Friday, September 16, 2011

Dangerous Carrier Games

In addition to a great speaker, yesterday's festivities included a kind of "Expo" where one could meet with representatives of various carriers and other vendors. The gentleman from Assurant (nee: Time Insurance) touted their recently revamped "Access" program. It's essentially a simplified (as opposed to guaranteed) issue mini-med type program.

Here's the problem: he told me that the company recommends this plan for folks waiting to hop on the PCIP wagon.


Well, he continued, since it's not considered "creditable coverage" it doesn't count as "insurance."


A very simple search of the Ohio PCIP site yields this:

"To qualify for the Ohio High Risk Pool, you must meet the following eligibility criteria, as established by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services:

•Be uninsured for six months prior to the date you apply for coverage;"

Do you see the phrase "have creditable coverage" anywhere?

Me, either.

So, I contacted the folks running the Ohio PCIP initiative to confirm whether or not this was accurate.

Turns out, it is: as long as whatever plan one has is not "creditable," then it doesn't count.

Still, I'm a bit leery of this idea, and here's why:

The most generous mini-med I've seen includes a 6 month (sound familiar?) wait for pre-existing conditions
(and the Access plan's is 12). So one is still gambling on any such condition, which would most likely be the one causing one to be uninsurable in the first place.

I think an agent would have to be very careful about pitching this, and I'm a bit surprised that any top tier carrier would be recommending their agents do so.
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