Medical insurance is an important precaution that one cannot
afford live without. Being the main earning member of the family,
your interests lie in the protection of your family against
unforeseen circumstances such as illness or injury. Before choosing
a particular insurance policy, a detailed evaluation of your
family's healthcare needs and your personal finances is crucial. If
you reside in West Virginia, you have the option to choose from
various product alternatives. The West Virginia Office of the
Insurance Commissioner regulates the legislature under which the
West Virginia health insurers can sell private health plans to
individuals and families.
While there are some individual HMO plans offered throughout the state on a guarantee issue basis, West Virginia insurance regulations allow for the use of medical underwriting for the issuance of individual health plan policies. The use of medical underwriting is a widespread process which allows the insurance carrier an opportunity to review the applicants past and present medical history. Once a review of the history has been made, the insurance carrier may then opt to provide coverage under the terms of the health plan; or offer modified coverage, with specific limitations and/or exclusions; or deny coverage based upon the applicant's medical history. West Virginia does not require that insurers offer credit for prior coverage thereby subjecting all applicants to a 24 month look back, 12-month exclusionary period on pre-existing conditions. Persons with qualified creditable coverage under federal HIPAA regulations are exempt from exclusionary periods and elimination riders. Under current insurance regulations, carriers are permitted to use elimination riders to modify the applied for coverage by eliminating, whether it is temporarily or permanently, the coverage of specified pre-existing medical conditions. Individual health insurance rates are banded and may vary plus or minus 30 percent of the individual indexed rate. HMOs with greater than 5 years in the market or with enrollment not less than 50,000, must guarantee issue during annual 30-day open enrollment period.
Search for plans and the costs associated with them using the search box above. We provide individual, family, group and student health plan quotes for you to compare on all states and zip codes. Remember that having coverage leads to a healthier lifestyle as you are able to get regular doctor checkups and therefore a low-cost premium.
West Virginia insurance regulations defines a small group employer as any employer with 2 -50 employees. Pursuant to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, groups of this size must be offered coverage on a guarantee issue basis, which provides that no group may be declined medical insurance coverage based upon past or current health history of the group or individual employee. Although credit for qualifying prior creditable coverage is required under state law, those applicants lacking prior coverage are subject to a 6 month look back, 12-month exclusionary period limit on pre-existing conditions as determined by the carrier. Medical underwriting is permitted for purposes of determining group premium rates. Accordingly, rates may vary by plus or minus 30 percent of the indexed group rate based upon the overall health of the group as a whole.
Although groups of 20 or more employees are regulated by federal COBRA regulations, West Virginia has implemented its own state mini-COBRA laws enacted through Article 16 of Chapter 33 of the West Virginia Insurance Codes. Under the state program, groups of less than 20 employees who, as a result of a qualifying event, have had their group benefits terminated may be eligible for continuation of coverage for an additional 18-month period. Coverage and benefits would continue under the employer sponsored plan, cost of which would be at the sole expense of the individual covered under COBRA. Conversion plans are available in place of COBRA coverage, or after the COBRA coverage has been exhausted. Access WV is the state's high-risk health pool that can provide medical insurance to those that are uninsurable due to pre-existing medical conditions.