Monday, September 20, 2010

Postponing the Health Insurance Purchase

"I don't need health insurance since I am healthy". No matter how often I hear that it never makes sense.

The guy in the casket at the front of the church probably could use some life insurance but unfortunately it is too late to do anything about it.

Same for health insurance.

You can't buy it once you get sick.

Almost 2 months ago I was referred to a lady who would be needing health insurance when her COBRA expired at the end of September. I called and was told she was busy with other things but she would get around to it soon.

Over the next few weeks we had sporadic contact and then about 3 weeks ago she finally got serious about it. After going back & forth on options she finally agreed to complete an application for coverage. Even then it was a challenge to keep her on task.

Last week she faxed the application to me for review. The next day she emailed to say she had an exam including a colonoscopy scheduled for a few days later. We went through several questions, including questions about any symptoms or family history that might have prompted the colonoscopy.

She assured me there was nothing in her history but her doctor thought it would be a good idea.

By now the only thing we could do was submit the application and hope for the best. During the phone interview with the underwriter they noted she had filled a prescription for Movi-Prep . . . a medication to purge the bowels in advance of the exam.

The carrier opted to postpone taking any action until AFTER the colonoscopy. They were well within their right to do so.

Fast forward to today.

I got a call from her ex, telling me the results of the exam. They found 6 polyps and have sent them off to pathology and are awaiting the results.

Hopefully she will have a good prognosis, but this does put a kink in any plans for applying for health insurance. Now she will have to wait 12 months at a minimum, have a follow up colonoscopy and hope it is clear. Even then, there is no guarantee she can get coverage then.

And about that expiring COBRA . . .

Her only option now is to apply for coverage through the state risk pool.

Sometimes when an agent suggests moving forward it is best to listen to them rather than putting off a decision that limits your options.

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