When Your Health Insurance is Dropped: Consumer Q&A
Say you’ve bought your own individual or family health insurance plan. Here’s a question: Can the insurance company just drop your coverage at any time? That’s the question we addressed this week on Yahoo Answers.
On the face of it, the idea of having your coverage simply discontinued may seem unfair. You might ask: Didn’t health reform make it harder for insurance companies to drop you from a plan after you get sick? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean there are no situations in which your coverage could be dropped.
Think of a specific health insurance plan as a specific product. The insurance company may offer various plans/products in your area – and the day may come when they decide to stop offering your particular product in the market. In that situation, everyone on the plan gets dropped. That doesn’t mean you have no options, however.
Here’s Keith’s reply in full:
You can lose your coverage for a variety of reasons. If you had a short-term policy, for instance, the insurance company is not required to renew it. And even if it was a regular individual or family health insurance plan, the insurance company may decide to remove the plan from the market, in which case you’ll need to find a replacement. If you have any questions about the legality of the insurance company’s decision, contact your state Department of Insurance.
First, check the information sent to you by your insurance company. They may have given you the option to move to another comparable health insurance plan. Even if they didn’t make you that kind of offer explicitly, you may want to contact your insurance company to see if they can move you to another of their plans. Sometimes the insurance company will allow persons being bumped from one plan to transfer to a new plan without undergoing medical underwriting again – that means, without risk of being declined coverage based on their medical history. If you have a pre-existing medical condition of any kind, this might be your best bet.
Alternately, you should work with a licensed health insurance agent to look at your other options. It doesn’t cost anything extra to work through an agent and it can help you get a better overall view of what’s available in your area.