Extending Medical Coverage Upon Relocation

Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
My father has lung cancer and lives in New York with my mother. He has been out of work for two years. My mother is employed and has insurance that covers both of them.

My wife and I and their only grandchild live in Ohio. My father desperately wants to move to Ohio for his limited time. We checked into a lot of companies and most don't cover the spouse for 1 year with a pre-existing condition.

This really doesn't sound fair. I know that my father could elect COBRA, which is real expensive. Is there any other way?

Unfortunately there will not be many options beyond extending your father's current coverage through the COBRA option. One other possible alternative would be to determine if your father would be eligible for coverage through the Medical Assistance Program, or Medicaid. Eligibility criteria differ do differ by state. Be sure to inquire if the respective state offers a "Spend Down Program". The Spend Down Program serves to ease Medicaid eligibility criteria by accounting for an individual's prospective financial burden.