Getting approved for health insurance is a problem for a large number of Americans. Insurance companies lack of enthusiasm for people with moderate and severe health conditions has been well documented and publicized over recent years.
If you are stuck with a job that doesn’t offer health insurance or are self-employed you have probably filled out your fair share of insurance applications. In doing so you have also become very familiar with the detailed review process of your application, otherwise know as medical underwriting.
NOTE:Since Jan. 1 2014 health insurance companies have to accept your health insurance application regardless of your medical history. Basically there are no more secrets, you just have to apply.Learn everything you need to know about how to do that in 2016.
This process can be time consuming, tedious and generally not a good time. Medical underwriting is the only thing standing between you and that health insurance plan of your dreams. But is it really that hard to get? There must be something you can do to improve your chances, right?
Here are four secrets that will help improve your chances of getting approved the next time you apply for individual or family health insurance.
1. Don’t Apply While Being Treated for a Medical Condition
You should never apply or attempt to make a switch with your health insurance while you are currently being treated for a medical condition. Make sure you have been released from treatment by your doctor before thinking about applying.
For example, if you hurt your shoulder trying to relive the glory days during that, a little more than, touch football game. You are probably going to want to hold off applying for health insurance until you finish your physical therapy. Perhaps you are on the mend following an emergency appendectomy. Again, make sure your doctor gives you a clean bill of health first.
Any type of, one off, procedure or treatment that is unlikely to recur will generally not prevent you from obtaining health insurance, as long as you apply after treatment is completed. Conditions that require constant maintenance like high blood pressure, asthma or anxiety will still prevent underwriting challenges, but do not require a release before you apply.
2. Only Give Them the Information They Ask For
A health insurance application has never been accused of being short. There is generally 30-40 medical questions you will need to answer to complete the application. These questions run through a list of all major and minor conditions you have been treated for. The key is to only check the conditions your doctor has officially diagnosed you with.
That means the high blood pressure medication your doctor prescribed would be something you want to tell them about. However the carpal tunnel syndrome your co-worker suggested you had because your hand cramps after a long day of typing reports would not.
3. Plan Ahead
This may seem obvious and could be a “secret” for anything, but very few people take the the time to do it. You now know, thanks to the first secret, that you should never apply for health insurance while you are being treated for a medical condition. This powerful knowledge is what will allow you to plan ahead. If you are going to quit your job and start your own business, you should not do it the same week you decide to get a lingering medical situation checked out.
That means your troublesome back pain should be address ahead of time or have to wait a little longer to be looked at. Otherwise, your doctor is going to order some x-rays, maybe an MRI and possibly a CT scan. Now you are going to have to put all that information on your upcoming health insurance application. That health insurance company is going to see $5,000 - $6,000 worth of recent treatment that still has yet to provide a clear diagnosis. They are not going to sign you up when you could be two months away from a $30,000 back surgery.
4. The Longer, The Better After Being Released from Treatment
Insurance companies have specific time requirements before they will consider someone with certain pre-existing conditions. The more time that has passed since treatment, with no recurrences, the more willing an insurance company will be to consider your application.
Some of the serious conditions like cancer and heart disease carry ten year waiting periods, less severe conditions might only be three to five years.
Of course in 2014, when the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act take place, these will no longer be an issue. At that point, no health insurance application will be able to be denied. Until then, use these four secrets to help ensure your application gets approved.
Was your health insurance declined because you didn’t know one of these secrets? If so, which one?