Why it is important to disclose pre-existing illnesses while buying health insurance

Updated: 26 Nov 2022, 01:49 PM IST

Sharing details of pre-existing illnesses while buying health insurance is mandatory or else policyholders may have to bear the brunt of claim rejection.

Disclose your pre-existing illnesses while buying health insurance

People buy health insurance to escape the brunt of the rising costs of hospitalisation and subsequent treatment. However, to avoid rejection of policy requests and higher premiums, many choose not to disclose pre-existing conditions. What they don't realise is that the decision of hiding details can come back to bite them.

Here's why it is important to share the details of pre-existing illness while buying health insurance:

Any kind of health insurance plan is a contract based on utmost good faith and therefore, one is required to declare, in all honesty, any pre-existing condition they may have at the time of buying the scheme. 

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) says, “If the insured has been suffering from any health condition(s) up to four years prior to buying the policy, it is termed as pre-existing illness”.

If you choose to hide such details and the insurance company learns about your pre-existing conditions later, the insurer will have the right to reject your insurance claim for which you paid the premium over a period.

Thus, not disclosing your health information will immediately benefit you in the form of lower premiums but rejection of your medical claim will hit you hard when it comes to paying hefty hospital bills.

Most pre-existing diseases are covered under health insurance plans subject to a waiting period. This waiting period may range between one and four years depending on the kind of disease the insured may be suffering from.

Some new-age insurance companies provide policyholders with options or riders that allow them to have all of their pre-existing conditions covered without the waiting period clause by charging extra premiums subject to certain terms and conditions.

Government Health Insurance Schemes in India
First Published: 26 Nov 2022, 01:49 PM IST