Can You Get Health Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions?

Find out more about what options are available to you.

Updated: November 27, 2023
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree


If you've pre-existing medical conditions, you may be unsure what health insurance you can get. Although your options are limited, there are health insurance providers who will cover pre-existing conditions depending on what the medical condition is and when you last had treatment for it.

In this article, you'll learn all about health insurance coverage for pre-existing medication conditions. We will explore how different pre-existing medical conditions can affect health insurance policies.

What Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Affect Health Insurance?

Having pre-existing conditions can affect your health insurance application, even if you're applying for private medical insurance.

If you don't have health insurance yet and are looking for the right one, knowing how your medical history could affect your health insurance policy is essential.

A pre-existing condition is any illness, disease or injury you've had symptoms of or sought advice or treatment for within five years before your insurance application. Most private health insurance providers will allow you to get health insurance but may exclude your pre-existing conditions.

Sometimes, there are options to have them included at a much higher price. Some examples of pre-existing conditions that may be excluded are health issues such as asthma, cancer, lupus, diabetes, acne and others.

Other areas of health and well-being aren't related to pre-existing conditions that may also be exempt from a health insurance policy, such as cosmetic surgery, eye care, mental health, dental work, and pregnancy.

Can You Get Private Health Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions?

Private health insurance policies sometimes exclude pre-existing health conditions if you're diagnosed or received treatment before you get health insurance coverage.

Some may allow chronic and pre-existing conditions on your plan if you've not had recent symptoms or treatment within the last five years; this time will vary depending on the private medical insurance policy you apply for.

You should always check the health insurance policy before you sign up to find out if it covers your pre-existing health condition. If you get full medical underwriting, the insurance provider can see any pre-existing conditions on your health report and will let you know if your medical condition falls under the health insurance cover.

Moratorium underwriting options are usually the most popular health insurance options as they may cover pre-existing conditions depending on recent treatment.

Does Health Insurance Cover Chronic Medical Conditions?

Although some pre-existing medical conditions are covered under insurance policies, the same can't be said for chronic conditions.

Chronic conditions are typically incurable and require ongoing medical support, so they're not included in private health insurance policies, regardless of when you experienced symptoms or the condition started.

Chronic medical conditions that aren't covered in insurance policies are conditions such as a history of ailments, heart congestion, and diabetes. Health insurance aims to cover policyholders for acute conditions that can be treated and cured.

The Different Types of Medical Insurance

Medical insurance helps pay some or all of your medical bills and treatment.

It gives you the choice to choose the level of care you get and options on where to seek private medical care should you need it. If you don't want to use the NHS, it can be expensive to seek out private treatment, so having insurance can reduce the cost.

The type of medical insurance you need will depend on your coverage and if you have a pre-existing condition. You must consider your conditions, how they currently affect you and what type of cover you want.

The two main types of medical insurance are as follows:

  • Full medical underwriting: Full medical underwriting involves the insurance company needing to see your medical history. So, they'll contact your GP for a medical report. Medical underwriting options are more time-consuming, but your insurers will know all about your pre-existing condition from your medical background. Once the report is complete, you will know precisely what you are covered for if you ever need a claim.
  • Moratorium underwriting: Moratorium underwriting options are the most popular and only require limited background knowledge of your medical history. You will typically answer some questions about your health and any potential pre-existing conditions. If you choose insurance on a moratorium basis and have not had any treatment or advice in the last five years, you'll be covered for your pre-existing conditions. If you have had treatment or advice in the previous five years, you may still be covered as long as you remain symptom, advice and treatment for two years from the policy start date.

If you don't declare your pre-existing medical condition, it could invalidate your policy, and you may lose all your coverage.

If you're doing a full medical underwriting, the insurance provider will inevitably see your health record, so it would be near impossible to hide your conditions. To get the best coverage possible, being honest about your health would simplify the overall process.

Final Thoughts

You can still get private medical insurance if you've got a pre-existing medical condition. However, it may be excluded from the insurance policy.

You may get it covered if you've been treatment-free for five years before your health insurance application — it will depend on the insurance provider. You may want to apply to several at once, receive health insurance quotes and compare policies to find the best insurance for your situation.

Remember to check with the private medical insurance provider if they cover your conditions before you sign up so you know what to expect to pay for any upcoming treatments you may receive.

Related Guides:

Can You Get Health Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions: FAQs

What Pre-existing Medical Condition Is Excluded From Private Medical Insurance?

What Are the Two Types of Health Insurance?

What Happens If You Don't Declare Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?

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