As a result of the federal health reform law, new protections for children and adults with pre-existing conditions are available. Insurers are no longer permitted to deny coverage to children due to their health status, or exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Additionally all health insurers have to sell coverage to everyone who applies, regardless of their medical history or health status. Also, insurers are barred from charging more to individuals with pre-existing conditions and are no longer able to exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Being sick doesn’t keep you from getting health insurance
Being sick will not keep you from getting health coverage. An insurance company can’t turn you down or charge you more because of your condition.
Once you have insurance, your insurer cannot refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions. Coverage for your pre-existing conditions begins immediately.
This is true even if you have been turned down or refused coverage due to a pre-existing condition in the past.
One exception: Grandfathered individual health insurance plans
The only exception is for grandfathered individual health insurance plans — the kind you buy yourself, not through an employer. They do not have to cover pre-existing conditions.
If you have one of these plans you can switch to a Marketplace plan during open enrollment and immediately get coverage for your pre-existing conditions.
Be sure not to miss open enrollment
You can apply for financial assistance to help you buy insurance through the Connect For Health Colorado.
Outside of open enrollment, you can still shop for insurance but cannot apply for financial assistance to help lower the costs of your plan unless you have a qualifying life event.
Pre-existing conditions with Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus
Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) also can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a health condition.