Pre-Existing Conditions: What You Need to Know

There has been a lot of talks lately about the probable changes in many people’s health insurance coverage. One of the most discussed issues is the loss of coverage for pre-existing conditions. For some people, having a pre-existing condition may mean they will either lose health coverage or not be eligible for insurance at all. In this post, we will discuss what you need to know about having a pre-existing condition means for you and the future of your health insurance plans.

What is a Pre-existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is basically a health issue, or medical condition that a person has prior to their health insurance policy goes into effect. The exclusion of these conditions by health insurance companies is meant to alleviate costs for their companies. However, having a pre-existing condition could mean a drastic hike in premiums for the health insurance customer. This may also mean that many people will be denied coverage if they have one of the many ailments that are considered a pre-existing condition.

Recently, the Affordable Care Act has been repealed by the new presidential administration. This means that a new version of the act, the American Health Care Act, will likely take its place. If this happens, health insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. However, it does mean that those people will be put in what is known as a “high risk” pool of individuals. Those people will be charged more money for what used to be an affordable health insurance plan. In many cases, the price of those plans will probably be so high that many will not be able to afford them at all.

What Qualifies as a Pre-Existing Condition?

Many health problems that people have qualified as a pre-existing condition, which will make new or affordable health insurance plan enrollment difficult for the majority of Americans. Below, we will outline what counts as a pre-existing condition.

  • HIV and AIDS
  • Alcohol or Drug Abuse with recent treatment
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental disorders including anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s Disease

You may be thinking to yourself, “that’s a pretty long list!” While this is true, the fact of the matter is is that these are only a few of the common conditions that now count as pre-existing. The list is actually much more extensive, which in turn will make acquiring proper family health insurance coverage quite difficult for most people.

What Does the Future Hold?

Only time will tell. As of this writing, the AHCA is still under major review. However, professionals in the health insurance field believe that in very little time, even more, conditions that are not listed in the new act will be added as well. Even if they do not count as pre-existing conditions, the following conditions may result in higher health insurance premiums as well.

  • Acid reflux
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • C-section
  • High cholesterol
  • Lyme Disease
  • Ulcers

It is probably fair to say that the conditions listed in this post are very common to the average American citizen. It is very likely that coverage for these issues will be difficult to come by, or at the very least, highly expensive. What does that mean for you? If you are one of the lucky citizens that have health insurance that is covered by your employer, then it is likely that you will not be affected by new pre-existing condition coverage. However, it could mean that you will have to pay high out of pocket premiums if you do become very ill.

What Can You Do Now?

As stated earlier, the AHCA still has yet to pass. The Senate is quite divided on the act, which means that the waiting game could go on for quite some time. There will probably be many debates on the new bill, which works out in the favor of those who do not want their current health insurance coverage to change. The waiting game may be a long one, but in the meantime, it is wise to make sure you utilize your current coverage to the best of your ability.

Do you have any more questions about the proposed changes in health insurance coverage? Don’t hesitate to call us to discuss the most up to date information pertaining to your current coverage.