This page was last updated on 1 October 2021.
Can I Get Health Insurance with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions In 2021?
In the UK, pre-existing medical conditions do not prevent you from taking out health insurance. However, it is possible that your health insurance will not cover your pre-existing condition or any associated ailments.
Typically, health insurance is designed to treat any new conditions which occur once your coverage has already started. For that reason, any pre-existing conditions should be declared beforehand and they would be excluded from the policy. We speak to Insurance experts, Get Indemnity, to find out.
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Can You Get Health Insurance With Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies are unable to refuse coverage or charge more for individuals with pre-existing conditions. This means, it is still possible to take out health insurance even if you have a pre-existing medical condition but you must first disclose what these conditions are.
These illnesses and any related treatments will most likely be excluded from your insurance cover. Additionally, most policies restrict when they are able to pay out for any treatment relating to the pre-existing condition.
It is always important to check the terms and conditions of any policy that you buy. Some health insurance packages today may be offered as part of your work, such as an employee benefit scheme, but this may or may not cover pre-existing conditions, so it is important to check.
What is an Example of a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition refers to a known health condition, illness or injury that exists before someone takes out a health insurance policy.
It encompasses anything you have needed medical treatment for in the past, including medication, surgery, consultations or any other public or private medical treatment.
Pre-existing conditions include, but are not limited to, illnesses such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, back pain, osteoarthritis and heart disease.
What Counts as a Pre-Existing Condition for Health Insurance?
According to health insurance providers, a pre-existing condition is any medical condition for which you might have previously received medication, advice, treatment or of which you have experienced symptoms, before the start date of your health insurance policy.
Some health insurance providers state specific time periods in which, if you have received advice, treatment or medication, or have experienced symptoms, need be excluded by the policy.
Most insurers classify pre-existing conditions as those which you have had symptoms for or needed medical treatment for in the past five years although often this is as few as three years, depending on the insurer.
BUPA, for example, specifies that any symptoms or treatment in the seven years before taking out your policy, will be absolutely excluded from the cover.
What Happens if you Fail to Disclose a Pre-Existing Condition?
It is important to disclose any pre-existing conditions as it could affect your coverage when you are making a claim.
Insurers can check up on your initial application and, if they find you have a pre-existing condition which you have failed to disclose, they could deny your application or any claims.
That being said, current law states that health insurance companies cannot refuse to cover you or make you pay more due to a pre-existing health condition like cancer, diabetes or asthma. They are also unable to refuse to cover treatment for your pre-existing condition once you have insurance.
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