Pre-existing condition health insurancehealth insurance with pre existing conditions

  • How to choose health insurance with a pre-existing condition
  • Understand how pre-existing medical conditions affect insurance
  • Review options to choose the best health care cover for you
  • Free help and guidance on leading health care plans

You can get health insurance that covers pre existing conditions but it does depend on the type of private medical insurance you chose and the condition; therefore it helps to understand the options available to you.

In this guide: We will help you understand more about pre-existing medical insurance so you can choose the best private health insurance UK for you based on your medical history.

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is a medical condition you either have or have experienced before the start of your health insurance policy. This includes any disease, illness or injury for which you have received treatment, advice, medication or surgery either privately or by the NHS.

Examples of pre-existing medical conditions include:pre-existing health issues

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Asthma
  • Osteoarthritis

How does it work?

Health Insurance for pre-existing conditions works typically by excluding that particular medical condition for a number of years until you are classed as being ‘free’ from it, or by excluding it completely. There are some exceptions to the rule based on the severity of your pre-existing condition, which is why it is important to understand the options available.

With many private health insurance plans, you will be covered for a pre-existing condition that you have been free from, after an initial period of two years – known as the moratorium.  To many private medical insurance providers, being free from a disease, illness or injury means that you haven’t received any form of medical assistance for that particular condition over the last 5 years.

For example if you had a pre-existing condition that has required no form of medical treatment or assistance for the previous 3 years, then you buy a health insurance plan with a 2 year moratorium, you would be covered for the treatment of that particular condition after the initial period of 2 years, as effectively you have been ‘free’ from it for a total period of 5 years.

What are the options for health insurance with pre-existing diseases?

The options available for health insurance that accepts pre-existing diseases are based on the type of underwriting used, i.e. whether it has Moratorium Underwriting or Full Medical Underwriting. You can still switch health insurance companies by shopping around.

Moratorium underwriting

As previously mention, this type of private health insurance will cover a medical condition as long as you have been free from it for a period usually of around 5 years.

You do not need to provide any medical history when you apply as the two year moratorium means that you are covered for any new conditions once this period is over. Any pre-existing medical conditions would be included just as long as you have been free from them for 5 years.

As very limited information is required when you apply for your health insurance cover, the process is much easier and quicker, however medical information will be required from the doctor etc once you make a health insurance claim.

Full medical underwriting

With this type of health cover the insurance provider uses your full medical history when you apply to work out whether to insure you; the risk, what the plan should include and exclude and the price.

Basically it all boils down to the risk, which in turn means they may actually provide private health cover for mild conditions but any pre existing medical condition may be excluded, regardless of when you last received any form of medical treatment or assistance for it.

Comprehensive medical insurance options

Health insurance for acute conditions

Although health insurance is not designed to cover ongoing illnesses, there is often a form of health cover available for ‘Chronic Conditions’ with some insurers.

A chronic condition is a medical condition that is either reoccurring, likely to continue for a while or long term. These conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma or high blood pressure are therefore predicted or expected with no cure, requiring long term care and relief from symptoms; which subsequently means they would not be covered by health insurance.

Having said that, some health care plans would possibly provide cover for one off hospital stays or new treatment that could lead to a recovery.

Our advice

Finding health insurance for pre-existing medical conditions really does depend on your own personal situation; our advice is to always compare the market and speak to an adviser who will find the best deal to suit you

Our service through First Choice Health & Protection is free to use

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Updated 2nd April 2020 by Ashley Shepherd

Ashley is the founder and managing director at Over50choices. With over 30 years’ experience in financial services, he has held senior roles in building societies, banks and insurance companies.

Ashley Shepherd

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