Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you’re able to get health insurance even if you deal with preexisting conditions. This applies whether or not you get health insurance by yourself or through your employer. Whether or not you sought treatment for the health issue before your coverage began, it will still be covered.
What’s a Preexisting Condition?
A preexisting condition is a health issue that was present before a person enrolled in a health insurance plan. Preexisting conditions are not uncommon. Anywhere from 27 percent of Americans (according to the AARP) to 50 percent of Americans (according to the Department of Health and Human Services) under the age of 65 have a medical issue that insurance companies would have categorized as a preexisting condition. CNN believes that the most common preexisting conditions were acne, anxiety, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, depression, COPD, obesity, atherosclerosis, and cancer.
Exceptions to Health Insurance Preexisting Conditions
Not all plans are regulated by the Affordable Care Act, which prevents discrimination based on preexisting conditions. Limited medical, short-term medical, travel insurance, and supplemental coverage plans may have waiting periods for preexisting conditions. There are a handful of exceptions to preexisting condition protections for individuals:
- Health insurance plans that serve as alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, such as short-term medical policies or Christian health plans, continue to set their own rules for preexisting condition coverage. You probably won’t encounter this issue unless you specifically seek out these types of insurance.
- If you enroll in a Medicare Supplement policy (also known as Medigap), then your supplementary coverage for conditions that were previously diagnosed or treated may be postponed for up to 6 months if you were uninsured before enrolling. However, your Original Medicare will still cover preexisting conditions.
Taking the Next Steps
If you’re looking for a traditional, year-long health plan, you can apply for the health insurance policy without fear of rejection. If you believe you have a preexisting condition, you can also apply for alternative coverage such as temporary health insurance without penalty.