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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.


Uninsurable after Cancer

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Two questions: I had a sarcoma cancer removed 7 yrs. ago and have tried to get life insurance (additional to my small policy with my employer) but have been denied. Will I ever be insurable? I'm a state employee of 20+ yrs. with 2 children and the possiblity of a layoff, which would cancel my current health and life insurance. Would we as a family (children & husband) be eligible for health insurance? And would we be required to have physicals as I did with the life insurance application? Thank you...

Answer: As far as health insurance goes, you will be insurable once you have 10 years free of sarcoma symptoms or treatment. I don't know what the underwriting guidelines are for life insurance.

If you should loose your group health insurance, you will qualify for COBRA coverage for 18 months. Take it. You will have no other options at that time. Your children and husband could qualify for individual health insurance based on their individual health conditions. Unless they are rated up due to prexisting conditions, the individual health insurance will be cheaper for them than COBRA. When your COBRA coverage expires, you will qualify for guaranteed issue coverage under the HIPAA laws. If you choose not to take the COBRA when you are eligible, you will also loose your HIPAA option. Once 10 years has passed since you had the sarcoma, you may then qualify for health insurance at a lower rate than the HIPAA guaranteed coverage.

Sound dismal?. Not really. You're lucky. If you had no group health insurance right now, all of your COBRA and HIPAA guaranteed options would be off the table. If you loose your job, you will have health insurance options, even if your coverage will be more expensive than it would be without the sarcoma history.

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