This is an irrelevant question when we’re talking about Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans. The Affordable Care Act guarantees coverage that includes pre-existing conditions (at the same price).
But if Obamacare isn’t an option because you missed Open Enrollment, you’ll need to look at alternatives like short-term health insurance. And a short-term health plan isn’t going to cover pre-existing conditions.
The technical definition of a pre-existing condition will vary a little bit from company to company. Typically you can use common sense: It’s any medical condition that you’ve experienced symptoms of, sought treatment for, or been prescribed medication for in the last 5 or 10 years. (Note: That’s not a technical definition.)
As a typical example, here’s how BlueCross BlueShield of SC defines a pre-existing condition as it pertains to their short-term health plans:
- Symptoms existed that would cause a person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment with the previous year prior to coverage or
- Medical advice or treatment was recommended by or received from a doctor within a 5- year period prior to coverage.
On a short-term health insurance plan, you’re not going to get coverage for pre-existing conditions. In fact, some pre-existing conditions could make you not eligible to get covered on most short-term health plans. (There is at least one exception we can show you if this is a problem for you).
Why would anyone want to buy a plan that didn’t cover pre-existing conditions?
- Obamacare plans aren’t available outside of Open Enrollment unless you have a major life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.
- You can enroll in a short-term health insurance plan at anytime.
- Short-term health plans are FAR cheaper than non-subsidized Obamacare plans.