To get health insurance with Hepatitis C you will need to get insurance through a plan that does not require underwriting, such as a group health insurance plan offered by an employer. Other options may involve group health care or spousal health insurance plans.
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Frankly, if you have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, getting health insurance will be challenging for you. Companies that require an applicant to go through an underwriting process before issuing a policy will not extend coverage to someone with Hepatitis C. To understand why you need to under stand what this disease is and its impact on the body.
Hepatitis C Overview
Hepatitis C is a disease that affects the liver. It is a chronic condition that causes scarring. Over time, the disorder can progress to liver failure in the patient.
This disorder is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood. To date somewhere between 270 and 300 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with it. It can be spread through blood transfusions and accidental needle sticks. People who work in the healthcare or emergency services fields are especially at risk. Getting body piercings or tattoos or sharing personal care items can put a person at risk for Hepatitis C as well.
Health Insurance with Underwriting
When a person applies for health insurance coverage, the company needs to determine the level of risk that he or she presents. Young, healthy people tend to pay less for their health insurance coverage than those who apply for coverage in middle age, simply because by that point the applicant is more likely to have health issues.
In the case of a person who has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, the insurer is going to consider the fact that he or she is more likely to make claims against the policy for medical services. The risk to insure someone with this disorder is too high for the insurance company to take, and the application will be denied.
If a person is diagnosed with Hepatitis C after a health insurance policy is issued, the company will have to continue to provide coverage as long as the premiums are being paid. The diagnosis of Hepatitis C means that the person may be stuck with their existing health insurance plan, unless they can be covered under a group health insurance plan.
Group Health Insurance Plan
One option for a person who needs health insurance after being diagnosed with Hepatitis C is to get coverage through a group plan through his or her employer. Everyone who applies is accepted, regardless of their current health condition. Since the insurance company agrees to take on all plan members, the rates for group coverage are higher than for individual plans. The person with Hepatitis C is better off paying more and getting coverage than not having any health insurance and running the risk of paying for major medical care themselves.
A Hepatitis C patient can also get health insurance coverage through his or her spouse or partner’s health insurance plan. Each health insurance plan sets its own guidelines for what constitutes a domestic partner. It may include people in a committed relationship, whether they are a heterosexual or homosexual couple. In some cases, the partners must be living together, but some plans will extend benefits to people in a long-term relationship who are not cohabiting.
There are some employer health insurance plans where an employee may add someone they have a close relationship with to the plan. An employee may be able to add a child or a parent’s name to the list instead of a spouse or partner. The plan administrator will be able to explain how the insurance policy defines those who can be covered under its provisions in the same manner as a domestic partner would be.
Another option for people who have already been diagnosed with Hepatitis C who are unable to get coverage elsewhere is to look into a state-sponsored high risk health insurance plan. The level of coverage offered varies, depending on the state involved. Many of these plans charge higher insurance rates for premiums while offering a lower level of benefits than other types of policies available.
A person who has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C can’t get insurance coverage from a normal individual health insurance policy. They will be denied coverage when they go through the underwriting process. They can be covered under a group health insurance plan, though. A group plan offered through a professional association may also be able to help someone diagnosed with this disorder get coverage as well.
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