The simple answer is yes, you should have no trouble getting health insurance if you currently have or have previously suffered from high blood pressure. Buying health insurance is not impacted by conditions that you suffer or have previously suffered from, neither will it increase your premiums. Having a health condition such as high blood pressure may however impact what you can make a claim on in the future and we go into more detail about this later in this article.
The first thing to understand with health insurance (often referred to as Private Medical Insurance or PMI) is how a health insurance provider will look at your application (a process known as underwriting). This is important when understanding what you can make a claim on in the future. If you already know how health insurance is underwritten, then you may want to jump to 'Which is the best health insurance if I suffer from high blood pressure?'
Health Insurance underwriting explained
When you apply for health insurance, there are two main types of underwriting and they are:
- Full medical underwriting
Strictly there is another type of underwriting known as 'continued health'. This is an option if you already have a health insurance policy (and so therefore have already selected a moratorium or full medical underwriting option in the past) but then decide to switch insurance companies. If you select 'continued health' underwriting then your policy will transfer from one insurer to another, without the need for additional underwriting or further evidence.
Moratorium underwriting explained
With a moratorium policy, you are only required to provide a limited amount of medical information, usually just a few yes or no medical questions. One of the benefits of a moratorium policy is that it will commence far quicker in comparison to a fully underwritten policy. Applying for a moratorium policy is often far more convenient, however you will not have absolute clarity on what you are covered for as your application will not have been fully medically assessed.
Medical conditions for which you have sought advice or treatment within the last 5 years will be excluded, however, those exclusions are removed, so long as you have not received any treatment, advice or medication for a period of 2 years or more (from the date that you take out a policy).
To complicate matters slightly further, there are different types of moratorium definition which we go into more detail below.
Full medical underwriting explained
A fully underwritten health insurance plan requires you to complete a full application, providing full medical information to the insurance company for them to fully assess you. It may take longer for the cover to commence and you may have exclusions applied to your policy, but you will know exactly what you are covered for from the day the policy starts.
Does health insurance cover high blood pressure?
With a moratorium policy, a health insurance provider will automatically exclude any conditions for which you have had sought medical advice or treatment within the previous 5 years. So, if you suffer from high blood pressure and have sought advice or treatment within the last 5 years, you would not be able to make a claim on your health insurance policy for anything relating to that specific condition. You are however free to make a claim on anything that is not related to high blood pressure.
One of the positives of a moratorium policy is that you will automatically be covered for conditions where you have remained symptom, advice and medication-free for 2 years (from the date that you take a policy out).
So, if your high blood pressure is mild and well-controlled, a moratorium policy is often a good solution as it provides more flexibility when compared to a fully underwritten health insurance plan.
Which health insurance provider covers high blood pressure?
In our tables below, we look at 5 of the biggest health insurance providers and summarise their underwriting process when it comes to high blood pressure.
|Aviva||Axa PPP||Bupa||The Exeter||Vitality|
|Moratorium definition||Related moratorium definition||Specified moratorium definition||Related moratorium definition||Related moratorium definition (option to take a fixed moratorium policy)||Related moratorium definition|
|Full Medical Underwriting||Reviewable - not specified (case by case basis)||Reviewable every 2 years||If well controlled for over 2 years then not excluded||Reviewable - not specified (case by case basis)||Reviewable every 5 years|
Moratorium definitions explained
You will see from our tables above that there are different types of moratorium definition and we explain each of them below.
Related moratorium definition explained:
Conditions which you have sought medical advice or treatment within the last 5 years will be automatically excluded, including conditions which may be considered to be related. Once you take a policy out, exclusions are removed so long as you have not had any treatment, advice or exhibited any further symptoms for 2 years.
Specified moratorium definition explained:
Only the specified conditions for which you have sought medical advice or treatment within the last 5 years will be automatically excluded. Once you take a policy out, exclusions are removed so long as you have not had any treatment or exhibited any further symptoms for 2 years.
Fixed moratorium definition explained:
Conditions for which you have sought medical advice or treatment within the last 5 years will be excluded, however, you will be covered for conditions 2 years after taking the policy out, even if you have had treatment and exhibited further symptoms in those 2 years. This type of cover is usually more expensive.
Which is the best health insurance if I suffer from high blood pressure?
Raised blood pressure can usually be controlled by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and by taking prescribed medication. The NHS does a very good job of controlling the condition for most people and so it is unlikely you would need to access the services provided by a private health insurance company in order to treat the condition. Health insurance providers will automatically exclude any claims arising from a condition in which you have received treatment, advice or medication in the last 5 years, however Axa PPP has a slightly different moratorium definition which means you could end up with a more comprehensive policy.
Axa PPP has a 'specified' moratorium definition, meaning it will only exclude claims for the specific condition for which you have received medication, treatment or advice, whereas most other insurers will also exclude claims for any 'related' conditions. What this means is that Axa PPP would likely cover you for a claim arising from a stroke, whereas other health insurers may deem a stroke as a 'related' condition to the high blood pressure and so may not cover you.
Health insurance is a fairly complex product to start with and so when you add in additional factors such as existing health conditions it can be difficult to understand exactly which quote is the best and which health insurance offers the most comprehensive cover. Often the best solution is to speak to an independent specialist* who can to talk you through all of the different options available to you and provide you with the best policy for your own circumstances, as well as being able to offer advice as to how to cut down the cost of the premiums.
Can I get health insurance cover for high blood pressure on a fully medically underwritten health insurance policy?
There are some situations occasions when a fully medically underwritten policy may provide a better solution. Most health insurance providers will review exclusions applied for high blood pressure; the period in which they review the exclusion varies by insurer, see our table above for clarification. If you have a fairly clean medical history, then you may be better opting for a policy that is fully medically underwritten, because even if you are given an exclusion, it could be reviewed in the future and then subsequently removed. Do think carefully before selecting this option however as additional information may be brought to light that could lead to additional exclusions.
What is the best way to buy health insurance if I currently have or have previously suffered from high blood pressure?
Health insurance providers such as Axa PPP, Bupa and Vitality are well known and well established, however there are numerous other companies that provide excellent private health insurance and so you should always do a comprehensive comparison before you commit to one particular insurer.
The simplest way to buy private health insurance is to speak to an independent specialist* as they have access to every insurance company on the market and so can provide quotes for every health insurance company. Not only that, as they will ask additional questions about any conditions you suffer from, they will be able to give you advice as to which insurance provider offers the most comprehensive health insurance policy based on your own unique circumstances. If you prefer, you can tell them how much you can afford to pay each month and they will be able to find you the most comprehensive cover to suit your needs.
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