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Cholesterol and medical insurance

Cholesterol and medical insurance

Old Jun 23rd 2010, 12:01 pm
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Default Cholesterol and medical insurance

Hi, folks

I'm planning to move to the states and am waiting for my interview letter. As part of the medical the physician requested that i go for a cholesterol test which has turned out to be a little high.

I don't have history of heart disease or diabetes in the family so my GP said that I should not be hugely worried. Of course i am a little concerned so it's time to look at my diet as i don't want to spend forever on statins.

Anyway, my worry is that it will send the medical insurance premiums skywards so I wonder if anyone out there has any experience of what difference this is likely to make, and what I can expect?

I'd be very grateful for any information as it is worrying me a little.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

It will depend on how you get your insurance. Through an employer and it wont mean much, privately it may increase the cost, cause things not to be covered or stop you getting it from anywhere other than a high risk pool. It may also mean nothing.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Hairball,

Take a look at the Consumer Reports best Buy Drugs report for statins cholesterol lowering drugs. This was published in February 2007 http://www.consumerreports.org/healt...date-FINAL.pdf It gives you useful cost comparison information. For current drug costs check if there is a medical school or hospital library near you that has a subscription to a journal called "Medical letter on drugs and therapeutics". Some of these special libraries however are not open to the public so check if you are allowed in. If not, search PubMed.gov for recent articles in Medical Letter on the drugs you are interested in. Most articles in Medical Letter have a cost table so the more recent the better. PubMed has a linkout feature that lets you buy electronic access but it's generally more expensive than talking to your local public librarian and asking them to order an article through inter library loan which takes a few days but costs less. Point being you would at least have figures on the retail cost with which you could work out the per dose/course cost.

How much you would actually pay depends on what sort of medical insurance coverage you will have. It's still currently possible for medical insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, the recent health insurance reform act should mean such abuses are stopped in a few years when insurers have to start taking all adults after January 1, 2014. Some people currently employ strategies like buying their drugs from a Canadian pharmacy, or from an online retailer like drugstore.com, if you buy generic versus brand name drugs, go to a larger chain retailer such as a Walmart pharmacy, your insurer may provide a drug discount card from Caremark, you may save by ordering repeat prescriptions by mail.

As for what to expect, Medlineplus.gov is a good consumer health site for information about medical conditions. I searched for high cholesterol and found this article from the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute.

Good luck.

Last edited by Dewey; Jun 23rd 2010 at 1:20 pm.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by Hairball View Post

I don't have history of heart disease or diabetes in the family so my GP said that I should not be hugely worried. Of course i am a little concerned so it's time to look at my diet as i don't want to spend forever on statins.
This can be a temporary condition!

Oatmeal. A bowl every day. Do it. Do it for 30 days and then go re-test.
Oatmeal's cheaper than drugs and can be very effective.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by Hairball View Post
Hi, folks

I'm planning to move to the states and am waiting for my interview letter. As part of the medical the physician requested that i go for a cholesterol test which has turned out to be a little high.

I don't have history of heart disease or diabetes in the family so my GP said that I should not be hugely worried. Of course i am a little concerned so it's time to look at my diet as i don't want to spend forever on statins.

Anyway, my worry is that it will send the medical insurance premiums skywards so I wonder if anyone out there has any experience of what difference this is likely to make, and what I can expect?

I'd be very grateful for any information as it is worrying me a little.
I got my cholesterol down to 'acceptable' levels (according to standard guidelines) by changing my diet. I basically started eating a lot more fresh fruit, vegetables, salads, etc and also substituted fish for meat as much as possible. Not only did the numbers go down, but my enjoyment of food went up! I now crave fruit, and really enjoy salads and fish. Maybe once a year I'll go for a juicy steak, or McDonalds French Fries, but overall I don't do those things any more and I feel all the better for it. I just don't miss my old diet at all.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I got my cholesterol down to 'acceptable' levels (according to standard guidelines) by changing my diet. I basically started eating a lot more fresh fruit, vegetables, salads, etc and also substituted fish for meat as much as possible. Not only did the numbers go down, but my enjoyment of food went up! I now crave fruit, and really enjoy salads and fish. Maybe once a year I'll go for a juicy steak, or McDonalds French Fries, but overall I don't do those things any more and I feel all the better for it. I just don't miss my old diet at all.
Thanks for that, and thanks too to Meuxana.

I have been reviewing my diet all day in my mind and i feel there are changes i can make.

If one starts a policy with an elevated cholesterol level, is it likely that if i can resolve the condition that the insurance company will re-evaluate the premium?

what i really want to know is what's it likely to mean in terms of finding insurance. I would imagine with this being such a common condition that insurance companies won't be taken by surprise if i report this as an issue, but from my side of the world it's hard to get a feel for what to expect.

I will be getting the insurance personally as I hope to become self-employed when i get settled over there.

Thanks
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

About half the people I know are on statins for elevated cholesterol. It is VERY common over here and if it does have an effect on your premiums my guess (only a guess though) is that it will be small. Also when you came here you could ask for a new cholesterol test before you start your insurance, and if you've changed a few things since this test you've just done then that might put you back in the normal (even if it's high-normal) range.

Things like being a smoker, or having recently been a smoker will have a bigger influence on your rates, from my (limited) understanding.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Finding medical insurance for self employed new immigrants with preexisting conditions is possible, but it varies from state to state.

The health reform act mandated the creation of state regulated insurance exchanges that must include plans that anyone can buy into regardless of preexisting conditions, but the mandate does not take effect until January 1, 2014.

In the meantime I would suggest you shop around and get some quotes, then look up your state Department of Health website and establish who the insurer of last resort is in your state. For example the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA) sells health insurance to Minnesota residents who have preexisting conditions and have been turned down for health insurance by a Minnesota insurer. In Virginia, where I live, the insurer of last resort is Blue Cross Blue Shield and many of these types of health insurance are called 'Blues plans' as a consequence.

As you will be self employed you should be able to claim income tax exemption on your premiums, check the IRS website for further info. You should also be eligible to set up a Health Savings Account into which you can make tax-free contributions - the balance can be used until the end of the year then disappears so you have to estimate roughly how much you think you may need to pay out for health expenses.

Last edited by Dewey; Jun 23rd 2010 at 5:45 pm.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by Hairball View Post
If one starts a policy with an elevated cholesterol level, is it likely that if i can resolve the condition that the insurance company will re-evaluate the premium?
Unless you have an official diagnosis of hyperlipidemia then it won't play into anything. If you don't, you haven't been diagnosed with anything and you aren't being treated for anything so there is nothing that the insurance company can use against you if you are going private.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

I have high Cholesterol and am unable to purchase any kind of life insurance because of that and the fact I have sleep apnea.

I am successfully trying to lower my cholesterol using natural supplements along with better diet and exercise.

The supplements are Red Yeast Rice 600mg and Ubiquinol 50mg
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by oi.oi View Post
I have high Cholesterol and am unable to purchase any kind of life insurance because of that and the fact I have sleep apnea.
That seems a bit strange. I have had high cholesterol recently and I also recently purchased life insurance. (The life insurance medical results even came back with a high cholesterol reading).
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by helwardman View Post
That seems a bit strange. I have had high cholesterol recently and I also recently purchased life insurance. (The life insurance medical results even came back with a high cholesterol reading).
My total cholesterol level is currently 360
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by oi.oi View Post
My total cholesterol level is currently 360

Mine is slightly high, I've dropped it with diet (I'm allergic to exercise )
Don't take the meds unless it's last resort, they can play havoc on the Liver.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by oi.oi View Post
My total cholesterol level is currently 360
Holy Shit!
That's high.
My doctor got on my case when it was 236. I got it down to 209, then 202, with diet/exercise. I'm waiting for this year's results but got a verbal that the numbers were 'better'.

I don't know enough about the meaning of the numbers, but - 360 ... sounds like you should take action!
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Cholesterol and medical insurance

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Holy Shit!
That's high.
My doctor got on my case when it was 236. I got it down to 209, then 202, with diet/exercise. I'm waiting for this year's results but got a verbal that the numbers were 'better'.

I don't know enough about the meaning of the numbers, but - 360 ... sounds like you should take action!
Yeah i know and i am, my results were always borderline or high but all of a sudden the numbers doubled since my last testing 6 months ago. I even did a retest in case of a lab error. I get tested alot because of family history, my uncle died aged 30 during a game of football.

My last panel, just in case you thought yours was bad
Total 360 mg/dL
Trig 310
HDL 49
VLDL 62
LDL 244
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