Cover for your pre-existing conditions?
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
This is a little more complicated than a straight forward 'yes' or 'no', but cover for your pre-existing conditions CAN be possible.
New or Existing?
If you are brand new to healthcare, it can be a littler trickier to obtain cover for pre-existing conditions.
But again, it is possible. You have three main options:
1. Pick a 'moratorium' - if you start your plan on a moratorium method of underwriting, it means that anything within the last 5 years won't be covered for the next 2. After the first 24 months of your policy, assuming there has been no re-occurrence, your pre-existing condition will be covered. If a flare up does happen, the 24 months will be pushed forward, with the exception of a fixed moratorium.
2. Pick 'Full Medical Underwriting' - This means you'll have to complete an extensive form, but usually, if you conditions are minor and under control e.g. hypertension, conditions relating to this will be covered from day one instead of waiting 24 months. This of course depends on the insurer you chose and declarations that you have to make.
3. Either of the above options with an 'inclusion extra' - available through a small selection of insurers, you can chose to pay a little bit more to make sure things like diabetes are covered.
A lot of customers are of the belief that once a new condition has developed, you have to stay with your existing insurer. Unfortunately, they see their premiums increase, thinking that there is no other option. This is a myth and allows insurers to charge a 'loyalty tax.' Each insurer has a different set of criteria to allow a continuation of cover - this can be a combination of how long you've held the policy, how many claims you've made, when these were, if you have any appointments pending, if you've seen a specialist and even what the pre-existing condition is. This is something that an individual won't know, and you can't check for it on a comparison site - so we recommend you use a broker that has access to all the major insurers (some brokers only offer 2 or 3 insurance companies) and that won't charge you for a consultation. You can find these recommendations below.
Times when pre-existing conditions aren't covered
There will be times when cover just isn't an option - these can include, pregnancy, a chronic condition or when options are left off of your policy, like out-patient benefit, or cancer cover. Again, speak to an impartial broker who will tell you honestly what to expect.