Switching health plans, pre-existing condition

After January 1, 2014 will continuous creditable coverage still be required for acceptance into any individual health insurance plans for people with pre-existing conditions?  Also is there a limit to how many times in 2013 I can switch insurance companies as long as I’ve had continuous coverage?  Could I theoretically stay three months with Kaiser, then go to Blue Shield for three months and then to a third company  — with my pre-existing conditions not disqualifying me for coverage, or being waived for six months.

California Dreaming and just past 60

Dear California Dreaming,

In 2014, insurers will have to accept all customers and pay for their care, no matter if the care is for pre-existing conditions.  The insurer cannot refuse to sell you a plan and cannot refuse to pay for your illnesses.

This is not true in 2013, as you know. Each plan that you join will check  your previous plan, and can refuse to pay for your pre-existing conditions.  In theory, you could change plans every three months and still be covered (pre-existing conditions and all).  As long as you did not have a 63-day gap between plans, all would be well.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.