|I've had continuous coverage; don't insurance companies have to take me?
||If someone goes without insurance for more than 62 days, then the new company CAN apply a pre-existing condition provision to their new plan that states "Anything you've been treated for in the past six months will not be covered for one year." After the year, the insurance company has to start paying for everything. This is regardless of what type of plan you're coming or going (Group or Individual plan).
If someone has continuous coverage (no break of more than 62 days), than the new company CAN NOT apply a pre-existing condition provision to their new plan. If going to a Group plan, the new insurance company has to take the new person (regardless of medical conditions) and pay everything from day 1. If going to an Individual plan, things are different. Insurance companies can raise rates, permanently exclude specific medical conditions or outright decline you based upon your medical history. The laws that govern Individual health insurance are more flexible for insurance companies than those that surround Group health insurance.
There are however several other state mandated programs available for those people who can't get Individual insurance due to their pre-existing conditions, but please know these are VERY expensive as the only people signing up for these plans can't get coverage elsewhere and typically have lots of medical issues (which leads to lots of claims; which leads to high rates).