There is a common misconception by many in this country, that people who are denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, have never had health insurance before, and waited until they got sick to seek the purchase of health insurance.
Well, believe it or not, in our discombulated health insurance system, if you were previously covered under an existing employer plan, and then lose that coverage, for whatever reason, i.e. layoff, business closing or employer no longer providing coverage, you are considered to have never had health insurance, if you go to apply for it on your own.
And, if you have a pre-existing condition, you can legally be denied continuing coverage, because, in the eyes of the health insurance industry, and many ill informed people, technically you never had health insurance. Your employer had it. Not you.
Now some in the government recognized this, and enacted a program called COBRA. The program is intended to permit people who were layed off from their job to continue to purchase health insurance through their employer. (That is assuming they can afford it, which most can’t.)
But COBRA is flawed in many ways. Besides the fact, most people cannot afford the cost of the employers health insurance, COBRA only lasts 18 months (Note: some states do have extended COBRA coverage requirements), after which you are again considered to never have had health insurance before.
The second problem is COBRA only works if the business you were layed off from is still in business, and continues to offer health insurance coverage to their employees.
In other words, if the company goes out of business, or decides, because it is too expensive, to drop coverage for its employees, COBRA is not applicable, and if you have a pre-existing condition, you can be denied coverage because in the eyes of the health insurance industry, and many ill informed people, you never had health insurance.
So for those of you who think that everyone who has been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, never had health insurance before, I hope you’re a little more educated now.
And for those who think that is fair [you likely work for the health insurance industry], that is just another example of the lack of compassion, and profit at any cost, no matter who may get hurt along the way, mentality, so many in this country cling to.
My only advice to those is don’t get sick and/or lose your job, you’ll find out real soon just how screwed up the health care system is in the US.