According to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, "health insurers may no longer charge you or your kid extra or refuse coverage because of a pre-existing health condition like asthma, diabetes, or cancer." They are also prohibited from limiting benefits for such condition. The law also requires that all children be covered by health insurance starting at birth.
Pre-existing conditions that would cause a carrier to deny coverage or place a limit on benefits include mental illness, drug addiction, and alcoholism. Carriers can still limit coverage for other reasons such as age or gender but not because of a pre-existing condition.
If you have a preexisting condition, it's important to understand what type of coverage you have. For example, if you have individual medical insurance, you cannot be denied coverage or charged more based on your medical history. If you have group medical insurance such as through your employer, they will be responsible for paying any bills that arise out of treatment you receive for a preexisting condition.
The only way to know for sure is to ask the insurance company what coverage you have. If they won't tell you, call the Department of Health and Human Services at 800-318-2596.
Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are examples of conditions. Health insurance companies are not allowed to reject coverage or charge more for pre-existing diseases under the Affordable Care Act. However, health plans can set their own policies on what other benefits they offer. For example, some plans may have a cap on how much they will pay in lifetime limits. Others may limit coverage to only a certain number of visits per year or require you to wait period after period before your coverage is reinstated.
If you have a pre-existing condition, it's important to understand that there are several options for patients to continue getting care despite not having medical insurance. In fact, many people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease use the Medicaid program as well as private insurers to receive treatment from doctors and hospitals.
For those who remain uninsured because they cannot afford coverage, there are public programs available to help cover the cost of medical treatments. These include Medicare, which provides health insurance for Americans over age 65; and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides coverage for children from low-income families.
Finally, some people choose not to get sick by not taking risks that could lead to illness.
Yes. According to the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies cannot refuse to cover you or charge you extra just because you have a "pre-existing condition"—that is, a health problem that existed prior to the start date of new health coverage. They are not required to cover pre-existing conditions. However, if this is something that concerns you, it's best to find out about any limitations on insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions before they expire. You can do this by reading your policy documents carefully and asking questions if anything seems unclear.
In addition, under the law, if you are covered by a group health plan and there is ever a time when you are not covered because of a preexisting condition, your company must offer you coverage under its individual market plan or its Medicare Advantage plan. If your employer offers only group health plans, then it is not required to provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. But most companies that hire individuals rather than work groups of people want to avoid the costs associated with covering people who get sick. Thus, unless your employer chooses to offer such coverage, you would not be able to get health insurance if you had a preexisting condition.