Buying health insurance is often procrastinated by young and healthy individuals. The primary reason being, while you are young and healthy, no illness can affect you. But, this is not the truth.

A health ailment can strike at an inopportune time and has severe financial consequences along with mental stress; sometimes as severe as leaving you exhausted financially. That is when buying health insurance plans come handy.

Health insurance plans are the most effective way to mitigate financial burden and sudden emergencies that cannot be anticipated. But one essential question that bothers most individuals – Will I get an insurance cover if I already have health complications?

The answer to it is ‘Yes!’, but existing health conditions have an impact on your premiums. These existing illnesses are called pre-existing diseases is insurance jargon. It is important that you are aware of such an effect on your premium. Let us have a look –

Loading to your premiums

Any pre-existing condition is an additional risk to your insurer. For this reason, a slightly higher premium is charged to cover this risk. This additional rate of premium is charged only when buying a new policy. It is not levied at the time of renewal if there is a continuous renewal of your insurance plan without any breaks.

Waiting Period

A waiting period is that duration after which the policy coverage kicks in. While you may think such a waiting period applies to all of the ailments, but instead it is pertaining to only pre-existing diseases. For other illnesses, the coverage is as per the standard policy terms. The duration of such waiting periods differs among the insurance companies and their plans. The waiting period can range from 12 months to 36 months, depending on the severity and risk of the disease. Whether you buy health insurance plans for family or an individual cover, it is essential to be aware of the different terms as specified in your policy document.

Premium Loading along with Waiting Periods

Some insurers may charge an additional premium along a waiting period to offer coverage for that ailment. This may be the case only when the disease or illness is severe and have life-threatening consequences.

Medical Check-up

Some situations may require the policy applicant to undergo a medical test. The results of these tests determine the additional amount of premium to be charged. In rare cases where the applicant is at a very high risk of illness, the insurer might refuse to offer the policy to the applicant. Although this is a very rare case, it should be kept in mind for high-risk individuals.

Exclusion on a permanent basis

Some insurers offer an insurance cover to you but with some conditions. The caveat being such pre-existing disease is excluded from your insurance cover. Whether a critical illness cover or a standard health plan, specific ailments may not be covered by your insurance policy in case you are at high risk. This exclusion can be a permanent one, thereby limiting the scope of the policy. Although the insurance plan does not cover such a pre-existing condition, any other ailments are covered under your policy.

In conclusion, remember to share any such pre-existing conditions with your insurer. Any concealment or false representation may lead to a rejection of your application in the future. Instead, do not withhold any such information and avail an adequate health insurance policy.

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October 2021