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Q: Can I Get Health Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions?

Asked by Anonymous on October 11, 2017

Hal Levy October 11, 2017

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you’re able to get health insurance even if you deal with pre-existing 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 Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is a health issue that was present before a person enrolled in a health insurance plan. Pre-existing 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 pre-existing condition. CNN believes that the most common pre-existing conditions were acne, anxiety, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, depression, COPD, obesity, atherosclerosis, and cancer.

Exceptions to Health Insurance Pre-Existing Conditions

Not all plans are regulated by the Affordable Care Act, which prevents discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Limited medical, short-term medical, travel insurance, and supplemental coverage plans may have waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. There are a handful of exceptions to pre-existing 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 pre-existing 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 pre-existing 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 pre-existing condition, you can also apply for alternative coverage such as temporary health insurance without penalty.

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