What should I do if I have a pre-existing condition and want a health insurance cover?

Mar 05, 2018 | 9 months ago | Read Time: 2 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

If you suffer from any medical condition before buying a health insurance, then such a condition is called a pre-existing one.

Saurav Sethi, a chartered accountant by profession, had a heart problem. But when he wanted to buy a health insurance cover, he noticed that most insurers were hesitant.

When he asked his friend Rego, he learnt that many insurance companies stay away from people with an existing illness, known as pre-existing condition in the insurance sector.

But Rego told Saurav all was not lost. He assured that  several life insurance companies provided health cover to people like Saurav, albeit under certain conditions.

So, let’s give you a snapshot of what he had to say about this matter.

Policies vary across insurers

Some insurance companies offer policies that cover pre-existing ailments, while others don’t. It depends from insurer to insurer.

Disclose any pre-existing illness

Don’t hide your pre-existing condition. Your claim can be rejected later.

It is also tough to hide your health condition as most health insurers insist on medical tests before you buy a policy.

Waiting period’s the catch

Some insurance companies do provide policies to people with pre-existing illnesses. However, they include a waiting period.

So, if something happens to you during the waiting period, you pay from your pocket. However, other illnesses that aren’t pre-existing will be covered by the policy.

And once you survive the waiting period, the treatment costs for your pre-existing condition will be covered by the insurance policy.

Shorter waiting period

Waiting periods are not the same across all health insurance providers. Some insurers may have longer waiting periods like four years while others may have only two years of the waiting period.

You can also pay a higher premium for a shorter waiting period.

But remember, if you want to shift to another policy provider, ensure that you complete the waiting period of the existing policy. Or you may have to start from scratch.

Keep calm and carry on

You don’t have to fret over every small illness, as they are not counted as pre-existing conditions. So, don’t sweat over a flu or a cold. These are not counted as pre-existing ailments by your insurer. Only long-term health conditions — heart problems, diabetes, low/high blood pressure, to name a few — are considered.

To conclude, don’t despair if you have a pre-existing condition. Like Saurav learnt, there are solutions for people like him. It is all a matter of knowing which insurer provides health covers to people with an existing health condition.


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