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Re: [IP] Insurance

In a message dated 5/18/99 4:44:08 PM Central Daylight Time, email @ redacted 

<< I was chatting with the father of a 13 yr old diabetic & the subject of 
 insurance came up.  We'd both heard that our teenaged daughters will face an 
 impossible task, trying to obtain life insurance when they're no longer 
 "under our roof"; but he also stated that when his daughter's no longer on 
 his health insurance policy, that she'll have a very difficult time getting 
 health insurance on her own from an employer.  >>


I am not an expert by any means, but I have worked for a life and health 
insurance company for over 13 years, just as a computer geek, but I have 
learned lots...  

First thing to keep in mind, the insurance industry is regulated by the 
states so there are 51 different sets of rules around.  There are some 
federal regulations but there are very few.  

Life insurance.  You have some options.  1) If you happen to have a life 
policy on your daughter, or a rider that covers her, you may have the option 
to convert this to a separate policy without underwriting.  This is pretty 
rare.  2) There are companies that do not have any underwriting (health 
questions).  These companies typically sell small policies (less than 
$25,000) but are generally expensive.  3) Employers frequently offer group 
policies.  I don't know much about group but the places where I have worked 
(two different states) have never rejected me if I signed up when I was 
hired.  If I would have waited and wanted to join later, I would have had to 
go through the underwriting process.  Many of these can be converted to whole 
life policies with no underwriting (so it stays with you when you quit, 
otherwise you lose it).  4) Catch an underwriter on an off day.  Most life 
policies require underwriting to place you in a rate class.  This class will 
determine how expensive your insurance will be (remember, they don't want to 
lose money).  I have been told by an underwriter that Type 1 diabetes 
automatically places you in a class 8 which is an outrageously high premium.  
(Think as non-smoker non-diabetic as class 1).  My own company offered to 
insure me, at double the premium I would have had to pay had I been 

I was told (by a trusted underwriter) that they do have bad days.  My only 
hope would be to apply for insurance, never lie about the diabetes (they 
could rescind the policy-no proceeds-if they found out), and hope that the 
underwriter doesn't catch it.  The problem with this is that if you are ever 
rejected by an insurance company, you have been "marked" in the nation 
database that most insurance companies use.

Health insurance is really a state by state case on what coverage the state 
requires, who they can decline insurance to and how they deal with pre 
existing conditions.  (Is it a federal regulation about continuous 
coverage?).  Diabetics have a terrible time getting individual health 
policies and if they can find them, they are extremely expensive (again 
remember they don't want to lose money and we are pretty high maintenance).  
The best bet is to be part of a group policy where there is no underwriting 
(through an employer is typical, but there are other groups (like fraternal 
organizations, etc.).  If you quit, the employer has to allow you to continue 
your insurance coverage (you pay all the premiums) for up to 18 months.   In 
the past, I have used this to carry over my "old" policy while I was still 
under the 12month non coverage of preexisting conditions clause of my new 

It's not hopeless but it has limited my career and job choices.  Sad, but I 
am just as concerned about the insurance package as I am about the actual 
job.  But the regards are great, I have wonderful insurance coverage. 

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