Can I obtain coverage for Chronic Conditions
It is important to note that the development of a chronic condition is usually a sign of age. Traditionally it was uncommon for younger people to develop the serious chronic conditions (arthritis and heart disease for example) that were usually associated with elderly persons. As such, many younger expatriates may consider coverage for chronic conditions to be an unnecessary addition to their international health insurance policy. However, it is important to note that should you develop a chronic condition prior to purchasing a comprehensive health insurance policy, that the condition will then be deemed to be pre-existing.
There are a number of ways which insurance providers may deal with a pre-existing chronic condition; these include Exclusion, Moratorium, Coverage with Loading, or Medical History Disregarded.
The most common way for a pre-existing condition to be handled under an international health insurance plan is to exclude the treatment of that condition, and all related symptoms, from coverage under the policy. This means you will be able to receive treatment for medical issues unrelated to that condition, but you will not be indemnified for medical costs associated with the treatment of the pre-existing chronic condition.
A second option which many insurers will use is to place a moratorium on the coverage of the condition. A moratorium is a waiting period, typically of 24 months, during which time the condition cannot be covered under the policy. Typically, if the policyholder completes the moratorium period with no treatment, medication, or check ups needed, then the insurer may consider offering coverage for the condition under the policy.
In some cases the insurer may offer to cover the condition; however this will typically be accompanied by a higher premium. This is known as “coverage with loading”. It is important to note that not all insurers will offer this option, and not all pre-existing conditions can be covered by increasing the policy premium. Typically “coverage with loading” will be offered on a case by case basis after extensive consultation with the insurance company.
The final way in which a policyholder can obtain coverage for a pre-existing condition is through a Medical History Disregarded (MHD) benefit. MHD is typically only available for group expat health insurance where the group has more than 20 members. Under an MHD benefit all pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy in many cases, may be covered under the policy.
For more information about Chronic and Pre-existing conditions, or to receive a free, customized international health insurance quote, please contact one of our expert advisors today.
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