Buying individual health insurance with a chronic illness

I have lupus and want to start my own business.  Can I buy individual health insurance even though I have lupus?

Start-Up Jitters

Dear Start-Up Jitters,

It depends upon what state you live in. If you live in Maine, you can buy an individual health insurance policy and the insurer cannot turn you away. The price will be based upon your age, your zip code, and whether you smoke. It will not be based upon your health status or past medical bills. There are several other states that currently have similar rules.

Starting in 2014, health reform will require all insurers to accept all customers.

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.