Starting in 2014, insurers will no longer be able to reject
anyone for coverage or charge a higher rate because of a
preexisting condition. But until then, it can be frustrating to
search for affordable coverage if you have health issues. Find out
about all of the options in your area at
. Here is a quick take on your best bets:
The Kip Tips iPad App
Group plans can't reject you because of a prior health problem.
If you had coverage through an employer and lost your job, you can
usually continue the insurance for up to 18 months through COBRA
(you'll have to pay both the employer's and the employee's share of
You have up to 60 days after you leave your employer to sign up
for COBRA. And after you exhaust that coverage -- or if you worked
for a small employer that doesn't offer COBRA -- you can get a
"HIPAA-eligible policy." This coverage varies by state; some states
require insurers to provide continuation policies or have a few
com�panies that cover everyone regardless of health.
If you don't qualify for one of those options, you might be able
to get coverage through a state high-risk insurance pool. The state
pools that were created by the health care reform law require you
to be uninsured for six months before you can sign up. But many
states already have their own pools, which may have higher rates
but no waiting period.
This article first appeared in
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
magazine. For more help with your personal finances and
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