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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.

Diagnosed with Cancer While on COBRA

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Question: I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. I am currently on COBRA. What happens to me when it expires.

Answer: I’m so sorry about your bad news. At least your ability to remain insured is protected by federal laws. However you must take the right steps to protect your rights. First and foremost, stay on COBRA until your coverage expires. If you do that you will qualify for HIPAA guaranteed coverage after your COBRA coverage expires. Most health insurance companies who market individual health insurance offer HIPAA qualified coverage. HIPAA guaranteed plans are usually high deductible plans at a substantial rate-up over the standard rate for a “healthy” applicant. You may be able to purchase a HIPAA plan from your current insurer, but can shop for HIPAA plans from any other carrier in your state. Contact them directily about 60 days before your COBRA expires.The PCIP plan will not work for you because they require an applicant to be uninsured for 6 months prior to enrollment. In January 2014, your preexisting condition will no longer be a consideration in obtaining health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. I wish you the best of luck.

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