Health insurance with pre-existing conditions

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January 23, 2023
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If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may still find policies available on the UK market that covers you for your health needs. However, the policies offered to you may exclude treatments and services that relate to any pre-existing medical conditions you’ve suffered from. Find out some helpful information about getting health insurance with a pre-existing condition by reading our blog below.

What is a pre-existing condition in health insurance?

Health insurance policies define a pre-existing condition as a medical condition that you’ve had treatment for, experienced symptoms of, received advice, taken medication for or were aware existed prior to your policy start date. This means that any condition that is known to you, regardless of whether it’s been diagnosed by a medical professional or not, is considered as pre-existing. Some insurers may only apply this definition to conditions that have existed in the 5 years prior to your policy starting.

Can you get private medical insurance with a pre-existing health condition?

In most cases, having a pre-existing medical condition does not mean that you can’t purchase a health insurance policy. You may, however, find that the policies offered to you have more exclusions when compared to someone that does not have any pre-existing conditions.

This should not deter you from considering health insurance, as you may still find a policy that meets your private health needs. As health insurance varies per individual and provider, we advise you to go through a comparison process. This aims to help you find the most comprehensive policy at the most competitive price, which may help you to make a better decision for your private health needs.

Will health insurance cover you for pre-existing conditions?

Understanding whether health insurance will cover you for pre-existing conditions requires more information. This is because every policy is unique, and different providers may offer varying terms to the same individual. Some providers may consider covering medical problems that are minor, unlikely to reoccur, or if there has been a significant period of time since you last received advice, experienced symptoms, or received treatment for that condition.

If you have a pre-existing medical illness that isn’t eligible to be covered, your policy will exclude any treatments or medical services related to the condition, and any other conditions related to it. Speak to a health insurance broker about how this works.

Chronic medical conditions

It’s important to note that chronic medical conditions may never be covered by health insurance, regardless of when you’ve experienced them. Chronic conditions are considered to be uncurable and require ongoing medical support and treatments. Health insurance aims to cover policyholders for acute conditions which can be treated and cured.

Will pre-existing conditions affect your premium payments?

The price of your health insurance depends on many factors, such as your age, lifestyle, location and more. Having a pre-existing condition may not affect how much you pay, as any treatments and services related to that condition, or conditions related to that condition, may be automatically excluded. To learn more about what impacts the cost of health insurance, please read our dedicated blog, How much is private health insurance? 

Do you have to inform insurers of pre-existing conditions?

When purchasing a health insurance policy, you may or may not be required to provide information about your medical history. This depends on the underwriting terms that are offered to you, and those you agree on.

Underwriting and pre-existing conditions

Underwriting is the way insurers exclude pre-existing conditions. You may have the option to choose between several underwriting options, the most common of which are full medical and moratorium.

Full medical underwriting

The underwriter will consider your pre-existing health conditions to determine what’s excluded in your policy. You’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire and provide detailed information about your medical history, health and lifestyle. This information will be reviewed by an underwriter who determines what you’re covered for and what’s excluded in your policy. Your pre-existing conditions may be excluded indefinitely, or the insurer may confirm they will review these after a set period of time.

Moratorium underwriting

You will not have to provide any information about your medical history at the application stage, your cover is simply subject to the moratorium terms. This means that you will not be covered for any condition that existed, whether diagnosed or not, in the 5 years prior to the start date of your policy. These conditions may automatically become eligible for cover, but this will only happen when you do not have symptoms of, or receive treatment, medication, tests and advice (from your GP, healthcare professional or a specialist) for that condition, or a related condition, for a period of two continuous years after the policy has started.

Policies on a moratorium basis are underwritten at the point of claim, which means that the insurer may ask for additional information from your GP or consultant at the time of a claim.

Unsure of which underwriting is suited to you?

Speak to one of our independent brokers

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How to get health insurance with a pre-existing condition

The first step to purchasing health insurance with a pre-existing condition is to understand what coverage policies in the market can be provided to you. There are several ways to achieve this, and we always recommend that you go through a comparison process with an independent broker, like us.

We’ll answer any questions you have and understand what it is you’re looking for in your health insurance policy. We’ll then use this information to compare the policies across the UK health insurance market before sharing our findings with you. We aim to find you the most comprehensive policy at the most competitive price, and we can negotiate terms on your behalf. Speak to one of our independent brokers today to get started.

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Jasmine Albano
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Jasmine Albano

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