While President Obama’s health care legislation will attempt to provide individual health insurance to people with pre-existing medical conditions, the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which was introduced in 1996, is already in place for those with pre-existing conditions and are enrolled with a group health insurance plan or certain eligible individual policies.
A pre-existing condition is basically any type of medical condition which you’ve been diagnosed with before joining a health care plan. The HIPAA is in place for people with Indiana health insurance and protects them in several ways.
For instance, the act limits the length of exclusion periods for people with pre-existing conditions; lowers the chances of being discriminated against or losing any existing health coverage due to your health; provides certain protection when changing jobs; providing you and your dependents specific enrollment rights with your employer’s group health policy in certain cases, and guarantees renewals of individual health coverage.
An employer’s plan can deny coverage for people with a pre-existing condition only if you or your dependent was diagnosed with the condition or received treatment or care for it within six months of your enrollment date. However, pregnancy can’t be considered to be a pre-existing condition by the insurer. Also, a pre-existing condition can’t be applied to babies and children who are adopted and under the age of 18.
An insurer can make you wait a maximum of 12 months for coverage if you have a pre-existing condition and up to 18 months if you enrolled in the plan late. However, if you had previous creditable coverage and haven’t gone 63 days or more without health insurance this waiting period may be eliminated or reduced.
This is why it’s important to join an Indiana health insurance employer plan as soon as you become eligible. If you don’t you may not be able to enroll later and if you are allowed to enroll later on you will be considered as a late enrollee and may have to wait 18 months for coverage if you have a pre-existing condition.
The HIPAA considers an employer group of two more employees to be a group. The laws states that all employer group insurance policies have the option of renewing their coverage and it can only be canceled in specific circumstances. A small employer group consists of between two and 50 employees and if the insurance company sells coverage to small groups it can’t turn one down. The plan has to cover all employees and their dependents no matter what their medical conditions are as long as they’re eligible for the health plan.
If you change jobs you’re also allowed to join the new employer’s health plan regardless of your medical condition. But remember, employers aren’t required to provide health coverage to employees and if you’ve changed jobs, the coverage could differ from your previous group plan. If insurance is offered there may be a waiting period, but it’s not considered to be a break in continuous insurance coverage.
If you aren’t currently working or your employer doesn’t offer insurance you’ll find there is a wide variety of private Indiana health insurance plans on the market as well as numerous providers for them. One of the best ways to find the type of coverage you’re looking for at the most affordable rates is to enlist the assistance of a licensed health insurance agent or broker.