Reader questions – Will you need to fill out health forms?

A reader asks:

One item that I cannot find and would like to know is:  When a person applies for health insurance after the reform takes place, will companies be able to ask health questions on the application?  Also, does this reform prevent rating policies up for health problems?  These are two very important questions.  If companies can do this..the reform is not reform.  Thought you might have access to this information.

Nope.  No health questions.  No rating policies up for health problems.  That’s one of the reasons reform is reform.  From the Kaiser Family Foundation (italics mine):

How do premiums vary by age and health status? Under the status quo, people buying coverage on their own generally face medical underwriting, meaning that they can be turned down for coverage or charged a higher premium based on their health status. That is prohibited under the Congressional proposals. Premiums today also vary by the age of the policy holder, with the premium for a single 64 year old typically being five times or more the premium for a 19 year old. For families the variation in premiums by age is generally less pronounced. The House bill caps the amount that an insurer can vary premiums by age at two to one, meaning that premiums for older people would be lower than under the status quo while premiums for younger people would be higher. The Senate bill and the President’s proposal cap the variation for age at three to one.

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