As an adviser I am regularly asked, “Can I get Health Insurance as I have pre-existing conditions?”. The illness can be diabetes, heart problems or even cancer and my answer is more often than not yes. The follow up question is, “Will my pre-existing conditions be covered?” and my answer is again very likely to be yes. Finally I am asked, “Will my pre-existing conditions cost me more than everyone else?” and they are generally surprised when I answer no. So how can this be? Cover Yours isn’t just about getting customers the best policy to fit their needs it’s also about busting insurance myths so here are the three ways I get my clients cover for their “uncoverable” pre-existing conditions.
Cards on the table time, as well as being an independent insurance adviser I am father to a daughter that was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 6. This gives her a pre-existing condition and as far as the insurance companies are concerned she is a high risk. As a result I realise the importance of having good health insurance and I go the extra mile for those that need it most, those with a pre-existing condition.
Many of my clients want health insurance but believe that because they have a pre-existing condition (this could be diabetes, arthritis, asthma, a previous heart attack or cancer) that they can’t get health insurance. Worse, they assume that if they do get any they will end up paying more and their condition won’t be covered. This means people don’t even try to look for options for themselves or their children.
The next few paragraphs will give you three ways in which someone with a pre-existing condition can get health insurance. As this advice is general please contact me before buying anything to make sure you get what you want. A contact form is at the bottom of the page.
1- The Employer
The first port of call should be your employer. If your company has a Health Insurance scheme have a look to see what’s included, you might find you are already covered. As not all employers offer a scheme then it might be worth approaching the owner, manager or HR department and asking about it. Companies with more than 15 employees can get a policy from Accuro that will cover pre-existing conditions straight away.
It’s in the company’s best interest to offer employer Insurance as it reduces sick days, minimises presenteeism, increases staff engagement and curtails staff churn. Employers can save considerably more than the insurance costs. That’s why most aspirational businesses offer it…. and the owner benefits too.
Setting up company insurance isn’t something that you can do yourself so use the contact form below. I’ll be happy to help.
2 – The Full Monty
I offer two policies through Southern Cross, Ultracare Base and Ultracare 400, which eventually cover pre-existing conditions. Southern Cross is the largest health insurance provider in NZ and a not for profit organisation. These policies are the top of the range products. Members with this policy will receive surgical care and also specialist consultations with any recommended tests covered. Additionally there is cover for physiotherapists, opticians, ambulance, psychiatrists, obstetrics, and day to day treatments like GP’s, audiologists, podiatrists, etc. It is an incredibly comprehensive package. There is no excess to pay either.
Once you’ve been a member for three consecutive years all but a few rare disabilities will be covered. After those three years, if the premiums become too expensive, you can always change to a lesser policy. As long as you stay in the product range the pre-existing conditions will still be covered.
As you can imagine this is a relatively expensive product but it might not be as costly as you think, especially if you are under 40. For a few hundred extra dollars a year for three years it means comprehensive cover for health conditions for the rest of your life …. providing you keep paying the policy of course. If you have a healthy lifestyle you will even get an initial 10% discount.
3 – Back to Basics
The third option is the NIB entry level Easy Health. It is not as generous in waiving of existing conditions but that is reflected in the premium price. This policy will also only cover surgery and any consultation fees and test 6 months before and after the surgery. In other words it is just surgical cover.
Similar to the Southern Cross policy there is a 3 year stand down on all pre-existing conditions but the policy will never cover pre-existing knee, hip, back, cancer, transplant surgery, reconstructive surgery, cardiovascular conditions (including diabetes of over 10 years or with raised BMI, high BP or abnormal Cholesterol) or anything covered by their Serious Condition Lump Sum Option. This narrows the benefit down considerably but it still has it’s place.
It is an easy policy to apply for too as it doesn’t ask for a medical disclosure form to be completed. This means that at claim time the decision to cover you is made. It is impossible to tell in advance if they will consider the condition covered. For example a knee operation may be required but could be turned down due an injury sustained 10 years earlier that you believe unrelated.
This policy would be better suited to someone that has had very few injuries or illnesses outside the condition they wish covered.