Several years ago the Federal Government in the USA passed the Kennedy/Kassenbaum Law. This law required insurance companies to offer health insurance coverage to US Citizens that met several conditions. If the individual had been on group health insurance for 18 months, did not have a gap of more than 63 days in coverage between the end of his group coverage and his application for HIPPA coverage, insurance companies were required to offer him coverage.
This is a wonderful benefit for a person who has major health problems and would not otherwise be insurable. Without this option many Americans would not be able to get insurance at all.
But there are a few caveats. The companies that offered HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) were allowed to rate up the HIPAA plans by 400 percent compared to their regular plans. Also, if the person had not been on group insurance, they did not have to offer coverage.
We have found that sometimes insurance companies will offer the HIPAA coverage even if the person has not been on group coverage. We have also found that international health insurance companies will provide COIs (Certificates of Insurance) explaining the dates a person started and discontinued group or individual insurance. We have found that individuals seeking to go on HIPAA coverage have had little difficulty apart from the rates.
I should also mention that companies seldom rate up their plans by 400 percent. Usually the increase is about 200 percent over standard plans.
Always get a “Certificate of Insurance” when you discontinue a job or lose your insurance. And make sure you apply for further coverage right away. If you exceed the 63-day window, they can refuse you coverage.
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