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Things You Need to Know About Pre-Existing Conditions

Updated on May 10, 2017
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Dreamworker believes that every human being deserves the right to be able to live to his or her full potential.

When people think of pre-existing conditions, they often assume these relate to serious health problems such as cancer or heart disease.

This is only partially true, but it is what insurance companies want the general public to think.

As long as we think this is the case, we are unlikely to take the time to find out what's actually written in our insurance policies.

If we did take the time to read them, we might discover that a problem we consider to be minor may in fact be considered a pre-existing condition.

Since many of us assume we are "safe", i.e., that we don't have any pre-existing conditions ourselves, we don’t become too concerned when this issue is discussed in the media.

Of course we all know that many people do get serious illnesses. However, as long as we, our friends, and our loved ones do not have them, it's not something that touches us directly.

The problem is that pre-existing conditions are much more common than we think.

This means they are everybody’s concern because they can

  1. create unbelievably high health care costs for those of us who may have had no clue that a particular condition was on “the list" and also
  2. cause drastic rises in health care costs for the rest of us.

There's more to understand about pre-existing conditions than you might think!
There's more to understand about pre-existing conditions than you might think! | Source

How Pre-Existing Conditions Work

A pre-existing condition is a health problem that existed prior to the time someone signed up for a health insurance policy.

  • If someone is already covered, there generally is no problem.
  • If that same person has a condition that is on 'the list" seeks new coverage, the issues he will face in trying to do so can become insurmountable.

He may receive a policy, but if the new health care plan is voted in

  1. it may or may not cover the cost of care for his condition,
  2. it likely will cost much more for that coverage or
  3. he may have to go through a waiting period for as long as a year before his insurance will pay for issues relating to his specific health problem.

Furthermore, depending on the severity of a problem, the cost for the insurance may be so high that he may not be able to afford it!

This is because the goal of all insurance companies is to pay out as little as possible so that they can increase their profit margins.

As a result, people may be forced to go without medical help, become ill, and even die.

Is Your Health Problem on "The List"?

Are You on "The List"?

Because people make the wrong assumptions about this issue, they don’t take the time to read their insurance policies to see exactly what conditions are not covered.

They feel that if they are not seriously ill, they don’t have to worry.

While it is true that the list of non-covered conditions can vary from company to company and can even change from year to year, it is more important than you may think to find out what is on a given list before you sign up for a health care policy because your condition may be on it!

Will you be able to get coverage for your health issues?
Will you be able to get coverage for your health issues? | Source

List of Pre-Existing Conditions

Would you be surprised if I told you that issues such as high blood pressure, acne, and anxiety are considered by some companies to be pre-existing conditions?

Would you also be surprised to learn that if you are looking for a new policy or have let your previous policy lapse that having one of these conditions could keep you from obtaining coverage?

Don’t be!

The truth is that there are approximately 52 million people who will be facing this issue because their problem existed before a new health care plan took effect, or they allowed themselves to remain uncovered for a period of time before seeking new coverage.

So, what are some of the unexpected conditions aside from the major ones that you might see on such a list?

  • Acid Reflux
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction
  • Bulimia
  • C-Section
  • Depression
  • Heartburn
  • High Cholesterol
  • Hysterectomy
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Obesity
  • Pending surgery or hospitalization
  • Ulcers
  • Rape

Think about this for a minute. Just about all people have or have had at least one of these issues, which means many might be penalized by insurers given the right circumstances.

No sick child should have to go without health care because some politician passed a bill that would keep him from having it.
No sick child should have to go without health care because some politician passed a bill that would keep him from having it. | Source

Why Eliminating Pre-Existing Clauses Matters

Many people complained about Obamacare, but one has to wonder if they would have been so critical if they were the individuals who suffered from pre-existing conditions prior to the time when this plan went into effect.

  • I knew a couple that had the money to purchase insurance, were willing to do so, but could not buy it at any price because of their health problems.
  • Once Obamacare was voted in, they were able to get the care they needed at an affordable price.

The Affordable Health Care Act eliminated the penalties for people like them and allowed millions of others to find coverage that both improved and saved their lives.

If the current government leaders scrap this benefit, those same people will be, once again, faced with all of the problems they had in the past.

These people didn’t ask to become ill, and they didn’t ask to have their illnesses ruin them financially.

They are victims of unhappy circumstances who had a chance at a better life and now are seeing it endangered by politicians who don’t seem to care about them.

This is an important point because you should bear in mind that the “they” being discussed here could easily translate to “you."

Millions of people will lose health care coverage if pre-existing conditions clauses are reintroduced into insurance plans.
Millions of people will lose health care coverage if pre-existing conditions clauses are reintroduced into insurance plans. | Source

There Are No Guarantees

Another faulty assumption that people make is to think that because they are healthy today, they’ll be well tomorrow as well.

Life doesn’t work like that.

Anybody can get sick or have an accident at any time, thus putting himself on the roles of those who have pre-existing conditions.

  • I knew a young woman who had just opened her own beauty shop with the help of some financing provided by her father.
  • She was very good at what she did, and her future looked bright.
  • One night after she had closed up her shop, she was crossing a busy street and got hit by a car.
  • She lay in the hospital for months and ran up bills of more than a million dollars.
  • Obamacare paid her bills, but she never totally recovered.
  • She lost her business, her income and her fiancé, and will spend the rest of her life suffering from the traumatic injuries caused by her accident.

Had there been a pre-existing conditions clause in her insurance policy, she probably would have died.

This is but one real life example of how quickly things can happen to people and is why reintroducing pre-existing condition clauses into health insurance policies would be a travesty.

What Can You Do?

If the things I just told you about this situation concern you, they should.

Right now all Americans have an opportunity to rise up together, regardless of political affiliation, and let our leaders know that we will not tolerate the addition of pre-existing condition clauses into our health insurance plans.

The best way to do this is to flood your national politicians with hard copy letters demanding that they vote this clause down and let them know that if they do not comply, they can expect to lose your vote.

Believe me, this will work.

When it does, none of us will have to worry again about having pre-existing conditions, and none of us will have to be penalized financially because we get sick.

If something as minimal as having acne can put you on the list, imagine the things they will add to it in the future!

Now is the time to act. We owe it to ourselves as Americans and human beings to protect ourselves from politicians who are not looking out for our best interests.

Will you contact your senator or congressman to demand that he say "no" to adding pre-existing conditions clauses into health care plans?

See results

Sources

In doing my research for this article, which was written on May 7, 2017, I referred to the following information:

"Measure on Pre-existing Conditions Energizes Opposition to Health Care Bill," by Alexander Burns and Abby Goodnough, New York Times, May 5, 2017.

"Pre-Existing Conditions," HHS.Gov, January 31, 2017, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.

"Here's a Partial List of All the Pre-Existing Conditions the GOP Bill May Not Cover," by Nicole Chavez, CNN, May 6, 2017.

"Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse," The American Association for Justice.

As I researched, I became increasingly concerned. I suffer from a number of different health problems, several of which clearly fall into the category of pre-existing conditions.

As many of my fellow Americans often do, I assumed that only the most serious conditions would be included on "the list." I wanted everybody who reads this article to learn, as I did, that you can have a seemingly simple health issue that could, indeed, bankrupt you if this bill passes.

This article is a call to action that I hope many will heed. To do otherwise is to bring unnecessary suffering and death to a multitude of American citizens.

© 2017 Dreamworker

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