Web portals such as HealthInsuranceFinders.com have been designed to provide consumers with information they need to explore their options, answer questions, request quotes and ease the burden of losing healthcare benefits
Redlands, CA (Vocus) January 29, 2009
Despite economic stimulus packages and Federal bailouts, the economy is still faltering and many predict that things are going to get worse before they get better. As 2009 moves forward many more Americans will likely see a loss of their employer sponsored health insurance coverage, either through job loss or a cut in benefits. So what are you to do if you suddenly find yourself without health insurance? First of all “Don’t panic,” says Todd Faucher, founder of HealthInsuranceFinders.com. “It is true that in 2009 many more consumers may be facing the loss of employer sponsored group health insurance, but consumers need to understand that today there are many more options for private health insurance than they may realize.”
This is especially true for people who have had prior coverage through an employer. Says Faucher, “If a person had creditable coverage within the past 63 days, they may be eligible for COBRA or other guaranteed issue health insurance under Federal HIPAA regulations.” HIPAA options are only available if a COBRA option is not, which may be the case if your previous employer is no longer in business. COBRA allows ex-employees and/or their covered dependents to remain on the employer’s group health plan, with premium payment becoming the responsibility of the insured member. That is why health insurance professionals recommend that after you lose your employer sponsored health insurance you do not go too long without obtaining new coverage. Usually a break in health insurance coverage of more than 63 days results in ineligibility for guaranteed issue polices such as COBRA or HIPAA. “It is a common misconception that if a person had continuous coverage they may not be denied coverage when applying for a private individual or family health insurance policy. This is simply not true in most states. Some insurance companies offer ‘guaranteed issue' plans to those that are HIPAA eligible, but the availability of these plans is very limited, and the premiums are usually double what they would be for similar coverage under a standard issue policy,” added Faucher.
In most cases, the best option when losing your employer sponsored health plan is to obtain coverage under a standard individual or family health insurance policy, if your current health status allows you to qualify. If you can obtain this type of coverage you will not need to worry about this coverage being terminated after 18 months since this type of coverage, unlike COBRA options, are permanent issue and guaranteed renewable. Unless you have consulted with an insurance professional or applied for coverage with different insurance companies, you do not want to assume that you are not eligible for an individual health plan. You have nothing to lose by trying and you have your COBRA to fall back. It would be advisable to accept your COBRA coverage prior to applying for alternative options.
Consumers who have recently lost their health insurance can find out more about short-term health insurance, individual health insurance and the various other options to keep themselves and their families protected after job loss by using the resources available on the web. “Web portals such as HealthInsuranceFinders.com have been designed to provide consumers with information they need to explore their options, answer questions, request quotes and ease the burden of losing healthcare benefits,” added Faucher.
HealthInsuranceFinders.com (http://www.HealthInsuranceFinders.com) offers free services to provide you further assistance in your search for health insurance, including a health insurance agent directory for finding an agent in your state, a Guide to Choosing and Using a Health Plan, information on government sponsored health plans, an advice forum, links to state resources, State and Federal COBRA regulations, information on Children’s Health Insurance Programs, a glossary of health insurance terms, and much more. HealthInsuranceFinders.com is a division of HealthCare.com, Inc., an online health vertical search company focused on helping users make informed health care decisions. HealthCare.com is headquartered in Miami, FL with additional offices in Redlands, CA. For additional information, please visit http://www.healthcare.com
Executive Vice President
todd at brokersweb dot com
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