What are Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?
If you have experienced illnesses or injuries before enrollment in a medical insurance or a life insurance, they may be considered as pre-existing medical conditions. Pre-existing medical conditions can include health issues such as surgery to the knee, cancer, diabetes, lupus, depression, high blood pressure, or just about any other health condition you can imagine.
How will pre-existing medical conditions affect your insurance application?
When applying for insurance policies, if you have pre-existing conditions, sometimes you are deemed to have a higher risk of making a claim, as compared to someone who does not have the same conditions. To offset those risks, insurers will usually do any (or a combination) of the 3 actions:
- Imposing extra/additional loading to your policy, in which they increase the cost of your insurance
- Excluding coverage of the affected organ/procedure altogether, and attach an additional term that specifically excludes that pre-existing medical condition but allows the application to be approved. They could sometimes impose extra loading and an exclusion together for some cases.
- In the worst case scenario, postpone or decline the application altogether. Sometimes when the incident (where you started having the medical condition) happened not too long ago, insurers might postpone the application till next medical review, or next year, to minimise any potential relapse or worsening of the medical condition.
How to increase your chances of getting the best insurance terms?
Even if you have pre-existing medical conditions, there are a few ways individually or a combination of them, that could help increase your chances of getting better insurance terms.
The first of which is to apply to multiple companies at one go and gauge their responses. Different insurers assess risks differently, and sometimes you may encounter one that provide just that additional benefit to you, and this alone is already a big step up.
Time could help you out as well. If you have an exclusions from some time back, or you may have been rejected in the past, you can always try applying (to remove the exclusions) again. Time could sometimes heal wound, and having a good record after a period of time may increase your chances of getting a wider coverage.
Different plan types have different assessment too, and it helps to mix-and-match different types of insurance to get the coverage that you are looking for.
With that being said, MediShield Life provides coverage for pre-existing medical conditions with additional premium for the first ten years. If all fails, this will be a good fallback plan, however, bearing in mind the pros-and-cons of relying solely on MediShield Life.
Constant rejection due to pre-existing medical condition
I was introduced to Jane by her sister, who is my client, to help her son get insurance coverage as he was born with a congenital illness (pre-existing medical conditions from birth). For the past 5 years, she could not get any coverage for him – she applied to 3 different companies via different agents, and she was rejected every single time. Because of that she felt helpless in not being able to do anything more for her son. She had also felt insecure knowing that her family’s finances may be in jeopardy if anything untoward happens. Due to the constant rejection, she was not sure if there was anything I could do for her at all.
I could totally relate to how she felt as it was a familiar feeling of rejection and helplessness that my wife and I felt in the past, where her insurance (re)application was rejected after she recovered from a critical illness. In the end, I managed to get cover for my wife, and this makes me want to do my best for Jane too.
The application process
We consolidated all his medical reports and past rejection letters to see if we could find different angles to present to the insurers. After analysing his reports, I recommended her to get a memo from his doctor, to give his opinions on his current condition, as it seemed from the reports that he was quite stable. We did just that, and submitted pre-application assessments to 10 different companies to test their responses.
As expected, a few of them replied with an outright rejection. But the good news is that we started to receive better news about insurers accepting his application with exclusion to the particular organ. This is great news for Jane because having some coverage is always better than having none at all. We had a discussion about it and that is what we decided to go with.
In the end, we managed to get an integrated shield plan (ISP) that excludes the affected organ, and for his critical illness coverage, the best part is that when we almost wanted to go with the best alternative, one insurer is willing to accept his pre-existing medical condition, and accepted his case as standard.
How this one thing affect their financial decisions forever
When I broke the news to them, I could sense the air of relieve and it felt as though something heavy has just been lifted off their shoulders. All this while, they have been trying to build an emergency medical fund (manually) for their son, and it took a toll on them mentally and emotionally. With this in place, they could channel some of their current and future funds to either plan for their retirement, children’s education, or to simply improve the quality of their life. They are very happy with this outcome, and I am glad that I was able to help them achieve this improvement to their lives.
This shows that sometimes, you need a combination of factors that come into play, and a trustworthy advisor that can walk down this path together with you.
If you’d like to know how I can help you navigate the path of getting the widest coverage for you, feel free to book a free consultation with me.