I had health insurance for over a year through Golden Rule while working as a self-employed contractor. I transitioned into a full-time job for several months, and when that went away I reapplied to Golden Rule to resume coverage.
During the time I was on an employer’s health insurance, I did the right thing: went and had a physical. Everything came back extremely positive—blood pressure good, blood work good, low cholesterol, weight (ahem) within reasonable tolerance. However, I happened to mention during the physical that I had a heart murmur, a minor defect called a Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP). My doctor asked how I knew this; I mentioned that another physician had pointed it out to me about fifteen years before during an exam, and that they had identified it using a stethoscope. He asked whether I had had an echocardiogram to confirm it, and I said no, that my understanding was it was a very minor issue and had never sought any treatment for it.
He referred me to a cardiologist; I went. She confirmed the diagnosis with an ECG. Then I lost my job.
When I reapplied to Golden Rule, enough time had passed that they could not simply resume coverage. We had to re-apply, which we did. Because of the cardiologist visit, I put the MVP on the form.
And was rejected because of it. I was advised that I might be insurable through the Texas Risk Pool.
This is not meant as a sob story. There are many people far worse off than I. I was actually lucky—I might have taken ill, incurred a ruinous healtcare expense, and had them cancel me retroactively for this. My point is that if the dysfunction of our health care system can impact me in this way—although my health is actually quite good and I have a decent income—it can affect anyone. It can affect you.