Saturday, January 25, 2014

Can You Be Denied Insurance Because of Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a range of feelings including sadness, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness, guilt, worthlessness, irritation or anger, and even restlessness. People generally feel low and aren't interested in participating in activities that usually gave them joy. The state of depression can range from mild to severe and include symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, digestive problems, and even attempts at suicide. The cause of this disorder is attributed to chemical imbalances in the brain and environmental factors. Treat generally consists of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes.

With effective treatment, a person can successfully manage their symptoms and even be cured of their depression. One unfortunate side effect of being diagnosed with depression is that you are at a higher risk of being declined for health insurance. It is a sad but true fact that even if you have been cured of your depression and it's been years since you've taken medication or had counseling, an insurance provider can still use this to deny you coverage. Insurance companies only make money when the number of claims submitted for payment is less than the amount of premiums they collect. Therefore, they try to only insure people they are certain who are healthy and won't actually need to use the insurance they are buying. Seeing a diagnosis of depression in your medical history causes a red flag to go up that you may be high risk, even if you are perfectly healthy.

There are several things you can do if you are declined for health insurance because of depression. The first thing you should do is continue shopping around for insurance. Using a health insurance quote website is a great place to start because you can get several quotes from different insurance companies all at the same time. This will save you a lot of time and effort in your search. Apply to the ones that seem to best fit your needs. There may be a company willing to underwrite a policy for you, though you may pay more or agree to a waiting period.

Depending on the state you live in, health insurance companies cannot deny you health coverage, even if you were diagnosed with depression, if you had health insurance for 18 months prior to your application date. Check with the laws in your state and then call the customer service department of the insurance companies if this rule applies to you. Another option is to get a cheap insurance plan and then switch to the one that fits your needs better after 18 months.

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