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Health Insurance Options For People With Diabetes

Declined Health Insurance Due to Pre-existing condition
Having diabetes is primarily a self managed disease. In order to stay healthy, a person with diabetes needs supplies like test strips, pumps, monitors, and insulin. Health insurance helps with some of these costs. However, if someone has diabetes that does not currently have any health insurance coverage, getting it is next to impossible. The reason for this is that most health insurance carriers view anyone actively taking insulin as an automatic decline.

The Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act written into law in 2010 will offer some help for people with diabetes. The law requires individual states to create, implement and manage health insurance exchanges where people can go to purchase health insurance coverage, and they cannot be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes. However, this portion of the law is not scheduled to be effective until 2014.

So what can people, that have diabetes, do for health insurance coverage until then? I’ll be perfectly honest, the options are limited.

1) Employer Sponsored Health Plan

If your employer offers health coverage and you are currently not enrolled…ENROLL! With group plans, employees are not medically under-written, therefore you cannot be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Plus, you have options to keep health coverage if you leave your job, such as COBRA.

2) Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)

PCIP, which is run by either states or the Federal government, provides a health coverage option for people who have been without health coverage for at least 6 months and have a pre-existing medical condition that has caused them to be denied health insurance coverage. PCIP covers major medical and prescription drug expenses. Enrollees are responsible for paying premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance amounts. PCIP does not cost enrollees more just because of their medical condition. Check PCIP coverage in your state

3) Patient Assistance Programs

Some companies have established patient assistance programs to help uninsured individuals get the medication/device they need to stay healthy.

If you or a loved one is unable to see a physician due to the cost of care, look for a local community health care clinic in your area. These clinics may require just a small fee, if not free.