How do medical conditions affect insurance rates?

By: Jilly Pretzel

Health insurance and how rates and coverage can be affected by medical conditions has been a big subject for some time now. Before APA, health insurance companies could charge massive premiums or deny coverage altogether to people with less than perfect medical histories or pre-existing conditions. This could be scary for people who suffered from life-threatening diseases like cancer and struggled to pay for hiked-up coverage. It was frustrating for people who full under “pre-existing condition”

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Thankfully, health insurance companies haven’t been able to charge super high prices because of medical conditions, but that doesn’t mean your medical history is completely off the hook in the insurance world. There are other insurances that are still able to look into your medical history and make decisions about whether or not to cover you, and how much to charge, based on your medical conditions.

Here are some insurance services that could charge more (or even deny you coverage) because of your medical conditions.

1. Travel Insurance

When taking a trip, lots of people like the peace of mind that comes with travel insurance. However, if you have certain medical conditions, travel insurers may not cover you for claims related to those conditions or hike up the price so much because of those conditions, that coverage becomes unaffordable.

Travel insurance providers may not cover you if you suffer from:

  • Heart conditions
  • HIV
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing conditions (like asthma)
  • Strokes

The good news is that if you do have one of more of these conditions, you can go without travel insurance. It’s not required when traveling to most countries though it can be a good idea. If you end up falling and breaking your leg or eating some of the local cuisine (including something you didn’t know you were allergic to) you could be stuck with a hefty bill. The best thing to do is weigh your options, consider risks you might encounter wherever you’re going, and don’t be afraid to shop around for the best price.

2. Life Insurance

While health insurance shouldn’t charge you more for pre-existing conditions, life insurance can do just that. Life insurance companies want their applicants to be young, healthy people who will live long, healthy lives. But they don’t want that for you because they’re good people who wish you well. If their insured passes away too soon, they could lose a lot of money, and since life insurance is a business, insurance companies look for applicants who carry the least amount of risk for them.

While life insurance companies will take many factors into account, some common medical conditions that could affect your price of insurance (and odds of getting approved) are:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • Weight-related health conditions
  • Mental health conditions

In either case, the best tactic is to prove to your insurance company that your medical condition has been treated and is under control. When all else fails, considering other insurance companies and shopping around for the best deal can save you a lot of money while still providing you with the peace of mind that comes with good insurance.