Pre-existing conditions can make finding health insurance complicated. Depending on what you suffer from, you could end up paying higher premiums or be refused cover. Of course, this depends on policy and provider. Read more to inform yourself of what you may be entitled to.
Private medical insurance is recommended, though for some UK residents it could pose a challenge. Individuals looking for health insurance but who also suffer from pre-existing conditions may wonder if they’ll get cover.
The good news for these customers is that most insurance providers are willing to cover you: however, there may be certain conditions. If you are concerned that your pre-existing medical condition will affect your premiums or amount of cover, this is the page for you.
First things first: What qualifies as a “Pre-existing Condition?”
Essentially, a pre-existing condition is an illness or condition for which you’ve previously received medical treatment or attention. Among other things, this includes medication, surgery and doctor’s consultations. Treatment can be either from a private organisation or the NHS.
A few examples of pre-existing conditions are: high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, osteoarthritis, strokes and cancer. Another example is back pain for which you’ve undergone or required surgery.
Overall, health insurance providers will count symptoms, attention or treatment for something that has occurred in the last five years. Even if the diagnosis occurred more than five years ago, it will still be taken into account. Of course, the timespans can vary: for some, it is as little as three years. Others will count anything up to seven years ago.
Health insurance and pre-existing conditions: What you can get
Even if you suffer from a pre-existing condition, most health insurance policies are still available to you. Be aware, though: your insurer may refuse to pay any expenses concerning the condition itself. For example: you could have diabetes and take out a normal medical cover plan. If you break your leg, your provider will cover the costs of treatment. Medical attention specifically for your diabetes will not be covered, however.
In general, health insurance providers are different. Some may agree to cover certain pre-existing conditions. This is especially the case if they believe that the risk of needing treatment is low. This is why you are strongly urged to read the terms and conditions of your policy.
Are there any health insurance plans specifically for pre-existing conditions?
When seeking health insurance with a pre-existing condition, you should pay close attention to the type of underwriting used by your insurer. Bear in mind that with some providers you won’t be able to choose. As an example, full medical cover underwriting will let you know upfront whether your condition is covered. Before signing a policy like this, you must give extensive details of your medical history.
On the other hand, insurers may use moratorium underwriting. With this type of underwriting, you’re obliged to provide detailed medical information when you apply. It is only when you make a claim that your provider can examine your history and decide whether to pay or not. If they feel that it shouldn’t be covered, the claim will be rejected.
What about chronic illnesses?
Chronic conditions are issues that need regular, ongoing treatment in order to effectively manage them. For many chronic conditions, most policies won’t cover them. There are a few providers who do, however: usually for an extra premium. Conditions that can be considered “chronic” include asthma, hay fever, hypertension (or high blood pressure), acne, eczema, psoriasis (and other skin conditions) as well as glaucoma.
There are many more, so be sure to check with your provider when looking for a policy.
Where to look for health insurance with a pre-existing condition
If you’re looking for a health insurance provider and have a pre-existing condition, a few good options exist. You can also speak to a health insurance broker. They’ll help you to have a look over your financial and health situations and provide you with the right quotes. That way, you’ll be able to find a provider that suits your circumstances.
Always make sure you’re honest about your medical history and you’re aware of the options. In general, calculating health coverage is complicated and often has to go on a case-by-case basis.