Right now pre-existing condition rules still apply for adults, but starting January 1st 2014 that is supposed to stop and they will have to take everyone.
Some people like myself have pre-existing conditions, but they are conditions that increase our risk of disease in later life (ie we have hypertension, obesity, poor blood lipids) rather than conditions that cost large amounts of money to treat right now.
Luckily with the affordable care act a federal system of pre-existing plans was developed. So if I move across state lines to find a new job I can still reapply for the PCIP plan. But that may get defunded soon.
But from an financial perspective, I do not think I will incur any major medical expenses between today and January 1st 2014, during that period I’d pay premiums but collect far less than I’d pay since I’d be looking at high deductible plans. So what motive is there to continue to deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions that are cheap to treat, or that will cause problems long after insurers are forced to cover pre-existing conditions anyway? If insurers are going to be forced to carry people with pre-existing conditions in 2014 anyway, what does denying them for the next 3 years achieve unless people have expensive medical conditions during those 3 years?
Is the hope that when 2014 comes around people like me will pick a different carrier than the ones who rejected us?
Do they hope a political takeover in 2012 will result in allowing pre-existing condition bans to continue indefinitely, or that political leverage will remove that part of the bill (my understanding is insurers love the mandate to buy insurance, but hate the consumer protections. So I’m guessing they are pushing behind the scenes for that kind of system)?
Is the risk of expensive medical procedures over the next 33 months serious enough to drive them away?
I hate the US health care system, and have serious moral problems with giving my money to prop up this overpriced, immoral system. I think that is a bigger motive than many people realize as to the rates of uninsurance, people do not want to spend thousands of dollars supporting a corrupt system that will drop them once they need help if they don’t have to. I wish I could buy catastrophic coverage for a nation like Mexico and just go there if I get sick. But I’d still need my primary and emergency care done locally in the US. I’d rather get my medicines from Canada and my surgery in Costa Rica if possible. But if I ever did need expensive surgery traveling to a foreign nation can be hard.