Job Transitions, Insurance Change

CURE, Summer 2007, Volume 6, Issue 4

A cancer survivor's health insurance picture may change under various job scenarios.

How a survivor’s health insurance picture may change under various job scenarios:

> Returning to same job

—This is great if the employer provides group health insurance. You cannot be denied coverage or have your premiums rise under federal law. If the employer doesn’t offer insurance, obtaining an individual policy will be difficult and expensive. High-risk insurance pools exist in 32 states, but are costly and can exclude pre-existing conditions.

> Moving to another job

—No problem if the employer provides group insurance. New employees with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage. If the employer doesn’t offer health insurance, it will be hard to get an individual policy.

> Moving to self-employment

—Difficult and costly to get an individual policy, and pre-existing conditions can be permanently excluded from coverage.

> Returning to self-employment

—Premiums, if you already have an individual policy, could rise dramatically, or the insurer can drop the policy or permanently exclude coverage for cancer, depending on state law.

> Retiring or becoming disabled

—If your company does not provide insurance for retirees, Medicare will cover you if you are 65 or older and eligible for Social Security benefits or if you are disabled at any age and have collected Social Security benefits for two years.

> Becoming unemployed or taking a low-paying job

—Medicaid provides health insurance for low-income people and families. Each state has its own rules about who is covered and how.