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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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Self-employed Health Insurance in Florida

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: I am about to leave a job with good health coverage in order to move to FL and fulfill a dream to start my own business. I am 46, slim, and health conscious, and have applied to United Health for individual health insurance but suspect I will be declined on the basis of: 1) Monthly medication for high blood pressure 2) A medical premium that was increased due to a melanoma that I had in 1990. My premium was increased for a period of 5 years and returned to normal after that. 3) I was turned down for disability insurance 5 years ago because I experienced a period of anxiety. I admitted that I had discussed this anxiety with my doctor so MIB now has me down as suffering from "anxiety disorder" even though it was just for a few months and went away quickly. I have been trying to find an alternative to conventional health insurance. I am not concerned about regular doctor's visit or even my monthly blood pressure medication, but more about hospital treatment or if I should ever need care for expensive or catastrophic events. Are there any other viable options for me?

A: There is nothing in your question to indicate that you would not qualify for high quality medical insurance at standard rates if you apply to an appropriate insurance company. You should immediately withdrawal the application with United Health if you are not absolutely sure that you meet the company's medical underwriting criteria. (You should never make an application for any type health insurance until you know for sure that there is no risk of decline). In addition, you may have appropriate concerns about the quality of this coverage. Controlled HBP is not a disqualifying factor nor is a melanoma without symptoms for more than ten years or anxiety treatment five years ago. According to reports from other readers of this column, United Health apparently has a bad track record in making medical underwriting criteria clear to applicants and there is a risk of decline. You should not take this risk. Once declined, you will be ineligible for better insurance plans for at least a year. If, on the other hand, you have already been declined for insurance, that is a separate and more serious problem in itself. If this is the case, then see information on "previously declined for health insurance". You can get a fast telephone pre-approval for one of Florida's best individual medical insurance plans by calling the (800) number listed on the contacts page at . These Celtic Insurance options include high deductible plans that qualify you for a health savings account. If you cannot be approved by Celtic or the other plans listed on, then please follow-up with more detail. (There is no risk in making an online application to any of these listed plans since the application results are not reported to the Medical Information Bureau).


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