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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.

Preexisting Conditions and COBRA

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Question: My husband has been offered a job with a good company.They have offered to pay for cobra for the 90 day waiting period until his new insurance kicks in. My question is, my husband is in pain managment where he gets steriod shots and is administered medications from a previous back surgery over a year ago. I myself have high blood pressure.This new insurance company United Health Care, has told me that he must be evaluated by the underwriters to see if they will cover these preexisting conditions,if he denied we will be out of luck. Is there anything that we can do, or any resouce that we can contact to get information. Thank You

Answer: I'm going to have to redefine your question because you have intorduced complications by mentioning COBRA.

1. The only way your husband can qualify for COBRA coverage would be from a previous job where he had group coverage. If he is within 62 days of leaving that coverage, he may qualify for COBRA coverage. If that is the case, his preexisting health conditions do not matter. He can be covered.

2. More likely, his new employer is offering to pay for individual health insurance for your husband and you during the group waiting period. Based on what you have told me about his health history, UnitedHealthcare will probably offer your husband individual health insurance with an exclusion for any care regarding his back. That might be the best you can do for the next three months.

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