Tenzing pacific services

Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions: What You Need to Know

Geoffrey Man Tenzing

Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

Finding a good health insurance policy in Southeast Asia is actually relatively easy. However, finding coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is often just not possible. The general rule is that private insurance companies, which operate to make a profit, will not cover pre-existing conditions in new policies. This is because they are more likely to result in further medical costs, which the insurer wants to avoid.

So, in most cases, applying for a private insurance policy includes submitting your personal medical history. The insurer uses that information, along with your age and other factors, to determine how risky you are, a process called underwriting.

Each of your reported medical conditions can be:

  • Accepted with no additional cost (broken bones, chicken pox)
  • Accepted with additional premiums (called “loading”)(obesity, cyst)
  • Excluded from your coverage (diabetes, hypertension)
  • No offer of coverage. If there are a lot of pre-existing conditions, especially those that are serious or chronic, or combinations of conditions, the insurer may decide not to offer any coverage.  (hypertension with diabetes, cancer)
personal medical history

There are two potential and/or partial solutions to this challenge

1 c MHD 

Some employer group policies will ignore pre-existing conditions (“medical history disregarded” or MHD) because the group is large and profitable enough for the insurer to take on the additional risk. This only works for company policies, but the number of employees required might surprise you – as few as 5.

2 c MORI 

A moratorium policy can cover current or recent conditions that are acute or temporary. If you don’t have any symptoms or treatment, this policy will start covering existing conditions, but only after you’ve been on the policy for two years. It doesn’t apply to chronic conditions (generally those that last a long time), such as heart disease, cancer, stroke or arthritis.

The various insurance companies approach pre-existing conditions very differently. Some are quite nuanced and seem to consult with experienced medical staff, while others have a black-and-white policy with no room for variance. If you have one or more pre-existing conditions, you should work with an insurance agent who knows which insurer is most likely to offer you a suitable policy. Tenzing works with more than 30 insurance companies, so we have deep experience in this area

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