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  • life/health insurance and screening

    [life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lynn (---.dialup.mdsnwi.ameritech.net)

    Date: 08-06-02 17:00

    Hi!

    I was reading the messages posted here. In response to one of the letters, Sarah B. suggested obtaining life insurance for the children in question (in the letter) and then getting testing right away.

    My question is- is it important to get life and health insurance before children might be diagnosed with HOCM? Will they be turned down for the insurances if they are diagnosed first?

    We have our three children screened each year for HOCM because of family history and some things that came up with our oldest child. Our children are 17, 14, and 12 years old. So far, they have not been diagnosed. Our doctor mentioned that if insurance tried to give us problems in case one of our children does get diagnosed, to let him know. However, so far they are covered under my husband's policy through work. I'm concerned if this could be a problem as they get older or get out on their own, if they do get diagnosed with HCM?

    Also, regarding the screening, Kathryn mentioned that HCM often develops in the teen years or 20's. She said after that, a person should get screened every 2-4 years as HCM can lay dormant into the 50's. My mother and her brother both have HOCM (actually, my uncle has passed away now). When my mother was first diagnosed (in her late 50s), my brother, sister and myself had an echo done and we were all negative for HCM. I've been told that since I was in my early 30's when I was checked, that the likelihood of getting it was quite low and I didn't need anymore echos. My sister and brother (both older) were told the same. The HCM specialist that screens my daughters has never mentioned that I should get screened again. He said that was good that my echo was clear for HCM. He ran an echo on my husband initially when we began seeing him, but that's all. He didn't feel I needed one since I'd been tested (he did see a copy of my echo tape). My regular doctor also said that it would probably have shown up on that echo by that age. Should my siblings and I continue getting screening?

    Thank you very much! I really appreciate any help you can give.

    Sincerely,

    Lynn

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lynn (---.dialup.mdsnwi.ameritech.net)

    Date: 08-06-02 17:09

    Oops! Sorry. I said that, regarding the screening, KATHRYN said that HCM often shows up in the teens or 20's. I meant Sarah (in answer to Kathryn's letter). Sorry for the confusion.

    Thanks,

    Lynn

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-06-02 18:59

    Dear Lynn

    HCM is an automatic decline for anyone trying to get life insurance or health insurance on their own. Small life insurance policies on the kids is a good idea b/c if they develop HCM later, they won't be able to get any more except through work. However, more and more companies offer portable policies that you can take with you when you leave the job, but first you have to get the job! You may also want to look into disability insurance as well for you and hubby --it is more likely for you to be disabled than die, actually, especially with HCM. Also, most work disability policies pay 40-60% of your salary only, so most insurance companies offer "gap" insurance to complete the lost salary amount.

    There are strains of HCM that don't show up till late in life, so it is the safer plan to get an echo every 5 years as an adult. This is a pretty new finding, I believe.

    Hope this helps,

    Sarah

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    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-06-02 20:37

    Lynn,

    Years ago it was thought that if your echo was clear up to age 25 then you were in fact clear. Due to advances in our understanding of HCM we now know that you can show your first clinical signs of it much later in life (60+ years in some cases). So If you have a family history it is a good idea to be screened every 5 years as an adult just to be safe. So YES you and your siblings should continue to be screened.

    Regarding Life insurance - it is not a 100% sure thing to be denied, but it is highly likely - - what is more common is the ins, company will charge you a much higher rate for the same amount of coverage. It is not because we think that the children should be insured due to the fact they will die...it is because it makes good financial sense to provide them with at least some level of coverage that they can have when they become adults. A simple term policy is fine any major insurance company can write the policy.

    Hope the information helps,

    Lisa

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Mary Catania (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 08-07-02 12:15

    Dear Lynn,

    Please continue to get screened, especially since you have a family history. My HCM showed up at age 58. When I was 46 my echo was negative for HCM. So, yes, it is possible to have it show up at a later age.

    My best wishes to you and your family.

    Mary

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-07-02 20:45

    Mary,

    Thank you for the input... it makes a big difference when those with later onset share their stories with other. It helps make the possiblitiy "real" rather than 'lisa refering to the "data" again'

    THANKS!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lynn (---.dialup.mdsnwi.ameritech.net)

    Date: 08-08-02 17:10

    Hi!

    Thank you for the advice about the screenings. We were all told by different doctors that we'd passed the age for developing it, but both my mom and uncle were older when they were diagnosed. My mom was almost 60. She'd had an echo a year or two before that:it was normal. My uncle's HOCM became very severe before he passed away. There are some questions if it's also on my father's side now. My cousin (38 yr old) went into sudden full cardiac arrest and was found to have HCM. My aunt and uncle and the rest of their children have been undergoing testing; my aunt mentioned that they found "the same condition" in my uncle (my dad's brother) and started him on a beta blocker. Another uncle on that side died unexpectedly in his sleep from heart arrythmias (no previous cardiac history before that) and his son has been found to have cardiac problems that are quite bad. We're trying to get records together to see if it could be related to HCM , but so far, haven't gotten too far. There are some other questions about others too that are sort of scary.

    Can I ask about health insurance though? The information on life insurance was very helpful. Can our children be denied health insurance once they're too old to be on my husband's policy, if they would develop HCM? (Say if they found the HCM and then passed the age limit for coverage that we can provide them. Or if they had jobs and coverage, but then changed jobs as adults, will the insurance companies actually refuse to pick up a policy on them then? ) Is there anything we can do regarding that to make sure they have coverage when they're older, just in case they did get diagnosed with HCM at some point?

    Thank you very much!

    Lynn

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-08-02 18:39

    Dear Lynn

    When you start a job that has group health insurance, you CANNOT be denied for any reason unless you fail to join the group in the first 30 days of employment. And then..

    The Health INsurance Reform Act of 1996 put into effect a law that states that if you have been covered by insurance for the previous 12 months, you can switch health insurance companies without having the pre-existing condition clause kick in. So your kids will be able to go from job to job without any interruption in health insurance. IF they leave their job without having another one, they can go on COBRA until they get another job or a job with insurance. The 12 month rule would also be in effect when they are coming off of your family policy, so they should not have any gaps. You will need to look closely at your policy during their college years as colleges offer group health and your insurance may or may not kick the kids out of your plan if they can get picked up by the school --which is ok, but the insurance may not be as good (depends on the school).

    However, HCM is usually a decline for anyone trying to get health insurance on their own. Thankfully, since the kids are on a policy now, they should be able to hop from you to college policy or job policy to job policy on and on. Also, many states have risk pool insurance that allows people who are denied coverage by everyone else to be insured through a group plan through the state. It can be pricey, like COBRA, but it is coverage. Each state has different rules. My mom is on this due to her lack of job and lack of paying into Social security (SAHM).

    HOpe this clears things up and I know that Lisa will be correcting any errors I've made or adding anything I've left out since this is her "real job." (hr director).

    S

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-08-02 19:30

    Well Sarah you did rather well! a few items, It is not a completely a sure thing that a person will be declined coverage, they may be offered higher rates or lower coverage limits. The Health Insurance Portability act will help ensure that preexsisting conditions not be held against someone should they change jobs...THE KEY here you must not let you policy lapse for more than 63 days. I will be writing more on this topic and posting it as a page to the web site soon.

    Lisa

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lynn (---.dialup.mdsnwi.ameritech.net)

    Date: 08-12-02 01:55

    Hi!

    Thank you very, very much for this information!!! I've heard different things from different people. This helps a GREAT deal and is a big relief that children can't lose the possibility of coverage if they are diagnosed under the parents' policy and then later try to get their own insurance once the parents policies no longer cover them due to age limits. (did that make sense?) Anyhow, that's some information we'd gotten. I really appreciate your help with this!!!!

    Sincerely,

    Lynn

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: life/health insurance and screening]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-14-02 15:10

    You are very wecome!

    Lisa
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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