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Question:

My daughter was diagnosed with diabetes as a young child and has always been covered by my company's group medical plan. She is now 23 and has been married for a little over one year. She takes 4 shots per day and has been in reasonably good health for several years. She and her husband have very little income at this time and the situation will probably not improve in the near future.

In November my COBRA insurance will expire for her. There is a conversion policy being offered by the insurance company but at a cost of $3300 per year. Do you think this policy would be a good option? The deductible would be $250 and the coverage would pay 75% of all costs beyond that amount. No dental insurance is included. I know I probably haven't given you enough information to answer the question but i'm looking for any advice. The only other option I have considered is to set up an account and put $3300 in it annually. I would then use that account to pay most of her medical bills.

Thanks again for any advice you might give.

Answer:

What a mess the Health Insurance industry has made of things in the United States!

If your daughter (or her husband) can't get health insurance through their jobs, they (or you) will have to really scramble to find insurance coverage at a reasonable price that will cover her diabetes as well as any future issues (like busted bones, or pregnancy). (The recently-passed U.S. law about preexisting conditions won't help, since it doesn't go into effect for a while, and doesn't prevent the health insurance vultures from charging "an arm and a leg" (that is, extremely high rates) for coverage for diabetes.)

We have previously published some hints that might help a bit.

Although I can't comment on the specific policy that you mention, I'd suggest that you contact several insurance brokers, and ask them to help look around. (The local chapter of the American Diabetes Association might know some insurance brokers to contact.) Your daughter will probably have to apply for several policies to find one company that will handle her insurance at a half-way reasonable price.

WWQ

Additional Comments from Dr. O'Brien:

In a recent computer article in the business section of the New York Times, there was an article on the fact that insurance agents are now being by-passed by the Internet; but the information was mainly about term insurance. Another address that was given for getting estimates from many sources is QuickQuote. It might save a little time and give an idea on prices.

DO'B

[Editor's Comment: At this time, it appears that QuickQuote is about term life insurance and annuities; maybe other internet resources are available? In the meantime, call 1-888-844-2783 (toll-free) for a free brochure about health insurance from the Health Insurance Association of America.]

Original posting 7 Sep 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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