What to do if you're declined for individual health insurance

As things currently stand, individual health insurance carriers can decline applicants 19 and over whom they deem to pose too much health risk (in other words, whose claims they think will be too expensive). They can also exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage if they want to do so. Whatever you think of the ethics of these decisions, this is how things are. In 2014, that will change, though these things are subject to change as the political process (and/or the judicial process) continues to unfold.
In the meantime, if you don’t have access to a group health insurance plan and have been declined or are otherwise unable to get an individual health insurance policy, here are some options.
1. A short-term health insurance plan. This would provide you with major medical / catastrophic protection, which is the main point of health insurance after all. These plans don’t tend to have a lot of bells and whistles (i.e. doctor copay, drug card, etc.), but do provide solid protection against big nasty bills for a limited time period (11 months or so is the max). The tradeoff is that there is little underwriting (a series of 5-6 yes/no questions about things like pregnancy, diabetes, cancer, and that sort of thing is typical) and the cost is very inexpensive.
There are enough carriers in the market now with short-term health insurance plans that you could theoretically jump from plan to plan for a couple years, until things will completely change in 2014 (though this is subject to change as the political process unfolds).
The short-term plan I recommend and like best is here. The application takes less than 5 minutes and coverage could be in place tomorrow.
2. A limited-benefit plan. These plans provide help with some of the costs of healthcare but don’t provide catastrophic protection. In fact, they do the opposite. They provide upfront benefits but there is a cap on how much these policies will pay (hence the name “limited benefit plan”). It’s not major medical insurance, but it is definitely better than nothing. Learn more and apply for a limited benefit plan here.
3. If you’ve been without major medical health insurance coverage for more than 6 months, and have application for such coverage declined elsewhere, you could qualify for the federal government’s “pre-existing condition insurance plan”. We would be happy to help you apply for this plan if you’ll contact us.