Denied Health Insurance – What to Do Next?

There are thousands of people around the country who face expensive medical bills but are denied health insurance due to existing medical conditions. Insurance companies often refuse to cover those who suffer from high blood pressure, cancer, asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, leaving these people to face significant financial hardship. Although being in this situation is difficult, being denied does not mean that you should give up. Many insurance companies allow appeals, and there also a number of alternatives to private health insurance.

If you have been denied medical insurance for some reason, the first step is to appeal the decision with that particular company. Make sure to research any applicable laws (they vary depending on the state) and record every step of the process in case the company needs documentation. If the company denies coverage again, try contacting a health insurance broker. Talk to him or her about your situation and he or she will try to find an insurance company that best matches your needs. Generally speaking, medical insurance brokers know the ins and outs of several different companies and can help you work through the system. You may have to offer a compromise such as an elimination rider, however. This would allow you to have basic health coverage, while excluding treatment for your condition. Obviously, this is not the optimal solution.

While private medical insurance may be the most comprehensive, there are a number of other options. If you have been denied medical insurance before, you might be eligible for your state's high-risk health insurance pool, if available. These pools are available in at least 34 states, and are usually easier to get into than other insurance plans. However, they might not cover certain diseases, and by relying on state health insurance you trust the legislature to remain intact. If you are married and your spouse has health insurance provided by his or her employer, you have another option. Many of these plans do not require any proof of good health before enrollment, but you might only be able to enroll once a year during the open enrollment period.

The good news is that reform is on its way and if you have been denied health insurance, you will only need to find a temporary alternative. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March of 2010, prevents insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing medical conditions. It also eliminates pre-existing condition exclusion periods. The act will cover children beginning in September, 2010, and will extend to adults starting in January of 2014.

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