Jacksonville, FL (PRWEB) March 13, 2007
Internet insurance portal, Florida Health Insurance Web, reports nearly three million Floridians without individual health insurance coverage. That's 18% of the state's population. Health related bankruptcy is on the rise - the leading cause of bankruptcy today. Every Floridian without health insurance coverage is just one illness away from financial ruin. Florida Health Insurance Web, http://www.FloridaHealthInsuranceWeb.com, advises consulting an online source such as its service, before choosing any health insurance policy.
In the past, applying for health insurance had been an eye opening experience for many. The difficulty obtaining affordable health insurance rates in the sunshine state has always been hard, but now it has reached epic proportions. Florida residents may experience any number of insurance-related problems, including claim denials, sky-high premiums, cancellations, or refusals to grant or renew their policies. Florida's Governor Crist vows to fix the problem and bring affordable insurance to all Florida's residents. Democrats are pushing a health-care-reform legislation during the current legislative session. They are sponsoring a bill that would ask voters in 2008 to insert a guarantee in the constitution that all children in Florida would have access to health insurance by July, 2010.
At a recent insurance conference in Orlando, one Florida health insurance agent, Margaret Margolas explained the process, "Before issuing a health insurance policy in Florida, insurance companies offering individual health insurance policies evaluate certain information about you to determine how likely you are to have a claim." This is called "underwriting."
She spoke to hundreds of business owners about health care for the uninsured and individual company's role in delivering that health care. Margolas said, "Individuals looking for health insurance usually cannot find policies to cover past health problems." How does someone with a pre-existing condition get coverage? Hiring a health insurance professional "consultant" may help. These consultants usually work at no cost to consumers; their fees are paid by the health care provider.
For any health policy, a company might consider age, occupation, current health status and medical history. They can also look at lifestyle, and habits to see what type of health risks a person may have. If individual risk factors indicate that a claim is likely, the company may charge more for the policy or even worse, refuse coverage. Before applying for an individual health insurance policy, lorida Health Insurance Web advises talking to a qualified health insurance consultant for advice on which policy to choose.
Most individual health insurance companies in Florida have certain clauses regarding risk factors and pre-existing conditions. Limits on risk and "pre-existing conditions" are a standard part of most health plans. These limits ensure that benefits are paid only for conditions that occur naturally and only after your health coverage becomes effective. Paying only for approved services and covered conditions helps control healthcare costs and prevent possible insurance abuse.
The legal aspect of all this is "failure to disclose pre-existing conditions could jeopardize future claims" or invalidate the policy. Individual health insurance companies may completely exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions by attaching an "exclusion rider" to the policy.
If an applicant lists their pre-existing conditions on the application and the company issues coverage without attaching an exclusion rider, the company must begin covering the pre-existing conditions when the policy's pre-existing waiting period expires. Pre-existing condition waiting periods can be a maximum of two years on individual policies. Exclusion riders can be in-force indefinitely.
In Florida, and in other states like Texas, if a person moves from a group, government, or church health plan to an individual health insurance policy, they will not be subject to a new pre-existing condition waiting periods if they had 18 months of prior coverage, with no more than 63 days lapse in coverage.
What else can someone do to get individual health plans? Corporations are able to purchase health insurance that cover pre-existing conditions for their employees so many CPA's recommend using S-corporations status instead of individual. Simply create an S-Corp online from a state like Nevada or Delaware, ($350) and then apply for insurance under the corporation.
Buying insurance without an S-Corp means more limitations to your policy; chances are the end result will be some sort of "Cash for Services" Plan, a PPO, or HMO plan. These plans are the most typical.
Margolas says, "One word of advice when it comes to applying for an individual health insurance policy: applicants should be forthcoming and honestly answer all questions about medical conditions. Withholding information about an illness or medication is bad, the health insurance company may deny subsequent claims."
Ask questions, especially if the wording of the policy is difficult. Be sure about specifics of the health insurance coverage. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification about policy details. For more help, have a Florida health insurance consultant give you an explanation. Try to get answers in writing.
If a person loses health insurance coverage from their job, they may opt to continue coverage with insurance called COBRA. COBRA stands for (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). COBRA is a law that makes it mandatory for an employer to provide the option of retaining membership in their health insurance plan. However applicants will have to pay the entire monthly premium part which was paid by the company earlier. Most people are surprised at the high cost of the COBRA premium; which may run up to 500$ a month.
If none of the above ways to reduce insurance costs work, then the only way is to go for standard individual health insurance policy. As mentioned earlier they are usually costly, but online websites can help Floridian's weed through the mounds of policies and select the best price and coverage available.
About Florida Health Insurance Web
Florida Health Insurance Web is an online source of health insurance agents and insurance carriers covering individuals in the state of Florida. Individuals can get insurance quotes, search rates online by city, read current insurance news and events. For a directory and archive of Florida Health Insurance Consultants, a listing of the best rates and free quotes, please visit http://www.FloridaHealthInsuranceWeb.com.