Can You Change Health Insurance with a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

Can You Change Health Insurance with a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
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  • Posted by: Castleacre

Many people will keep their private health policy with the same insurer even though they don’t feel that their loyalty is rewarded with competitive renewal premiums. One of the main reasons why people don’t consider moving a health policy to find a better deal, is because they are concerned about losing cover for pre-existing medical conditions.

It may come as a surprise to know that it is possible to move insurers and keep cover for pre-existing medical conditions by using a policy which benefits from Continued Medical Exclusions (CME) Underwriting.

How can this form of private health underwriting help me?

Health Insurance underwriting is a specialised field but the various methods of underwriting can have an important bearing on how private health cover reacts for the individual.

An underwriting method is essentially the rule an insurer uses to determine under what circumstances a medical condition is excluded from your cover.

There are 3 main types of health insurance policy underwriting:

Moratorium Underwriting – This option typically excludes pre-existing medical conditions you have experienced in the 5 years prior to your policy start, until you are able to go 2 continuous years on cover, free of any problems for that condition.

Full Medical Underwriting – This option requires you to answer a medical questionnaire and based on your answers an insurer will detail what exclusions, if any, they are imposing on your policy prior to inception.

Continued Medical Exclusions Underwriting – CME underwriting is used to move an insured person from one health insurer to another, under the same underwriting terms as their existing insurance.

This means that with CME underwriting your new insurance policy will have exactly the same exclusions as your previous policy, allowing you to potentially make the same claims that you may have made on your previous cover subject to insurer terms and conditions.

CME underwriting is offered based on meeting certain eligibility criteria. This criteria typically involves being claim free in the last 12 months (although minor claims may be overlooked) and being free of heart disease and cancer symptoms for 5 years prior to your new policy start date.

To consider CME underwriting your existing health insurance policy will also need to be active and have been held for a minimum of 1 year.

A private health insurance broker should be able advise on CME underwriting and find an insurers who can offer similar or improved policy benefits to you current policy with a more competitive premium, allowing you to move insurers without worrying about sacrificing cover.

Depending on your medical and claims history you may prefer moratorium or full medical underwriting. These options typically cost less than CME underwriting.

If you are considering changing insurers or just want to evaluate your cover and would like free guidance on the best underwriting option for you do contact Ali Adham, our Private Health Insurance Broker.

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