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October 25, 2003


Question from Massachusetts, USA:

My 14 year old is covered by my employer's insurance, but I feel that my position may be in some jeopardy. As you know, diabetes is a very expensive disease. If we should find ourselves without health insurance, what are our options?


You are smart to plan ahead to make sure that you do not have a gap in coverage. You have many options available to you if you should lose your job with your current employer, but they will not be cheap. First, you will have the right to continue your insurance with your current group plan for up to 18 months through COBRA. However, you will be responsible for the total cost of the coverage plus a 2% administrative fee. You normally have 60 days from your termination to decide if you want to apply. You may also be convert your group coverage into an individual policy with the same insurer and without any preexisting exclusion or waiting period. Normally, you have 30 days from when you exhaust your group coverage to apply for conversion. For more information about these and other ideas go to healthinsuranceinfo.net which provides information on every state about the availability of health insurance and is sponsored by the Georgetown University School of Health Policy.