Dear Addy: Open Enrollment

Dear Addy BannerDear Addy,
It is open health insurance enrollment time for my company. Do I still have to worry about qualifying for coverage because I have a pre-existing condition?
Open Enrollment Jitters in Minnesota
Dear Jitters,
The cold in Minnesota should make you shake more than the issue of pre-existing conditions in 2014. Starting in on January 1, being sick won’t keep you from getting health coverage. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prevents insurers from turning down or denying you and all other Americans coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or physical or mental illnesses or conditions that existed before your coverage began. Insurers also can no longer refuse to pay for otherwise-covered medical care and services due to a pre-existing condition or charge you more because of a pre-existing condition in the family.
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 someone you know has one of these plans let them know they can switch to a Marketplace plan during open enrollment and immediately get coverage for a pre-existing conditions.
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HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.