Guaranteed issue health insurance is often considered when someone has a pre-existing condition that is not covered by personal health insurance plans, which usually have medical questionnaires.
The nature of the pre-existing condition usually does not matter. If you have a pre-existing condition there are several options available to you when it comes to health insurance:
- Shop around for health insurance, and when you find the plan that is right for you apply for that health plan, which will exclude your condition (everything else will be covered). Note that these plans require medicals and are underwritten (e.g. an underwriter examines your situation and determines if the application is approved, declined or whether a counter offer will be made).
- Look at guaranteed issue health insurance plans that will offer benefits for your pre-existing condition. Usually the amount of coverage is limited, although this depends on the insurance company and the plan.
- Get a conversion plan, which is a guaranteed issue health plan for people who have lost or discontinued their employee benefits. Typically most carriers that offer group insurance (i.e. employee benefits) also have a conversion plan. Most of the times these conversion plans can only be used if your employee benefits were with the same insurance carrier (an exception to this is FollowMe).
If you choose a standard, medically underwritten plan then you should fill out an application and indicate the nature of your conditions in the medical questionnaire. Then the insurance carrier’s underwriters examine the application and either reject it, or make a counter offer that doesn’t include coverage for the existing condition.
Your other option is a guaranteed issue health plan, which usually has the following features:
- A guaranteed issue plan often pays out immediately for the given existing condition (e.g. diabetics syringes and test strips).
- The coverage for an existing condition is often limited (e.g. there are benefit maximums).
- There are core benefits for things like: dental coverage, prescription drug coverage, medical practitioners (e.g. physiotherapists, etc.), depending on the plan type.
- If you have lost or discontinued group insurance coverage then you can apply for a conversion plan (note that there is a deadline for applications, often 60 days from the group insurance termination date).
The following are several guaranteed issue health insurance plans:
- FlexCare ComboPlus Starter Plan from Manulife: Core benefits (e.g. physiotherapists, home care, nursing, etc.), dental and drug coverage.
- FlexCare DentalPlus Basic and Enhanced Plans from Manulife: Core benefits like vision, extended health care (e.g. nursing, home care, etc.), and dental insurance (does not come with prescription drug coverage).
- Basic Blue Choice (Ontario residents only) from Ontario Blue Cross: Comes with extended health care, prescription drugs, dental care, out-of-country travel, and optional hospital coverage.
- FollowMe from Manulife: conversion health insurance for those who have lost or discontinued their employee benefits (i.e. group insurance). No medical questions are asked if you apply within 60 days from your group insurance termination date.
- Health Coverage Choice from Sun Life: conversion health insurance for those who have lost or discontinued their employee benefits (i.e. group insurance). No medical questions are asked if you apply within 60 days from your group insurance termination date.
HealthQuotes.ca is an MGA for leading Canadian insurance carriers, and we offer affiliate programs (e.g. AGA) that are extremely beneficial for our associate members. We are very flexible, and are willing to work with you to tailor the affiliate partnership to your needs. www.HealthQuotes.ca