Pre-existing Condition

A lot of Americans have health-related conditions that many insurance companies deem pre-existing conditions.

Pre-existing conditions is some kind of health problem that exists before you apply for healthcare coverage. Since all insurance companies and managed care plans are concerned about their bottom lines, people with pre-existing conditions may have a waiting period or be charged higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

Pre-existing conditions as defined by most insurance companies typically include heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, type-2 diabetes, asthma, obesity, and other chronic health issues that affect significant numbers of the population. Sometimes even minor ailments such allergies or back problems from a previous car accident can be denied coverage.

Most often, when your health insurance applies a pre-existing condition clause to your policy, it will last around 12 to 18 months. You will not be able to seek treatment for your ailment under your policy, meaning any treatment you do need will have to come out-of-pocket and/or under another policy, if you have one. Pre-existing condition clauses usually extend to anything you sought treatment for in the six months prior to beginning your new policy.

In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted. It sets out to end pre-exiting conditions requirements. Beginning in September 2010, children 19-years-old and younger will not be subject to pre-existing conditions under their parents’ healthcare policies. Starting in the year 2014, this provision will expand to include adults as well.