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Health Insurance Plans for People with Preexisting Conditions
There are special insurance plans available for people who have preexisting conditions. These plans are the health insurance equivalent of high risk insurance, guarding against probable problems in exchange for a higher premium rate. Traditionally, this has been the only way for people who suffered from conditions such as asthma or diabetes to get private insurance coverage. Before you purchase such a plan today, it might be a good idea to do some research into the Affordable Care Act, known simply as the ACA and commonly referred to by some as Obamacare. Health Insurance Riders For people with preexisting conditions or special medical needs, add-on policies known as riders could provide the extra care you need. These riders are typically written for specific conditions, such as diabetes, and only provide coverage for medical treatments related to the named condition. Insurance riders are in addition to the existing health care plan and are available at an additional cost. Group Health Insurance and Preexisting Conditions Group insurance, unlike private health coverage, has accepted people with preexisting conditions for many years. However, companies which offer group insurance have also been allowed to write exclusions into their policies which limited or exempted coverage for such medical conditions. To do this, they could impose limits on spending for some conditions, or completely exclude them from being covered under the policy. This meant that even if you were accepted by the company, your special medical needs could lead to huge out of pocket costs. Private Health Insurance and Preexisting Conditions Private health insurance is traditionally much stricter than group health plans. Because it is written for each person individually, private coverage may exclude preexisting conditions or be limited to those who are in a better state of health than the average person. In addition to excluding existing medical problems, these plans can also deny coverage to people who are overweight, participate in potentially dangerous activities or such things as being smokers or heavy drinkers. ACA Health Insurance Changes Under the ACA, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage for people based on preexisting conditions. This means that private and group insurers alike will be required to accept those who have preexisting conditions and medical needs. This portion of the healthcare reform does not become mandatory until January 1, 2014, but many insurance companies are already modifying their acceptance procedures. If you have a preexisting condition, you may already be eligible for coverage through traditional insurance plans. About the Author: Terry Wood is a writer for US Insurance Agents. She works hard to help provide a fresh perpsective to insurance, personal finance and related topics.