. If you go for 63 or more days without coverage, you will have what’s called a “significant gap in coverage.” And you will lose many of the protections you have. You may not be able to get any insurance after that point. So act quickly and don’t fall behind on your paperwork.
Extend existing coverage with COBRA (the better-known name of the Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act): If you are going to lose health coverage from an employment-based plan, either through your job, a spouse’s job or a parent’s job, ask if you are eligible for COBRA or state continuation coverage, which extend your coverage for a limited time. You’ll keep the same benefits, but you’ll probably pay much more than you paid as an employee. Still, it may be the best option while you sort out what to do next. You need to act quickly, though, because this option is on the table for a short time.
style="line-height: 150%; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman';"> For information on COBRA, call the Employee Benefits Security Administration at 866-444-EBSA or visit http://www.dol.gov/ebsa
Find the insurer of last resort: Your state may have a designated insurer that gives anyone coverage, regardless of his or her medical condition or history. However, you need to apply within those 63 days of losing your previous coverage (including COBRA) to be eligible. The policy you get from the insurer of last resort may be expensive, but it’s probably better than nothing.
Look into a high-risk pool: Thirty-four states offer high risk pools to people who can’t get insurance because of health problems. You can get a list of states that have high-risk pools from the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan, or on their web site at www.naschip.org/states_pools.htm. You may be charged high rates, but if you have a serious health problem, it’s better than having no insurance.
Consider coverage through a membership organization: Some groups, such as professional organizations, unions, and chambers of commerce, offer insurance that’s cheaper than what you could find on the individual insurance market.
Start your own business: Some people with pre-existing conditions use an interesting method to get insurance. They start up a business, hire themselves as the sole employee, and get group insurance. However, it’s only an option in 13 states. Visit Georgetown University’s web site at www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/ for more information.
Look for government aid: Government programs like Medicaid and SCHIP (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program) offer coverage to some low and moderate-income families. However, experts say that many people who are eligible don’t apply. Visit GovBenefits.gov for more information.
Personally, I found this information useful. Hope it may help you to know about some basic options you have available in the worst situation, if it comes unexpectedly.