Originally Posted by mknmuzic
My girlfriend is still living in California. I moved here first and after my move she was diagnosed with Lupus. She has systemic that effects here heart and has some brain lesions. She is working and paying for her own insurance in California but can't transfer that insurance to Michigan. Her doctors have told her she should not move while she is being treated. She has had a few flares caused by various things and it's been almost a year. She has been told that if she moves and gets a job that a group plan would have to insure her. I don't know if this is true or how to find out if it is. I took a huge pay cut to move back to my hometown in Michigan. My girlfriend would be looking for work in either Michigan or Indiana as we live near both. If she were to move and couldn't get insurance we may not be able to afford insurance and get a house as I am living with family until she gets here. If anyone has any information to help me find my answers it would be greatly appreciated by both of us.
The most important thing is to not let her coverage lapse! That means if she has medical coverage through her employer, and ends her employment when she decides it is time to move, she needs to continue her coverage either through COBRA, Medicade or port the insurance policy to an individual policy. COBRA is expensive but it would ensure her coverage continues, without a gap or change in coverage. If her employer has more than 20 employees, the law requires them to offer Cobra to allow employees to extend coverage. She cannot have a gap in coverge because if she has a gap in coverage of more than 90 days, she will be subject to Pre-Existing condition clauses with her new employers insurance (typically for 18 months). When she decides to terminate her current coverage, or leave her employer, she will receive a "Certificate of Prior Coverage". This is a document that shows she was covered under another plan, and the dates of coverage and is usually sent with the COBRA info. She needs to keep this document to show her new carrier that she had credible coverage for at least 18 months. Showing this will allow her to change carriers and not be subject to any type of pre-ex. Tell her to read her Insurance Summary Plan Discriptions. Look up COBRA, HIPPA, Pre-Existing, Portability in the plan so she knows her rights. California is an extremely employee friendly state, there are plenty of resources available to her if she just starts to look for help.
As a side note, I do not recommend that she disclose her medical condition to a potential employer. Some employers are self funded (they pay the insurance cliams themselves) and would see that as a major liability. Also, if you are thinking about adding her to your coverage, keep her illness on a need to know basis.
The most important thing you can do for her is to research this issue. Read what you can & know your facts & your rights. And Don't let her coverage lapse more than anything!