Know All About Pre-Existing Diseases Before Buying A Health Insurance Policy

Health insurance policies have become a necessity in India, considering the fact that 1.73 milion cases of life-threatening diseases like cancer may be recorded each year by 2020 according to Down To Earth.

For people suffering from pre-existing diseases, especially, such insurance coverage is a mandate. However, choosing a comprehensive medical insurance cover can be a difficult task. Therefore, this guideline is presented to impart an in-depth idea on this issue.

What is meant by a pre-existing condition?

Any illness from which you have been suffering in the past is a pre-existing health condition. It includes consultations, surgery, medication or other treatments from any national healthcare centre or private care facilities.
These include:
       Heart disease
       High blood pressure
       Any back pain for which you required surgery

Availing insurance if you have a pre-existing illness 

Most insurance providers are slightly apprehensive when providing health insurance in India to people suffering from pre-existing diseases. It is because such patients are more likely to file a claim, which imposes a the significant financial risk to the insurance providers.
However, leading companies such as Bajaj Finserv offer a comprehensive Health Insurance plan with affordable premiums. This insurance plan provides coverage against existing and critical illness, accidents, and more.
However, the problem arises out of the various procedures that a patient with a pre-existing medical issue goes through. This could include refusal of the application, higher premiums, claim settlement issues, etc. So, if you are considering getting the best health insurance policy, here is a rundown of a few useful tips to start with:
Consider the insurance policies
It can seem challenging to avail health covers when you have a pre-existing illness. However, not all insurance providers are the same. Some leading insurers take into consideration your entire medical history when determining existing health issues.
A would-be policyholder must not refrain from disclosing to acquire cheaper premiums. Any discrepancies in the later stages can lead to cancellation of medical insurance policy or claim settlement issues.
Full medical-cover underwriting
The policy you can avail depends on the type of underwriting issued by the insurance provider. It states whether if the pre-existing health condition is covered or not. You have to furnish all the details of medical history and permit them to access the records. Using this information, the insurer determines their risk and determine –
a.      If they are willing to hand you over a medical insurance plan.
b.      Policy costs
c.       Illnesses that can be paid out and the exclusions
Moratorium underwriting    
Under this policy, you are not required to provide detailed information during the time of application. However, if a policyholder makes a claim, the insurer will go through your medical history and determine if they can pay-up for your treatment.
If the policy does not include any pre-existing health issues, and you claim for treatment of a disease you have been harbouring for more than 5 years, your insurance company could reject your claim.  
However, they can begin your coverage for pre-existing conditions after a specific set period. This is denoted as the moratorium period that lasts for 2 years. If a policyholder exhibits no symptoms during this pre-existing condition (of 2 years), your medical insurance plan will start covering for the condition.
Covering chronic conditions
Chronic ailments require on-going treatment regularly to assist you in managing them. These include:
a.      Asthma, Hay fever
b.      Diabetes
c.       Hypertension
d.      Glaucoma
e.      Skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema

Some health insurance policies pay off the costs of a chronic condition such as hospital stay, but you have to pay for the on-going costs such as medication charges, appointment fees, etc.
So, even if one suffers from a pre-existing health condition, he/she can still avail health insurance policy coverage. It all depends on detailed information in hand and choosing the right policy.    
Some of the best health insurance plans provide you with broader coverage for ambulance charges, hospitalisation costs, hospital room rents, diagnostic tests, medication expenses, etc.

Additionally, do make sure to check the claim process of your insurer. You can lodge a claim by contacting your insurer from the contact details provided on the official website of your insurance company. You can also get the contact details on the policy bond issued by your insurance provider. 

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