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Last Updated on 24 February 2019

Pre-existing Conditions and Your Private Health Insurance

Health care costs are rising worldwide, and can be among the larger costs in a household’s budget.  Private health insurance may cover the cost of many treatments and also offers peace of mind, especially for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.  As a growing proportion of the population deals with the health problems associated with poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, covering the costs of private health care has become a bigger and bigger priority for many people.

Image by The Consumerist

Pre-existing Conditions and Insurance Premiums

With many people suffering from chronic health problems that require regular medical care, the idea of lacking the insurance coverage that may help pay for treatments is a pretty scary thought.  For those who currently hold no private health insurance, and rely solely on Medicare, having a pre-existing condition may raise concerns that private health insurance is unaffordable.

In times past, those with pre-existing conditions were sometimes refused private health insurance cover.  Basically, if one already had a health problem, it was often difficult to find a private health insurer prepared to provide coverage.  Thanks to the Private Health Insurance Act 2007, a person with pre-existing health conditions cannot legally be denied any type of private health insurance coverage. This has been a great help to many people, but it hasn’t solved the problem of expense.

Insurance companies do not stand to profit as much from insuring those who already have health problems. The ideal candidate for health insurance, in the eyes of the insurer, is a perfectly healthy individual who isn’t going to use many health care benefits.

When someone with a pre-existing condition takes out private health insurance, the insurer knows that they may have to pay for more health care for this customer than for their healthy counterpart. This means that while all private health insurers must now provide cover even for those with pre-existing conditions, the premiums are often more expensive.

Health Insurance at What Price?

Health care and health insurance for individuals with pre-existing conditions has become quite the topic of conversation in politics. One area of health care reform that all involved seem to agree on is the need to help those with pre-existing conditions get affordable health care coverage.

Recent health care legislation has helped to start the ball rolling for more inclusive and fair health insurance policies.  In addition to changes in government legislation, many insurance companies are now offering insurance policies that are targeted towards those with pre-existing conditions, offering them a plan tailored to their needs.

While we still have a way to go, we are finally making headway with regard to health care. Those with pre-existing conditions were, until quite recently, less able to access private health care; now they may not be refused it.

Many chronic health issues are on the rise, increasing the importance for sufferers of access to private health insurance. Legislation has been put into place to stop discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, paving the way for coverage for those who need it most. However, when you compare private health insurance premiums, you may find that pre-existing medical conditions make them higher.

Disclaimer: The above information is correct and current at the time of publication

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