Quote from Asklepios
This is a topic of great interest to me. When I start NS in September, I will be quitting a job that provides an excellent group plan (Blue Cross/Blue Shield, no need for primary physicians, etc.). My contribution is higher than, say, a government employee might pay, but overall it's not bad.
My other concern is that I have been dealing with an ongoing situation over the last year that I think insurance companies would probably consider chronic, and they usually charge more for people with pre-existing chronic conditions.
My plan is to hopefully get COBRA to keep the benefits I have for as long as it will allow, then switch to a plan sponsored by the college. I'm just hoping there will not be any obstacles to doing this.
Maybe this will help (hopefully it's not false hope) - the insurance we have through Duke is a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan with a flat rate and is considered a group plan (like an employer's is). I have asthma; the only thing they did was impose a 30 day waiting period b/f they'd cover anything related to that.
I just made sure I was well stocked up on my drugs and was extra-careful (of course, I could still go to Student Health for free, I just couldn't get meds right away). I had no problems and pay the same rate as everyone else.
Also - our school plan isn't perfect, but it's adequate. I cut my finger last semester and had to get stitches in the ED; the bill (for five stitches!) was over $2000 and we only paid $180. Yes, a chunk of change, but it was better than facing the $2K! So I was relatively happy with that (after I wrote the check, mind you...
Find out who the plan provider is and call them; you don't have to give your name though you'll probably have to tell them what school. Tell them you don't have a plan yet but you're exploring your options. Ask them what parameters are required for a "chronic" condition and ask them about any waiting periods.