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Author Topic:   Health Insurance and The Law - HIPAA
White belt
posted 08-10-1999 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farmhaus   Click Here to Email farmhaus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. What it means for those who have already joined the ranks of the full time self-employed or are about to join is that if we meet certain conditions we can obtain replacement health insurance without limitations on the coverage known as "preexisting condition exclusions" For example, before HIPAA if you had a heart attack a month before you lost your health coverage a new insurance plan could refuse to cover any heart desease as a "preexisting condition" and you would have to pay for any treatment out of your own pocket. HIPAA put an end to that. Thank Congress & President Clinton for this one!
The important point is not to allow your coverage to lapse for 63 days or more!! Remember, 63 days!! So if you left your job or your job left you and you decided to become a full-time Nanocorper and also wisely decided to elect COBRA (Health insurance continuation coverage)and your 18 month COBRA coverage is running out, you can get individual health insurance and not have any preexisting condition exclusions applied. Very important!! Become familiar with the details and don't be afraid to mention HIPAA to your agent or prospective insurance carrier. I have recently become aware of the fact that many insurance carriers are increasing their rates tremendously for those coming off of COBRA and using HIPAA to obtain individual coverage. Rate increases of double or triple are not uncommon. More information and a link to the GAO report on this subject can be found at I highly recommend reading IRS Notice 98-12 available on their ftp site and information available at the Department of Labor .


[This message has been edited by farmhaus (edited 10 August 1999).]

[This message has been edited by farmhaus (edited 16 November 1999).]

[This message has been edited by farmhaus (edited 16 November 1999).]

Black belt
posted 08-12-1999 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Timlynn_Babitsky   Click Here to Email Timlynn_Babitsky     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Make sure you mention your exit date from COBRA coverage when you investigate getting your own coverage as self-employed. And, you'll have to prove it so be accurate.

Some of the pre-existing condition clauses I came across were quite ambiguous as to just what those 63 days meant. Ask questions. Be informed. It's your money and your quality of life.

Health insurance is much too important to leave to some agent to handle for you. Investigate and search to your own satisfaction. Ask around. Share information here.

As Tom mentions elsewhere, even group policies that you think have you covered can go belly up when the chips are down.

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