Yes, you should have no trouble getting health insurance if you currently have or have previously suffered from high cholesterol. Suffering from a medical condition such as high cholesterol doesn't impact your ability to purchase health insurance, nor will it increase the premiums you pay, however it may affect exactly what you can make a claim on, which we go into more detail later in this article.
First, let's explain how a health insurance provider will look at your application (a process known as underwriting). This is crucial when it comes to understanding exactly what you can make a claim on. 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 cholesterol?'
Health Insurance underwriting explained
When applying for health insurance, there are two types of underwriting and they are:
- Full medical underwriting
There is another type of underwriting titled 'continued health'. This can be selected if you already have a health insurance policy (and so have already selected a moratorium or full medical underwriting option) and then decide to switch insurance companies. As your policy transfers from one insurer to another, it is underwritten on a 'continued health' basis.
Moratorium underwriting explained
With a moratorium policy you only need to provide limited medical information, usually answering just a few yes or no questions. A moratorium policy will commence far quicker in comparison to a fully underwritten policy. Applying for a moratorium policy is more convenient, but you will not have absolute clarity on what you are covered for as you will not have been fully medically assessed.
Conditions which you have sought medical 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 further, there are different types of moratorium definition which we go into more detail below.
Full medical underwriting explained
A fully underwritten health insurance policy is where you complete a full application, providing all of your 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, but you will know exactly what you are covered for from inception of the policy.
Does health insurance cover high cholesterol?
With a moratorium policy, a health insurance provider will exclude any conditions for which you have had sought medical advice or treatment within the previous 5 years. So, if you suffer from high cholesterol 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 of course free to make a claim on anything that is not related to high cholesterol.
The good news however is that with a moratorium policy, a health insurance provider may cover you for high cholesterol if you remain symptom, advice and medication-free for 2 years (from the date that you take out a policy with them). So, if your condition 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 cholesterol?
In our tables below, we look at 5 of the biggest health insurance providers and summarise their underwriting process when it comes to high cholesterol.
|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||Medication well controlled - reviewable 1 year, diet controlled, 2 year reviewable||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 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 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 cholesterol?
High cholesterol is usually controlled by either maintaining a good diet or by taking prescribed medication and the NHS does a very good job of controlling the condition for most people. Health insurance providers will 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, whereas most other insurers will also exclude for any 'related' conditions. While claims are always assessed on a case-by-case basis, it is likely therefore that Axa PPP would cover you for a stroke, whereas other health insurers may deem a stroke as a 'related' condition and so not cover you. Often the best solution is to speak to an independent specialist* who will be able 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 cholesterol on a fully medically underwritten health insurance policy?
There are rare occasions when a fully medically underwritten policy may be a better solution. Most health insurance providers will review exclusions applied for high cholesterol; the period in which they review the exclusion varies by insurer, see our table above for clarification. If your medical history is uncomplicated, then you could opt to be fully medically underwritten, because even if you are given an exclusion, it could be reviewed in the future and subsequently removed. Make sure that you think carefully before selecting this option as there may be information in your medical past that you had forgotten about and it could lead to further exclusions.
What is the best way to buy health insurance if I currently have or have previously suffered from high cholesterol?
You've likely heard of health insurance providers such as Axa PPP, Bupa and Vitality, but there are other companies that are not as well known that provide excellent private health insurance and so you should always do a comprehensive comparison before you commit to one particular insurer.
The best 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 understand exactly which conditions are covered and which conditions are likely to be excluded for each insurer. An independent specialist is able to tailor the cover to you and find you the best policy for your own unique circumstances. Often, you can provide them with a set amount that you are happy to pay and they can work to your budget to find the most comprehensive cover to suit your needs.
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