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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Another Mega Life problem

originally posted: 11/22/2006  revised: 8/15/2011 

Q: I am in need of health insurance to cover a pre-existing condition of migraine headaches so that I can afford to get my medications to try to prevent them. I had to quit work due to a headache almost every day. I am trying to work 3 days a week to and that is still really hard on me but I have been trying. I need health insurance. I took out Mega Health and Life and they will not cover my migraines due to 2 irregular MRI's in 1992 and 1994 or 1995. Then they say I declined an MRI in 2000. Well I did but the doctor said if my condition worsened - well it did not worsen - so therefore, I saw no reason to charge to insurance a cost of 1500 to 2000 for an unnecessary test. Please advise me of how I can obtain health insurance.

A: Mega Life’s practice is known as “post-issue underwriting” that will no longer be permitted under the 2010 federal health reform law. This means that they issue coverage without asking too many questions and then deny claims if the condition was pre-existing. This is worse than an insurance company that denies coverage in the first place and this is apparently why Mega is the target of so many investigations of market conduct. You will need to enroll in your state-sponsored high-risk pool until most your assets are depleted and then you will qualify for a government-paid health plan. Visit your local county welfare office for specific information and work directly with a well-qualified financial adviser to help you protect as much money as possible from health care reimbursement claims.

The Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010 contained provisions designed to eliminate post-issue underwriting and added another potential source of temporary insurance coverage through a pre-existing condition insurance plan. See the state-specific details available online at

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