More than 50% of Americans have a pre-existing condition. You could have a pre-existing condition and may not even know it. As you may already know, pre-existing conditions have been a big topic in the media lately. The House of Representatives has passed a new healthcare bill but it has yet to be voted on by the Senate. Now more than ever it is time to keep yourself informed on this topic. You need to know if this will affect you or a loved one.
1. What are pre-existing conditions?
These are medical conditions that you had prior to your new health insurance carrier.
2. Do I have a pre-existing condition?
Here is a good example of a medical condition that is not a pre-existing condition. Let’s say you had a gallbladder attack meaning you felt like you had the flu and went to the ER. They remove your gallbladder. In two weeks you are fully healed. That is not considered a pre-existing condition because it’s not ongoing.
Let’s say you keep sneezing and getting sinus infections. So you decide to go to an allergist who does some testing on you. The allergist discovers you are highly allergic to pollen, grass, and cats. Like my sister, you must take allergy shots for the next 12 months to help with your allergies. Congratulations! You now have a pre-existing condition.
There are many types of pre-existing conditions. Diabetes, heart disease, acid reflux, anxiety, and depression are just a few diagnoses that are considered pre-existing conditions.
3. How did insurance companies treat pre-existing conditions before The Affordable Care Act also known as the ACA and Obamacare?
Insurance companies could raise your premiums when you joined them due to your pre-existing condition. Also, if you had a lapse of six months of coverage for example, insurance companies could deny you of coverage for six months for that condition. Therefore, you would be responsible for the full cost of any doctor’s visits, scans, and prescription medication for that pre-existing condition.
4. What has the ACA/Obamacare done for pre-existing conditions?
Insurance companies cannot raise your premiums higher than someone without pre-existing condition. Everyone pays the same premiums. Insurance companies cannot deny you of coverage no matter if you had insurance prior to them or not.
5. What does this new health care bill that just passed Congress mean for me?
Right now this still has to go to the Senate who promised to rewrite the bill to add pre-existing conditions back unto the bill. So right now the bill passed means nothing to you yet. However, if they do pass the existing bill without edits, this would mean States can opt out of pre-existing conditions. Therefore, insurance companies would be able to operate like they did before Obamacare and could deny you of coverage. This bill would also have a number of diagnoses on the pre-existing list such as pregnancy and transgender surgery.
Now Take A Deep Breath.
I do not want you to get anxiety after reading this because then you’ll have a pre-existing condition. As of today, pre-existing conditions are medical treatments or diagnoses that are ongoing. According to Obamacare, these have to be covered by your health insurance company.
Education is key to understanding aspects of healthcare and health insurance. You should keep well informed on this topic going forward. You, your parent, or child may have a pre-existing condition and you want to make sure you are getting the right care for you and your family. You also want to make sure you and your family are fully covered by your health insurance company because the law requires it. All in all, you want to be feel the best you can feel.
Let me know your thoughts or concerns on pre-existing conditions. #stayhealthy