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January 29, 2004

Insurance/Costs

Question from Middletown, Maryland, USA:

My husband lost his health insurance prior to finding out he had diabetes. He had suffered several heartattacks and went through a period where he did not know what he was doing at the time. There was no one around him at that time to help him with the things he needed help with so many of his bills went unpaid. Now he is stuck in the predictament of no insurance and I am unable to find a private insurance policy for him anywhere because of this pre-existing condition. We are having to buy all his strips, supplies and medication. At times it is hard but we always manage. Is there an insurance out there that you know of that accepts pre-existing or any groups out there that assist in purchasing supplies? I would really appreciate any help that you guys could give us.

Answer:

The State of Maryland has established a health insurance program for adults that do not have access to health insurance. It specifically will offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or cardiac illness. While the premiums are not cheap, it does provide comprehensive coverage with no waiting period for preexisting conditions. For more information please go to the Maryland Health Insurance Plan web site.

DSH
Additional comments from Jeff Hitchcock, CWD Founder and Editor:

I recommend contacting your state and local governments to ask about insurance programs that are supported by the government. There are often high-risk insurance plans that will cover people who otherwise cannot obtain insurance. Also, you should ask about open enrollment periods for local HMOs. In many states, HMOs must accept anyone who applies during the open enrollment period, though these times are not well publicized.

JSH
Additional comments from David Mendosa, A Writer on the Web:

Please refer them to www.mendosa.com/financial_aid.htm.

DM
Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

I feel for your predicament. These options may be available to you. Many communities have a free-health clinic. Take advantage of that. In addition, most hospitals have a Department of Social Services. Contact them. They are geared to try to find resources that you may qualify for including disability, veterans benefits, Medicare, etc.

Contact the state medical schools. The medical universities often have programs for patient’s under-insured. Many are associated with community hospitals that have policies such that they do not turn people away based on financial need. Often they have some diabetes supplies or can guide you to their own resources.

DS