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I'm a sufferer of Ankylosing Spondalytis, and a resident of the UK - my health care is handled by the National Health Service (NHS). Now in the UK seems to be increasing move to privatise it's health service, and there are scare stories about the UK adopting US like private healthcare scheme.

My question is do/did U.S. patients (customers) diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondalytis pay a premium, and is their health care more expensive compared to the UK - irrespective of the severity of the disease. Does Obama Care resolve any insurance inadequacies?

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1 Answer 1

At this time, if a US resident with a pre-existing condition tries to buys health insurance privately, the insurance company will likely want to do one or more of the following:

  1. Exclude the pre-existing conditions from coverage for the duration of the policy.

  2. Cover the pre-existing condition after a waiting period of N months where N can be anywhere from 3 to 12 or more.

  3. Offer a policy with so large a premium that it will be out of reach of the customer.

  4. Decline to offer a policy at all.

Things are somewhat different if the customer will be getting coverage under a group health care policy from his/her employer. As I understand it, the Affordable Care Act will eliminate #1 and #4 above (possibly #2 as well), but I do not believe that the Act regulates the premiums that can be charged by the policies offered in the marketplaces.

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ObamaCare deals with all 4 of the issues, and currently #1 and #4 are illegal already, #2 and #3 will be outlawed in 2014 when the law comes to its full effect. –  littleadv Nov 7 '12 at 17:57
    
Actually since the OP has continuous coverage through the NHS he could get in with out any waiting period. That said the OP would probably be put into the high risk group which would fall into number 3. And @littleadv - It will not be outlawed the states will have to set up high risk pools to provide the coverage... not a single state has done this yet. –  user4127 Nov 7 '12 at 22:36
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@Chad, high-risk pools are interim solution, once the law kicks in, coverage cannot be denied, and prices will be regulated. As to continuous coverage through the NHS, the OP asks what happens in the US from the perspective of the UK system becoming the same, not because he wants to move to the US. Unfortunately my original comment disappeared, but what I said was that it is more likely for the US to move towards the UK system than the other way around, as nowhere in the world other than the US elected officials would stay in office after allowing the poor and sick to die. –  littleadv Nov 7 '12 at 22:44
    
And even in the US, only the small minority of the tea party folks openly suggest to let people who are poor to die, everyone else agrees that the health system in the US is insane. I wouldn't worry if I were in the OP's place. –  littleadv Nov 7 '12 at 22:45
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@Chad: "They only want business they can make a profit on" - that's the main problem. As long as its true, the healthcare in this country will be in a horrible situation. I can't possibly understand why someone would be allowed to make profit on someone else's life or death, but that's just me. In any way, there's no chance it will happen in Europe. I hope at some point we'll have health system where the decision whether a person lives or dies is not based on how much money he has, as they have. –  littleadv Nov 8 '12 at 18:25

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