Pre-existing conditions — what’s the big deal

I don’t understand why health insurers won’t take pre-existing conditions.  I have diabetes but otherwise I’m healthy as a horse.  I haven’t been in a hospital or emergency room in years.  Why is it such a big deal?

Diabetes No Biggie

Dear Diabetes No Biggie,

Kudos to you for managing your diabetes successfully.

Health insurers shy away from people who have ongoing medical issues for the same reason that a property company would not cover a burning building. The health insurers know that a person with a pre-existing condition — such as diabetes or Crohn’s disease — will have regular, and likely high costs for medical care. They do not want to have customers whose health problems are already high cost.

Though you have your diabetes under control, many people do not.  The insurers assume that there are no low-cost diabetics, even though you might be one.

In 2014, however, insurers will not be able to refuse customers or to charge them more based upon their health conditions.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.