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ActiveQuote Global Reach, Dunleavy Drive Cardiff South Wales CF11 0SN 0800 862 0373

Pre-existing conditions

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Health Insurance for Pre-existing Conditions

When buying a private healthcare insurance policy, one of the biggest concerns as a consumer is pre-existing conditions and whether or not they will be covered by a health insurer. Whatever your situation, it is extremely important to be very clear about pre-existing conditions so that your insurance remains valid at all times.

It is also worth remembering that, in some circumstances, it is possible to find health insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions.

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is any kind of medical condition you may have received medication, advice or treatment for, or experienced symptoms of, before the official start date of your health insurance policy.

The kind of pre-existing conditions you may wish to declare to your insurer include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

  • Any respiratory condition, heart condition, circulatory condition (including hypertension, stroke, transient ischaemic attack), cancer or cancerous condition for which you have ever been diagnosed or received treatment.
  • Any diagnosed psychological or psychiatric disorder (including anxiety or depression) which you have suffered from or received treatment for.
  • Any other disease, illness, or injury for which you are taking prescribed medication or where you consulted a hospital specialist or needed inpatient treatment.

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Will health insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Health insurance is designed to provide cover for unforeseen medical conditions that develop after the official start date of a policy. Broadly speaking, it is a level of cover designed to give you peace of mind when it comes to newly arising medical conditions. Health insurance policies are not generally designed to cover pre-existing conditions, therefore, or secondary conditions that are related to them.

There are, however, some circumstances where it is possible that health insurance for pre-existing conditions can be made available. This is usually if the insurer believes it is no longer likely that the condition will return.

I have a pre-existing condition. What are my options?

When you apply for health insurance, you can choose how any pre-existing medical conditions you think you might have are assessed by insurers. There are two common types of health insurance underwriting - full medical underwriting and moratorium. Private health insurers will usually offer one or the other as a basis on which cover may or may not be provided. It is possible to secure health insurance for pre-existing conditions through either route, but in different ways as outlined below.

Full Medical Underwriting

If you choose a Full Medical Underwriting option you will need to complete a Medical History Declaration. This means answering questions about your health and medical background in detail.

You will be asked to complete a full health questionnaire, including information about any pre-existing conditions, and your doctor may be contacted for further information.

Your insurer will then review your details and decide what you can and can’t be covered for. Full Medical Underwriting will usually exclude pre-existing conditions from the cover, along with any conditions related to it. This means when you receive your policy document you will know exactly what conditions are excluded from your cover.

You could, in future, ask your insurer to review the exclusion, however, and it may be possible to secure health insurance for a pre-existing condition this way.


Moratorium Underwriting is the most common type of medical underwriting for private health insurance. If you choose this option, you will not need to complete a Medical History Declaration, which means you can speed up the implementation of your policy.

The insurer will instead automatically exclude any pre-existing medical conditions for which you have asked advice on, received treatment or suffered symptoms of during the five years before your policy starts. However, if you go without any treatment, symptoms, medication and/or advice for two continuous years after the start of your policy, your insurer may reinstate cover for one or more of these conditions.

You must not avoid being treated for a certain condition in order secure health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, however. As with Full Medical Underwriting, any new conditions that occur after the start of the policy will also be fully covered, as well as any pre-existing conditions your insurer may be prepared to provide cover for after the initial two-year period is up.

What are General Medical Exclusions?

There are also certain conditions which will never be covered by an insurance policy. Each insurer will have its own set of "General Medical Exclusions" defined by them, so the onus is on you as the customer to check these before you apply.

General Medical Exclusions may include, but are not limited to, chronic conditions, cosmetic surgery, sexually transmitted diseases, normal pregnancy and maternity requirements, and GP and accident and emergency services.

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I’m not sure what option to choose. What should I do?

If you’re still not sure which option to pick when seeking out private medical insurance with pre-existing conditions in mind, then talking it over with one of our experts at ActiveQuote could help.

They will listen to your concerns and take a basic medical history from you before using their experience and expertise to help you decide which form of medical underwriting is most suitable for you.

How do I buy health insurance with pre-existing conditions?

The best way to make sure you are getting the right policy for your individual needs is to compare health insurance quotes from a number of providers. As the leading health insurance comparison website in the UK, ActiveQuote partners with MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare, uSwitch and more to bring our customers the best cover at the right price.

When you compare private health insurance quotes with ActiveQuote, you will be asked a few simple questions including your name and address, your date of birth, whether you smoke, your monthly health insurance budget and any pre-existing conditions you think you might have.

Different policies offer different benefits, especially where pre-existing medical conditions are concerned. ActiveQuote can help you make sure that the level of cover you take out suits your needs.

Why compare health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions with

Buying private health insurance knowing you have pre-existing conditions in place can be daunting and we know how important it is for you to feel confident that you have the cover that’s right for you and your family in place regardless. The majority of our policies are straightforward and can be bought online. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer care, with a highly trained team ready to take your call and answer any queries you have and we’re more than happy to talk you through health insurance policies.

We’re rated by customers as the number one health insurance broker in the UK, so you can rest assured you’re in safe hands.

If you still have questions about private medical insurance, you can also compare health insurance policies online now, or call one of our advisors for free on 0800 862 0373.

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