“Consign your medical history to the… history books.”
You probably know how health insurance usually works. When you want to buy a policy or make a claim, the insurer will take a keen interest in you – or your employees – medical history. What problems have you suffered in the past? Are you likely to suffer them again?
Armed with this information, they will exclude certain treatments you can claim on. Which is a pity, especially for those with a history of illness. But, there is a specific insurance policy which provides coverage regardless of your medical past. It’s called: Medical History Disregarded.
In this blog post, we explain what it is, how you can get it and other relevant alternatives which might fit your insurance needs.
What is Medical History Disregarded?
It’s a type of insurance which provides cover regardless of the health status of you or your employees. The insurer won’t ask to delve into your medical records nor will they discriminate based on your employees’ medical history. Medical History Disregarded is particularly useful if you, or your employees, have prior health concerns and struggle to get cover in the normal way.
While it comes at a higher price, this insurance offers greater coverage and is far simpler to administer than regular health insurance policies.
How do I get Medical History Disregarded underwriting?
If you run a limited company and have at least 20 employees, then Medical History Disregarded can be purchased as part of a group health insurance package. Occasionally it’s been offered to a group smaller than 20, but this is rare.
All the large health insurers offer Medical History Disregarded, including: Bupa, Aviva and AXA.
However, it’s typically unavailable to individuals. The only exception is when it’s offered as part of an international health insurance plan, which is very expensive though rich in benefits. International insurance covers a broader range of benefits and treatments, such as maternity care, pre-existing conditions and other specialist health cover. This type of package is targeted at an elite of high net worth individuals.
Does Medical History Disregarded cover all health conditions?
Unfortunately not. As with any insurance policy, the treatments included will vary depending on the specific policy and/or what you manage to negotiate. Typically, an insurance provider will cover acute conditions but not chronic conditions.
This general rule of thumb remains the case when you invest in a Medical History Disregarded policy.
Acute conditions arise suddenly and last for a short period. They include:
- Bone breakages/fractures
- Asthma attack
- Flu or common cold
- Heart attack
- Respiratory infection
Chronic conditions are long-lasting, ongoing and continue without realistic hope of a cure. They include:
- Chronic lung disease
- High blood pressure
However, there are plenty of grey areas and insurers may provide different definitions – another reason to carefully check the detail of the policy.
They key point to remember is that Medical History Disregarded is not a specific policy in itself, it simply means you can avoid the hassle of background checks.
Should I get Medical History Disregarded?
If you have enough employees to be eligible and you have the budget to stretch, then it’s a really nice way of providing health support to everyone in the business, regardless of their pre-existing health conditions. It’s the insurance policy which doesn’t discriminate!
Also, the fact that medical background checks aren’t required, means it’s an easier form of insurance to set up and claims can be processed far more quickly.
Nonetheless, you’ll still need to consider the level of cover you offer and some insurance packages offer better value than others. It’s important to research the market in order to get the best deal for you, your company and your staff.
If you’d like to kickstart the process, then get in touch with one of our friendly team by using the chat box on the right. We specialise in helping small businesses get the right insurance for their needs at the most competitive price.
Is there another alternative?
Yes, it’s called Moratorium underwriting. With this type of insurance you also avoid laying bare your medical history before the cover begins. But you may need to when you, or an employee, makes a claim.
Moratorium will be of potential interest to business owners. Under this scheme, an employee may be able to get treatment for a pre-existing medical condition, but only if they have been free of it for a certain period of time.
Here’s an example of how it works:
Billy has previously experienced problems with his back. It’s not a chronic problem, but just something he has experienced previously. Under the Moratorium plan, if Billy has further back problems requiring treatment within the the first two years of the insurance policy being active, then he won’t be able to get covered. HOWEVER, if his back problem was to resurface after this period, then he could get medical cover.
How this cover works will vary depending on the provider. For example, most policies will only offer cover if the person has not experienced the medical condition for 5 years prior to the insurance kicking in.
Always check the detail before making a decision.
Get the fairest and simplest insurance cover
As you can see, there are ways of providing insurance cover even for those who’ve got a long history of ailments. While chronic health problems remain beyond the scope of insurance packages, you can still secure a fairer and simpler form of health coverage for your hard working team.
Yes, Medical History Disregarded underwriting does come at a higher cost, but it’s rich in benefits, easier to launch and claims can be processed much more quickly.