- Thinking about the costs of cancer treatment
- Private health plans
- Types of private health plans
- Other things to know about health insurance
- How to manage your health insurance
- Getting answers to insurance-related questions
- Keeping records of insurance and medical care costs
- When you have problems paying a medical bill
- Handling a claim denial
- Keeping employer-sponsored health insurance coverage when you leave your job
- COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1986)
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
- The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
- The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990
- The Affordable Care Act
- Government-funded health plans
- Who regulates insurance plans?
- Health insurance options for the uninsured
- State coverage and health insurance options for the hard-to-insure
- Financial issues: Getting help with living expenses
- Getting money from life insurance policies
- Other sources of financial help
- Disability benefits
- To learn more
State coverage and health insurance options for the hard-to-insure
People with health problems have often been denied private health insurance or have trouble finding affordable coverage. The 2010 health care law does not allow insurance companies to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Starting in 2014, it won’t allow adults to be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Meantime, there are some options available for adults who have had trouble getting health insurance.
For a number of years, some states have sold comprehensive health insurance to state residents with serious medical conditions who can’t find a company to insure them. These state programs, sometimes called risk pools, serve people who have pre-existing health conditions. For more on this, see the section called “High Risk Pools”.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides nationwide standards and a guarantee of access to individual health insurance for some people who are losing their group health insurance coverage (see the section on HIPAA). But this doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to afford it or that it will cover what you need. Still, it may help a few people before the new rules go into effect in 2014.
All states are different. Some have special laws requiring that insurers offer health insurance to anyone who applies. This is called guaranteed issue insurance, and after January 2014 it will be required everywhere in the country.
To find out which public, private, or community health insurance programs best meet your needs, please see the “Find Insurance Options” tool on the US Department of Health & Human Services website, www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/understanding/options/. This tool was created to help consumers through the Affordable Care Act. You can also call your American Cancer Society for answers to your insurance questions. Other resources that may be helpful are listed in the “To learn more” section.
Last Medical Review: 06/24/2013
Last Revised: 08/05/2013