Archive for the ‘Montana’ Category

45% of Health Insurance Applicants Denied in Montana

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

In a recent study done by HealthPocket, they determined that 22% of people applying for health insurance coverage are denied.  This information comes from Fox Business’ article, “Health Insurance Application Denied? Here are 5 Options,” by Mark Chalon Smith.  Luckily for them, President Obama has made it mandatory for insurance companies to offer coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, so that number will be down to almost zero in 2014.  Until then, there are a few things you can do to try and get yourself or your entire family covered by health insurance.  Pre-existing conditions are the top reason why consumers are denied health insurance coverage.  Insurance companies worry that they will be taking on too much risk and will shell out too much money to cover those who are already sick.

Montana is by far the worst offender when it comes to denying health insurance applicants.  Close to 50% of those who apply are denied coverage.  Other states with more than 30% of applicants getting denials are Alabama, the District of Columbia, Arkansas, Alaska, and New Mexico.  One of the main reasons that these states have such high denial numbers is that they typically have fewer health insurers offering plans in their area, so there is less competition.  Individual insurers with the worst denial rates include John Alden Life Insurance Company in South Dakota, Time Insurance Company in Kentucky, and Assurant Health in Utah, North Dakota, and Idaho.  Assurant Health defends their denial rates by saying that they do offer some type of more expensive plan for consumers who were denied their plan of choice, so they weren’t denied altogether.

In New York and Massachusetts, the denial rate for health insurance applications is already zero because those states mandate coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.  If you don’t happen to live in those states though, there are a few ways to try and get health insurance after a denied application.  Try multiple insurers and be sure to ask if there is any plan for which you qualify, even if you were denied your first application.  States offer pre-existing conditions insurance plans (PCIP’s) which have to cover you, even though the rates will be high.  There are also high risk health insurance plans in 35 states that have to cover you, another option that could be costly.  Low income families can get government help through Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  You can also try to join a professional group like a Chamber of Commerce or union to apply for their group coverage.  Keep in mind that it will all be temporary until coverage can no longer be denied in 2014.