Insurance Complaint - The Uninsured

Review by Starving College Student on 2011-06-30
I'm a 25 year old, independent, uninsured, full-time college student. My ankle suddenly got swollen a couple years and I thought it would eventually go away; it didn’t. After a few doctor visits, the only answer was the diagnosis of chronic ankle laxity (I have weak ankles). I exercised on a regular basis, and considered myself fairly healthy. I then experienced swelling on my wrist and fingers. I went to my school health center and according to my lab results I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. How did the previous doctors miss that? They suggested I get Medi-Cal to help cover expenses.

I went to CDSS to see if I qualified for Medi-Cal. I was rejected because I didn’t work enough. I’m a full-time student and my grades would falter if I worked any more than I already did. I would however qualify if I was pregnant. How is that fair? I would get help from the state for not knowing how to use birth-control and bringing a child into this world that I knew I couldn’t afford I could quit school and afford medical insurance. However, that’s not an option.
I have to go to a rheumatologist to get and official diagnosis. I have a constant pain in my hand, I can’t move my wrist and it’s hard to get dressed in the mornings. In addition to the swelling, I also have a debilitating pain in the rest of my body incredible fatigue. I’m in limbo, I can’t afford medical help and I’m uninsurable. At the mention of a possible illness, Blue Shield of California quickly rushed me off the phone. They referred me to California Major who offered me a $470/month plan. I’m a college student, where am I supposed to get that kind of money?

There is something seriously wrong with our system. I know I’m not the only one out there with this problem. I need help, I’m at a dead-end. What choice do I have?
Comments:7 Replies - Latest reply on 2011-07-02
Posted by saj80 on 2011-06-30:
If either of your parents have health insurance through their employers, you need to get added to their policy. Recent federal regulations require that employee insurance plans cover full-time college students until at least age 26, and longer, if certain requirements are met.
Posted by Churro on 2011-06-30:
There's no requirement to be a full-time college student. Pretty much anybody under the age of 26 without coverage can be added to their parent’s health insurance policy. There are very few restrictions. Consult your health insurance provider for further details.
Posted by Big Russ on 2011-06-30:
Unfortunately, you took the chance by being uninsured. Why should the rest of us pay for you not having insurance?
I worked a full time and a part time job to put myself through college and graduated with a 3.8. So it can be done.
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-06-30:
I'm sorry you are having medical difficulties. It's my understanding your condition is very painful.

At one time if a individual was insured, if without a lapse, all pre-existing conditions were covered when transferred to a new group plan. It appears you had no insurance at all and didn't mention how long it had been since you had insurance. You are now ill and need some assistance.

Once, a dependent child was under his parent's policy (if the parent had a family policy) until he graduated from HS or was a full-time college student until a certain age and I've forgotten what that age was. Churro is correct. Being a full-time college student is not a requirement anymore. If one of your parents has a family policy with his employer you probably can be added as a dependent. The premiums are often quite costly unless their company pays for dependent coverage.

Once you have insurance coverage it should be easier to swap to another plan later and it cover any pre-existing condition. Then you can contact your health insurance provider for further details.
Posted by leet60 on 2011-06-30:
I do believe the monthly costs of insurance are excessive in our country. As for the OP being a full time college student and stating "my grades would falter if I worked any more than I already did." Many full time college students also work full time and many have families to support as well. Perhaps looking at how your time is managed would help.
Posted by madconsumer on 2011-06-30:
this is so sad. it sows what insurance companies have caused the usa to become. inflated rates, and meds at high cost. if all this was lower costs, even college students could afford proper care.

as said, if your parents employers allow it, see if they can add you to their coverages.

very helpful review!!
Posted by jonthethird on 2011-07-02:
Many colleges have low cost policies available to the students

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