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What is a waiting period for health insurance?

Pacific Prime explains what a waiting period is and whether you can file for claims during this time.

What is a waiting period for health insurance?
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A term typically seen in maternity and a handful other insurance policies, 'waiting period' is a source of confusion for many. It protects insurers from clients who know full well that they have a medical cost coming up and file for claims immediately after their plan enrollment.

Below is a common question we receive regarding the waiting period for health insurance. In a nutshell, we'll explain what a waiting period is and how it works. We also have a short video available if you prefer a visual explanation and a practical example for your reference.

Question

I’m confused about the waiting period. What does it mean and can I file for claims during this period? 

Answer

Many people purchase health insurance without knowing its many exclusions. A waiting period is one such exclusion. It is the time frame between the start of your plan and when you can claim benefits from your insurer. Simply put, any costs incurred during this time will not be covered. Good news is that once it elapses, your coverage will kick in and you are once again entitled to your benefits. 

Depending on your chosen plan type, the level of coverage, and the insurer, waiting periods can also vary. Generally speaking, many policies come with long waiting periods for the following types of coverage: 

  • Maternity care - Usually between 10 to 12 months
  • Dental care - 6 to 12 months 
  • Cardiovascular care and cancer - Up to 2 years

Again, these are usually put in place to prevent policyholders from immediately claiming treatment for their pre-existing conditions. These include any condition or illness that you may have experienced symptoms of or received treatment for in the past. 

Get a free insurance quote today! 

Still have questions about waiting periods or maternity insurance? Don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced insurance advisors at Pacific Prime. We work closely with top health insurers and partners to help you find the best plan by balancing your budget with your needs. Short on time? Get a free quote now with our online quotation tool! 

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