There are health insurance companies to meet the needs of all individuals. Even those who are mentally ill can obtain health insurance. In fact, certain common types of mental illnesses will have very little impact on health insurance at all. Other mental illnesses can provide huge challenges to finding affordable health insurance.
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Statistics prove that those who are mentally ill are more at risk for other illnesses. They are also likely to need continuing care, medication and even periodic hospitalization. For this reason, insurers have traditionally been reluctant to insure the mentally ill. Legislation passed in recent years has helped open the door to better care and fewer limitations on care for those who need mental health insurance.
While group health insurance plans are the most affordable and easiest types of health insurance coverage to access for mentally ill people, not everyone can access them. Therefore many people will need to look at other types of coverage that are available on the market today.
Are mental illnesses considered pre-existing conditions?
Mental illnesses are indeed considered to be pre-existing conditions for health insurance companies. If you were diagnosed with a mental illness or began to exhibit symptoms prior to the beginning of your health insurance becoming effective, it is considered a pre-existing condition. This means that your mental illness may be excluded from coverage, or you may be charged more for your policy- or even refused for health insurance altogether.
What things affect the cost of individual health insurance?
There are a variety of factors that affect the cost of individual health insurance. Some of these things are within our control, while others are not. Understanding the factors that make up the considerations of underwriting can be very useful. Some of the most common factors affecting the cost of health insurance include:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Family history of health conditions
- Marital Status
- Risky lifestyle choices
- Where you live
- Mental health history
- Types of coverage chosen
- Deductibles, limits and exclusions of the plan
- Health insurance coverage history
If you are interested in learning more about how health insurance is determined and what affects it, check out the Insurance Information Institute.
What are the options for those with pre-existing conditions?
If you have a pre-existing condition, including a mental health condition, your choices are not as wide as they would be for a healthy individual with no such conditions. However, there are options available. Depending on where you live, you may have more options than people in other parts of the country.
There are five states in which guaranteed issue health insurance is offered. These include Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. In these states, you must be provided mandatory health insurance without any form of medical underwriting. This makes it very easy for those who have pre-existing conditions to get coverage.
There are 34 states in this country which have a high risk pool for health insurance. This is a government mandated pool of all health insurers that provides coverage for those who are considered high risk, typically due to pre-existing conditions. While many pools have consumer protection guidelines in place, they are not always an affordable way to get health insurance.
Shopping around for individual high risk health insurance is another option for those with pre-existing conditions. Such types of plans will provide you with coverage at a higher premium, may exclude certain types of claims, and may impose waiting periods or higher deductibles. It is largely the insurer’s prerogative to limit their own risk when it comes to pre-existing conditions.
Where do I start to look for this health insurance?
Before you make a decision about the health insurance you will carry, take the time to compare and contrast a variety of quotes from top companies in your state. Get as many quotes as possible in order to find the best coverage. Carefully compare the premiums, deductibles, limits, the companies’ reputations and their financial standing.
An online quote tool can give you the premium, deductibles, limits and other details of different policies. A company’s reputation can be checked with a simple online search of reviews left by consumers. A company’s financial standing can be checked by getting the independent insurance rating from one of the independent insurance ratings firms like A.M. Best.
Get started now with the health insurance quotes you need by simply typing your ZIP code into the FREE search tool on this page!