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How do you get health insurance if you suffer from depression?

I have a friend who’s been turned down for salary protection because he was once treated with depression. He’s afraid now that he’s becoming self-employed he’s going to have trouble getting health insurance. Is there anything he should be doing to get covered?

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6 Responses to “How do you get health insurance if you suffer from depression?”

  1. trippystemny said :

    There are lots of insurance companies that cover mental illness, including Compsych and UBH (united behavioral health). Tell him to check those out.

  2. sunshinebear said :

    I’ve never been turned down and always been open about my propensity for depression. i had bcbs. It could be that he has to pay a little more, but depression isn’t the stamp of denial that, say, cancer, is. his last employer might have just had a really crappy plan. he might have to pay a little more than your average, never been sick adult.

  3. Kris L said :

    Tell your friend that he must ‘look’ at the ‘insurance plans’ … and he must have ‘good paperwork’ about his ‘treatment for depression’ … I’ve had malignant melanoma twice, and it’s possible for me to get insurance … but the insurance costs more than it’s worth (it’s well over $350 per month) unless I get admitted to a hospital. If your friend can ‘prove’ that his ‘depression’ wasn’t more than a ‘blip’ he may not be ‘charged’ as much for his insurance, but the depression will be considered a ‘pre-existing condition’ and that won’t be treated for up to one year following the contract taking effect. In my state it’s only three months, but that is one of the reasons why the ‘cost’ is so high for me.

  4. my2cents793 said :

    It’s my understanding that it is illegal to be turned down for medical coverage for certain things. Depression could be one of them. Is this friend, telling his/her personal medical history to someone who is not a doctor or covered by HIPA confidentiality laws?

  5. anna m said :

    Iam bipolar and also suffer from depression. I have never been turned down. I would advise him to not include it in the paperwork. Depression is such a changable disorder. You can be treated and never need treatment again. So there really is no need to say anything about prior issues to the insurance company. It is your doctor who will need to know the history. Many companies even offer free sessions with a theripist, so dont worry, I have never heard of an issue like being turned down and I worked for United Health Care

  6. SES21 said :

    I don’t understand the link with “salary protection” & depression but…

    If your friend is in the US & has been covered by employer-provided insurance, he should also be covered by the HIPAA laws & should be able to look at COBRA or conversion coverage, regardless of why he’s leaving his old job. Next, most insurance companies that offer individual policies have specific underwriting guidelines for how recently, & how, pre-existing conditions have been treated to decide whether to apply a pre-existing condition exclusion & for how long. If your friend’s depression was treated more than a year ago, then it’s probably a non-issue. If it’s more recently, he may just be subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion for some period of time. Some companies also “rate up” (read: raise) their premiums for people who have pre-x exclusions but it’s typically not a huge increase. I’d suggest he look into HIPAA & get prices from a few different insurance companies to find the best deal. If he’s in the US, he’s not uninsurable – it just may be more than he’s willing to pay.


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