Buying Individual Insurance for Diabetics

Not many are lucky enough to be insured either by the company they work for or through public programs like Medicare, which is why they resort to buying individual insurance coverage.  However, not all insurance companies are willing to provide coverage for chronic diseases like diabetes.  But there are ways to be able to purchase health insurance despite the obstacles being faced by diabetics.

In the case of the United States, it is the states that regulate the individual health insurance market.  Each state has its own set of laws as to who can purchase and what is included in the insurance coverage.  Many states, however, let individual insurers decide whether to sell coverage based on the health status, prior medical history, age, gender, and other characteristics of applicants.  This practice, called "medical underwriting," is where a lot of people get rejected either from chronic diseases like diabetes and HIV to even common ailments like acne.

Some states, meanwhile, consider medical underwriting as an illegal activity.  All individual health insurance policies in these states must be sold on a "guaranteed issue" basis with a single "community rate" as premium.  This means that insurance companies must never turn down any application for insurance, as well as charge premiums, based on their health status.

In other states, only a certain number of residents who have fulfilled a set of criteria (such as having continuous insurance coverage) are allowed to have guarantee-issued individual health insurance.  Meanwhile, a few other states designate one or more insurance companies as an "insurer of last resort," who must provide guarantee-issued coverage.

To know the laws concerning the individual health insurance in your state and where you can look to obtain coverage, contact the office of your state insurance commissioner.  You may also want to check out the health insurance coverage guide by Georgetown University.

Source:  American Diabetes Association