When dealing with the many aspects of a China Health Insurance plan the questions we are most often asked are those which are in relation to pre-existing conditions; namely, what is a pre-existing medical condition and how can my China medical insurance plan provide coverage for a pre-existing condition?
So, to start we should probably define what a pre-existing medical condition actually is:
A Pre-existing Medical Condition is an illness, injury, or other medical condition which has displayed symptoms, required treatment, or is known to the policyholder prior to the time of application for a China health insurance plan.
Basically, a pre-existing medical condition was one which appeared (even if it wasn’t treated) prior to the commencement of a medical insurance policy. That helps to clarify what a pre-existing condition is, but doesn’t help us to understand why pre-existing conditions are noteworthy under an insurance policy – to do that we need to understand what it is that insurance does, and what that entails.
The definition of insurance is The Equitable Transfer of Risk from one party to another in exchange for a pre-determined fee.
Sounds simple enough, right? However, the key word we need to look at in that definition is the word “Risk.”
In the case of medical insurance, the risk which you are transferring when you purchase the policy is the cost of treatment for any future medical conditions. Simply put: you buy an insurance plan to hedge your risk of developing a severe illness which will require a large amount of money to treat – by purchasing the policy the insurer agrees to pay (at least part of) the fees associated with the treatment of your illness.
However, if a medical condition exists prior to the commencement of a policy that condition is not a risk; rather, it is a fact. And under the definition of insurance, it is only a risk which can be covered, and not a fact.
Consequently, pre-existing medical conditions can be cause for concern with individuals looking into China medical insurance plans – which is further compounded by the myriad of insurance companies offering health insurance plans to expats in china; each insurer will often handle pre-existing conditions in their own way, which may be different from how another insurer will handle that same pre-existing condition.
Thankfully, China Health Insurance can help you to find coverage for a pre-existing medical condition. But first we should take a look at how pre-existing conditions are typically handled under a china medical insurance plan.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Coverage in China
The way in which a China Health Insurance policy will handle a pre-existing medical condition will be largely dependent on the insurance provider you choose to obtain your coverage from. While there are a number of general trends which exist, it is important to realize that each insurance company will deal with pre-existing conditions in their own way.
Exclusion of Pre-existing Conditions
The first, and most common, way of handling a pre-existing condition under a China health insurance plan is to simply exclude the condition from the policy’s coverage. If a condition is excluded from the plan then it is not eligible for coverage under the policy. Furthermore, it is quite common that if a pre-existing condition is excluded, so will all conditions related to that condition.
For example, say you developed chronic asthma from the air pollution in Beijing but you are now looking for some sort of China health insurance protection. The Asthma will be a pre-existing condition when you apply for a policy and the insurance company has determined that Asthma, and all the related conditions for Asthma will be excluded from the coverage. This would mean that if you developed Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD or Acid Reflux), which is a common condition related to Asthma, then GERD may also be excluded from the policy.
Covering Pre-existing Conditions through Moratoruim
Another manner of dealing with pre-existing conditions under a China health insurance plan is through getting a moratorium on the coverage of the pre-existing condition. In simple terms, a moratorium is a set amount of time throughout which the insurance company will not cover any treatment for the pre-existing condition, however, if the moratorium period passes without the policyholder seeking treatment for the pre-existing condition, then the pre-existing condition may be covered by the company from that point onwards. Moratoriums are typically two years in length, and if treatment is sought for the pre-existing condition then the moratorium period will generally restart from the beginning.
One example would be if you had an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury to your knee prior to taking out your medical insurance policy in China. After taking out the policy, any therapy or treatment that may be related to your knee would most likely not be covered by the policy. However, if you recover well and require no treatment for the duration of the moratorium period, the China health insurance policy would typically cover any issues related to your knee from then on, given that the moratorium period has been fulfilled without incident.
Free Quotes on Health Insurance that can cover Pre-existing Conditions
If you are interested in receiving a quote from China Health Insurance for a medical insurance policy that can potentially provide coverage for your pre-existing conditions please complete the short form found at the top of the page - our insurance experts will be more than happy to examine and compare health plans that will be best able to provide the coverage you need.
You can also feel free to get in touch with our experts today and finding out what your pre-existing conditions health insurance coverage options are by clicking Contact Us.