Pre-existing Conditions and Health Insurance

By Tes Kurtz on December 12th, 2009

Health Insurance

A pre-existing condition is a term coined by health insurance companies. It means that you had a certain medical issue before you attempted to obtain a new health care insurance policy.

If you purchase a health insurance policy that deems your medical condition as "pre-existing," you will either pay higher than average premiums or you will be denied coverage for any medical claims related to that condition for a certain period of time. Typically, that time period lasts from 12 to 18 months.

All health insurance companies have unique pre-existing condition lists, as well as their own standards. Heath insurance companies abide by pre-existing condition lists and standards to encourage people to obtain health insurance while they are healthy, and not wait until they are sick.

With all the turmoil in today's economic climate--including employment instability--does this remain a realistic practice?

The good news is that health care reform is here. Ending discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions is included in President Barack Obama's health care reform plan. Under the Obama Plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny coverage for health reasons or risks. Until a bill is passed to enforce this point, it is important to face what is happening in the here and now.

A substantial number of Americans suffer conditions that health insurance companies currently have the power to qualify as pre-existing. In fact, 12 million people were denied medical coverage from 2006-2009. Those denials included people directly rejected by health insurance companies and those indirectly rejected, meaning that the premiums were elevated to an unaffordable level.

It may not surprise you to hear that some common pre-existing conditions include arthritis, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, obesity, and pregnancy. However, other surprising conditions are included on these lists.

Sometimes health insurance companies really go out on a limb and push their limits to "qualify" medical issues as pre-existing conditions. These might make you scratch your head and crinkle your brow a bit: acne, ADD, expectant father, previous sports injury, and toenail fungus. Other medical issues that health insurance companies have labeled as pre-existing conditions are downright scary: asthma, allergies and sickle cell anemia--not to mention heart disease and cancer.

The situation is alarming, but certainly not hopeless. If you have concerns about obtaining low cost medical insurance with a pre-existing condition, there are health care plans available. To receive competing health insurance quotes from providers with no commitment, enter your zip code, and then fill out the brief, secure form at www.compuquotes.com

Source :
The Obama Plan: Stability & Security For All Americans • http://www.whitehouse.govhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/health-care/plan
Coverage Denied: How the Current Health Insurance System Leaves Millions Behind • http://www.healthreform.gov/http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/denied_coverage/index.html
Kelly Montgomery • What is a pre-existing condition exclusion period? • Jun 14, 2005 • http://About.comhttp://healthinsurance.about.com/od/faqs/f/preex.htm
Jerry Flanagan, ; or Carmen Balber, (202) 629-3043 • Pre-Existing Health "Conditions" -- Cops, Firefighters, Expectant Dads, and Those Suffering From All • Sep 18, 2009 • http://www.consumerwatchdog.orghttp://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?storyId=29526

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