What to Do If You Were Turned Down For Health Insurance

By | September 7, 2016

If you’ve been living without health insurance, you’re not alone. 15.9 percent of all Americans are uninsured as reported by the UHF (United Health Foundation). Sadly, sometimes even when people are trying to be financially and socially responsible they’ll find that they’re unable to qualify for a health insurance policy.

According to survey by U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 60 percent of the population gets health insurance in the form of group policies through their employer. There are other people who get covered by government-sponsored health care, such as children, the elderly, and those with low incomes. Until recently, however, those outside of these groups were largely at the mercy of the policies of for-profit insurance companies when it came to whether they could get coverage.

If initially turned down, ask again or apply with another insurance provider

If you find that you’re in this group that has difficulty getting coverage, the first thing you should do is to try to find out what happened. In some cases, you may be rejected due to an error on the part of the company. If the reasons for your rejection were minor, you may also still be able to get individual insurance through another company. However, if you have a major pre-existing condition such as Cancer or Diabetes, it’s unlikely that any insurance company will consider you a good risk and you’ll have to seek out other options.

State high risk health insurance pools as an option

It is for this reason that a national high-risk insurance pool will be created within 90 days following the passage of the March 2010 Health Care Reform Act for people with existing medical conditions. The pool is backed by $5 billion in federal subsidies, and will offer subsidized premiums to people who have been uninsured for at least six months and have medical problems that have resulted in their being rejected from other insurance options. In some cases these risk pools will be run through the state governments. Either way, the law says that these pools will remain available until the new health care reforms have fully taken effect in 2014.

Prior to this legislation, high risk pools were already available in 34 states and covered 183,000 citizens. From the perspective of someone who wants a policy, the important thing to note is that the quality of coverage offered can vary widely depending on the attitude and policies of the state offering them. Some states are just more generous than others in programs like this, and if you believe that you’re likely to need to use your health care policy regularly, it’ll be worth your while to get a sense of the kind of coverage that your state offers. You should also remember that even though you’ll already be paying higher premiums than a typical insurance plan, you’ll still have to make sure you have enough money in reserve to cover deductibles and co-payments or health care will be as unattainable to you as ever.

In extreme cases, if you find your state’s high risk pool to be a completely unacceptable option, you still have choices but none of them are easy. If you’ve been working at running your own business or at a small business, you may be able to get into a group plan if you can find employment at a large company. In an extreme case, if you know that another state offers a high risk pool option that would work for you, and you have the means to do it (such as family in that area), you could even consider relocating.

State risk pools and where to contact them

Alabama Insurance Plan

Toll-free 1-800-513-1384 or (334) 353-8924

Alaska Comprehensive Insurance Association

Toll-free 1-888-290-0616

Arkansas Comprehensive Insurance Plan

Toll-free 1-800-285-6477

California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program

Toll-free 1-800-289-6574 or (916) 324-4695

CoverColorado

(303) 863-1960 or toll-free 1-866-787-9129 (M-F 8am-5pm)

Connecticut Health Reinsurance Association

Toll-free 1-800-842-0004 (M-F 9am-4pm EST)

Florida Comprehensive Health Association (closed to new enrollees since 1991)

(850) 309-1200

Idaho Individual High Risk Reinsurance Pool

(link is to a PDF on program)

Toll-free 1-800-721-3272 (In-state only)

Illinois Comprehensive Insurance Plan

Toll-free 1-866-851-2751 (in-state only) or (217) 782-6333

Indiana Comprehensive Health Association (click “guest” for access, then choose “ICHIA”)

Toll-free 1-800-552-7921 or (317) 614-2000

Health Insurance Plan of Iowa

Toll-free 1-877-793-6880 (M-F 8am-5pm CST)

Kansas Insurance Association

Toll-free 1-800-362-9290 (M-F 8am-5pm)

Kentucky Access

Toll-free 1-866-405-6145

Louisiana Health Plan

Toll-free 1-800-736-0947 or (504) 926-6245

Maryland Insurance Plan

Toll-free 1-888-444-9016 (M-F 8am-5pm)

Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association

Toll-free 1-866-894-8053

Mississippi Comprehensive Health Risk Pool

Toll-free 1-888-820-9400

Montana Comprehensive Health Association

Toll-free 1-800-447-7828

Nebraska Comprehensive Insurance Pool

(402) 343-3574 or toll-free 1-877-348-4304 (M-F 8am-4:30pm)

New Hampshire Health Plan

Toll-free 1-877-888-6447

New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool

(505) 622-4711

North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool (NCHIRP)

Toll-free 1-866-665-2117

Comprehensive Health Association of North Dakota (North Dakota health insurance risk pool)

Toll-free 1-800-737-0016 or (701) 277-2271

Oklahoma Health Insurance High Risk Pool

Toll-free 1-800-255-6065 or (913) 362-0040

Oregon Medical Insurance Pool

Toll-free 1-800-848-7280 or (503) 225-6620 (M-F 8am-5pm)

South Carolina Insurance Pool

Toll-free Phone 1-800-868-2500, ext. 42757, or 1-803-788-0500, ext. 42757

South Dakota Risk Pool

605-773-3148 (ask for a Risk Pool representative)

Tennessee’s Tenncare Program

1-888-486-9355

Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool

1-888-398-3927

Utah Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool

Toll-free 1-800-705-9173 or (801) 442-6660

Washington State Health Insurance Pool

Toll-free 1-800-877-5187

West Virginia Health Insurance Plan

1-866-445-8491

Wisconsin Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan

Toll-free 1-800-828-4777

Wyoming Health Insurance Pool

(307) 634-1393

Mark Anderson is a serial entrepreneur and a self-studied expert in buying individual health insurance [http://www.buyingindividualhealthinsuranceblog.com] and small business health insurance plans. Mark has started, operated and sold several businesses ranging from being a solo-entrepreneur to building a small businesses into a 35 person organization. Through this process Mark has become an expert in the field of medical health insurance for individuals and small business.