Can a Person with Diabetes Get Health Insurance?
Diabetes, a disease that is largely self-managed, may lead to various health complications with time and is therefore regarded as a high-risk disease by insurance companies. Diabetics are often challenged with a duel problem of finding a suitable health insurance plan and managing out-of-pocket medical costs. To make matters even worse, individuals affected by diabetes are less likely to get a job on full-time basis or become eligible for group insurance benefits.
Even private health insurance plans are denied to diabetics in most states. The sad part is that health insurance is more important to diabetics than non-diabetics due to the costs of medications and supplies like meters, insulin, and test strips that are required on a regular basis. Although every diabetic is assured access to some kind of health insurance in the United States, such coverage can be expensive enough to impair the diabetic's lifestyle.
For instance, Medicaid plans provide broad coverage to diabetics only when the patient has practically exhausted a major part of his/her resources providing health care. Diabetics can however improve overall coverage by combining two or more types of policies. Listed below are some of the approaches a diabetic may consider to get health insurance.
1. Group insurance from employers - There are certain laws in place to ensure that all companies provide coverage on a group basis to their employees irrespective of the state they belongs to. Despite the relatively high price, group coverage would clearly be the best choice, as guaranteed issue type insurance plans can be denied in some states in the event a diabetic declines enrollment to employer-provided group coverage.
2. Guaranteed issue individual insurance - HIPAA plans, COBRA coverage, Basic Health Insurance, individual conversion plans and state assigned-risk pools are some of the options available under this category. While these plans are available in every state, most diabetics are reluctant to take up such insurance plans due to high rates. While choosing one of these plans, you need to separate your health insurance from the rest of the non-diabetic members in the family. There are countless affordable health plan options available to them that offer much better coverage.
3. Limited benefit health insurance - As the trend to universal coverage without medical underwriting grows, a greater number of renewable long term commercial health insurance plans are becoming available to people with diabetes. Options that are presently available under this category include Core Health Insurance, Value Health Insurance, Value Med Insurance, and Basic Health Insurance.
4. Short term medical insurance - This type of insurance, which is ideal for non-insulin dependant diabetics, is available for a period of 1 to 36 months that excludes coverage for all pre-existing medical conditions. The 36-month insurance policy is more expensive than the rest though the medical benefits it offers makes it worth the money.
If you feel all insurance plans that are mentioned above are beyond your means, you can always count on Medicaid or other state-specific welfare plans. Of course, this option is available to applicants who have already depleted their assets to sustain the cost of ongoing medical treatment and lack the funds to buy any other type of health insurance coverage.
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