The COVID-19 pandemic has caused everyone to reassess so many things in life. Front and center of all the concerns should be our health. Not only should you ensure that you are properly covered in case you are struck by this disease, but you need to understand how it might impact you afterwards.
“If you are covered by your employer’s group health insurance or by a national healthcare plan, then you should be receiving appropriate assistance with your medical care,” explains Richard Cayne of Meyer International. “But, if even after you’ve recovered, you now must worry about your healthcare coverage because you may now have a pre-existing condition.”
What are pre-existing conditions?
Insurance companies use pre-existing conditions to determine the scope of their coverage – what they will and won’t pay for. Simply, pre-existing conditions are any illness, injury, or health condition you suffered or are currently suffering from. This could range from allergies to cancer to heart disease. Aside from chronic illnesses, an injury or disease that could lead to future ailments could also be pre-existing conditions, e.g., recent surgeries to repair broken bones and certain types of hepatitis. Even certain mental disorders and pregnancies could be included.
Broken bones and pregnancy are pre-existing conditions???
Remember that this definition is what insurance companies use. They are selling us a health insurance policy to cover our medical bills, but of course, they want to pay out as little as possible, while looking like they are fulfilling a service.
Pre-existing conditions allows private health insurers to exclude chronic illnesses or medical conditions that they foresee may result in your requiring increasingly more medical attention. Pregnant now? Pre-natal, neo-natal, and possible OB-GYN complications. Broken bones? Follow-up surgeries, continuing physical therapies, and risk of future injuries and breaks. (Although usually for broken bones, insurers will only ask about incidents going back three to five years.)
COVID-19 will most likely be a pre-existing condition
Now that we know that insurance companies want to exclude as much as possible, it is not surprising that most experts believe that COVID-19 will be a pre-existing condition for private medical/health policies. We have come a long way since the beginning of the pandemic, so that now there are different treatment protocols and now a vaccine.
However, you may have heard about the persistent after-effects of this coronavirus. This includes common ailments like fatigue and headaches to serious injury to heart muscle and kidneys. And since we are still in the very early days of studying these impacts, we do not know if these conditions will last a few weeks, months, or years. Safe to say, however, that insurance companies may not want to pay for this care.
Make sure you and your loved ones are protected
As mentioned at the beginning, if you have employer or national health insurance, you should be covered. But it never hurts to double-check – not only the extent of the coverage, but the quality of care you would receive if you were to fall victim to COVID-19. Also, if you are under employer healthcare, you may want to consider supplemental private insurance just in case your situation changes. An investment expert like Richard Cayne can help you consider your options to ensure that you have one less thing to worry about that relates to COVID-19.