Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gulp...A Pre-Existing Condition Emerges

When I started to think about 2018 health insurance options this fall I did not think about pre-existing conditions. We were fortunate and had none. In October I went for a routine physical that I try to do every other year. Everything checked out fine and I went for my blood work. The blood work was great other than one thing…high cholesterol. I now had a pre-existing condition and the blood work was the proof. While I am a healthy person, workout regularly, run half-marathons and feel great I must have had a diet that allowed too much cholesterol. Personally, I think it was my routine of having eggs every morning after working out – gotta get that protein. Nonetheless, it wasn’t off the charts bad but I was definitely flagged for high cholesterol. I didn’t panic, I’d focus on getting it under control with good nutrition but when filling out my application with Liberty I had to disclose the results of the test.

Ironically, I called Liberty to ask about this and they indicated that they had no record of the high cholesterol disclosure. Apparently, it didn’t copy over correctly in the application. So, I basically told on myself, but better to be honest. My options according to Liberty were as follows:
  • Join their HealthTrac program for an additional $80/month. In this option, I would work with a health coach who would help address the high cholesterol. The benefit to this program, beyond the coaching, is that your issue is not considered “pre-existing”.
  • The second option is to not join HealthTrac but then the high cholesterol would be treated as a pre-existing condition and any treatment related to high cholesterol would be treated according to their pre-existing condition policy (no reimbursement for the first year).
I made the decision to not join HealthTrac. I feel I am healthy and I can control the cholesterol with some basic dietary changes. This will be a good test case to see if there are any instances in which a medical expense is rejected because it is related to a high cholesterol “pre-existing” condition.