Ideally no one should be without health insurance, unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. Millions of people in the United States have either no health insurance or their coverage is inadequate. Laws governing health care providers differ from state to state.

Montana laws require each carrier to offer a uniform health plan that includes a 50% coinsurance, a $1,000.00 annual deductible a lifetime maximum benefit of $1 million, and a stop-loss maximum of $5,000.00. Coverages to be included under the law include durable medical equipment, hospital services, and professional services. There are no premium caps. Therefore, higher premiums may be assessed based upon health status. Typically, providers will establish premiums according to factors such as your general health status or your age. The exception is an infant born to an insured individual. Under the law, any provider may decline an application based upon the health status of the individual. Alternatively, Montana law allows insurance providers to apply an exclusionary period not to exceed one year for those with preexisting medical conditions. Such a rider may exclude the condition permanently. Providers may review your history over a three period prior to application to determine any preexisting conditions. Since Montana places no restrictions on rates, premiums may be higher for those with a preexisting condition. As you age or your health deteriorates, premiums can be raised. The good news is that, excluding disease specific policies, providers cannot refuse to renew your policy; the bad news is that they can raise your premium.

Fortunately, for those considered uninsurable because of preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, Montana offers an alternative to private insurance for health care coverage. The Montana Comprehensive Health Association guarantees coverage to uninsurable residents as well as those who have exhausted their group coverages. Any business with twenty or more employees is bound by Federal regulations to offer eighteen months of coverage under their group plan to any employee leaving the company who meets Federal requirements. When that coverage ends, these individuals may apply to MCHA for coverage. MCHA offers a choice of plans to such individuals.