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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.


Health Insurance Eligibility from State to State

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Question: I have a pre existing condition and my health insurance has gone up considerably every year. We now pay over $2000 a month and I'm 32 years old. I have 3 questions: (1) I'm thinking of moving from New York to California- can I keep my Aetna plan and stay insured even though I'm moving states or can they drop me? (2) The other question is I'm getting married and would hope that I could join my husbands plan however would they accept me with a pre existing condition? (3) And will Obama's law help me in any way? Thank you.

Answer:

(1) You must have a group or employer-sponsored health plan as Aetna not sell individual plans in NY. If you remain employed with the same employer and move to another state, you can continue with Aetna group coverage and they cannot drop you.

(2) If you get married, you can be added to your husband's health insurance plan without consideration of your preexisting condition if you remain in NY state as NY has guaranteed issue laws albeit at very high rates as you point out, If you move to California (married or not) and apply for an individual health insurance plan, you will have to qualify through the underwriting process and your preexisting condition may cause you to be declined for coverage.

(3) The main provisions of the Affordable Care Act (what you referred to as Obama's law) are scheduled to go into effect in January 2014. Insurance companies in every state will not be able to use preexisting medical conditions to deny coverage or charge more for coverage. That would pretty much solve both issues you raised above. You will then be able to buy an affordable health insurance plan anywhere in the country. So, yes, I would say it will help you big time.

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