Can I Get Health Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions?

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Private health insurance gives people peace of mind that their medical needs can be attended to quickly and efficiently. While many UK health insurers will not cover those with pre-existing medical conditions, there are some which will allow people to be insured regardless. Read on to find out more about health insurance and how it works for those with pre-existing health conditions. 


Can I Get Health Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions? 

A pre-existing medical condition is anything you have had medical treatment for in the past. This usually includes consultations, medication, surgery or any other treatment undergone either through the NHS or a private company. 

Most insurers count any condition you’ve had, such as those you’ve experienced symptoms or treatments for in the past 5 years. Even if a condition was diagnosed more than 5 years ago, health insurers will classify this as a pre-existing condition.


What Health Insurance Am I Eligible For? 

You can take out most health insurance policies if you have any existing medical conditions, however, many don’t pay out to treat these specific ones. For example, if you have diabetes most policies would pay for private treatment for other medical instances (such as a broken leg) yet would not pay for specific treatment regarding diabetes. 

Some insurers agree to cover certain medical conditions, especially if they decide that they are minor or unlikely to flare up again. In addition, the majority of UK health insurers will begin covering a condition again once someone has been symptom-free for 5 years. 

For instance, if you had a back injury and stopped treatment 3 years ago, your policy would not pay out any related further treatment for another 2 years. However, after 2 years the health insurance policies may begin to cover back injuries again, as long as you have had no treatment, medication or check-ups within that time-frame.  


What Health Insurance Can I Get with a Pre-Existing Condition? 

The types of policy you can get, if you have a pre-existing condition, depend on the type of underwriting the insurer uses. Here are some examples:


Full Medical Cover Underwriting 

A full medical cover underwriting will either cover a pre-existing medical condition or not, and will highlight this in the policy. 

You will have to provide your insurer with extensive details of your medical history. This usually entails answering questions about your health and giving permission to access your medical records or contact your GP if necessary.

 Insurers will use this information to work out their risks and decide:

  • If they are happy to give you insurance
  • How much your policy costs
  • What treatment and illnesses it can pay out for and what it excludes
  • If they are willing to cover any of your pre-existing conditions


Moratorium Underwriting

With health insurance that uses moratorium underwriting policies, you do not have to provide detailed medical information when applying. However, if you do make a claim then your insurer will look into your medical history to decide if they will pay for the treatment. 

If your policy does not include pre-existing conditions and you try to claim for treatment for an illness you have had in the past 5 years, your insurer will reject your claim. Nonetheless, they can start to cover some pre-existing conditions after a set period. This is called the moratorium, which usually lasts for 2 years. If you have no symptoms or treatment for your pre-existing condition during those 2 years, your policy can then start covering the condition.


Is Health Insurance Worth It? 

Health insurance is becoming increasingly popular, as it often covers a variety of treatments that the NHS does or cannot offer and also provides people with better peace of mind that their health can be attended to quickly. 

For those with pre-existing medical conditions, taking out a private health policy may be more difficult. Nonetheless, you can still get health insurance cover if you have a medical condition. While it is unlikely most health insurers will cover your specific pre-existing condition, this will depend on the type of underwriting you opt for in your health plan. 

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