Medical history disregarded underwriting is the most highly sought after private medical insurance product. Unlike all other types of underwriting your medical history is completely ignored, so you won’t receive any nasty exclusions or find yourself not being covered for something you’ve had previously.
How can you get medical history disregarded underwriting?
Understandably this is a popular product, particularly amongst those who have a colourful medical history. Insurers simply cannot afford to offer the product to everyone. Widespread availability would encourage heavy users to join solely for the purposes of claiming, which would push premiums up and make them prohibitively expensive.
Currently there are only 3 ways you can access medical history disregarded underwriting:
From birth – If you add your newborn child onto your medical insurance policy within 3 months of birth, you can request for them to be given medical history disregarded underwriting.
Company Policy – Large companies with over 100 employees have more spending power and can access medical history disregarded underwriting for their staff.
Continuing a company policy privately – If you have a medical history disregarded policy through a company and wish to leave, you can continue your cover as an individual. The new policy must begin consecutively from the termination date in order for you to continue under the same underwriting. However, it’s important to be aware that medical history disregarded underwriting is often so expensive that individuals simply cannot afford to continue with the cover when funding it themselves.
What are the pro’s and con’s of medical history disregarded underwriting?
Equality – Everyone is treated the same, regardless of whether they’ve had 8 previous medical conditions or none at all. This levels the playing field and allows everyone equal access to the treatment they need, without the unfairness of exclusions restricting the access of people with an extensive medical history.
Peace of mind – You can be safe in the knowledge that if you or a family member on the policy has to be rushed into hospital, there’ll be no complicated claims assessment process to worry about. Your medical history won’t come into it at all so decisions can be made quickly by your insurers, causing you less stress.
Everything is covered – With no exclusions or previous medical history to quibble over, essentially everything can be covered, provided of course it meets the general terms and conditions of the policy.
Easy to understand – Unlike the moratorium which can be difficult for policyholders to get to grips with, medical history disregarded policies are relatively simple.
No forms – There are no complicated and time consuming forms to fill in, either when you take the policy out or after you’ve made a claim. This means you won’t have to waste time running to the doctor to get a claim form filled in so you’ll save on their charges too.
Expensive – The cost of medical history disregarded policies makes them prohibitively expensive for some companies, which can result in higher fees being passed on to employees. Often a two-tier system of company cover evolves, where the top level of underwriting is only available to senior managers, or after someone has worked at the company for more than 5 years.
Limited availability – The majority of the general population can’t access medical history disregarded insurance. While this is understandable to some extent, it seems unfair when many people would be happy to pay extra for increased peace of mind.
Can be misinterpreted – Many policyholders who are covered under medical history disregarded underwriting misinterpret what this actually means. There is a common tendency for them to misunderstand what the underwriting means, thinking that they will be covered for anything. While this is true to an extent, in that there are no exclusions or restrictions on the kind of conditions they can claim for, everyone is still subject to general policy terms and conditions. So while a claim for back pain might not be excluded because they’ve had it previously, if it’s a long term chronic condition the claim could still be denied. Similarly the usual restrictions for cosmetic treatment, and the requirement for treatment to be medically necessary will still apply.
If you can access and afford medical history disregarded underwriting then it’s definitely worth getting. However, there’s no benefit to you if you’ve never suffered from any medical conditions previously, so consider your options based on your own personal circumstances. Making the right choice now could save you thousands in the future.
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