High blood pressure and previous decline

MK | December 17, 2008

Q: Aetna approved me with high blood pressure but increased the monthly premium by 50% considering me a high risk. The offer was too expensive at $570 per month. I reapplied a year later hoping to get insurance that I could afford to pay. This time they declined me, considering me an even higher risk even though there were no health changes.

A: Controlled high blood pressure alone will not cause an increase in premium with any of the online issue major medical insurance plans so this would have been the way o go a year ago. The article "Health Insurance with High Blood Pressure" lists specific options when this is the only issue under consideration.

The previous decline is now a more serious insurability problem. Although it is unfortunately too late in this case, we print these stories to emphasize he importance of not applying to any type of insurance (not just health insurance) until after you have determined that you are medically eligible. This free OnlineAdviser service can help pre-determine eligibility for any health insurance plan and avoid the possibility of a decline.

The only high-quality affordable major medical insurance available in this situation (with high blood pressure and a previous decline) is Celtic short term medical insurance (www.celticenrollment.com). Enrollment is handled directly online in a few minutes so you immediately know if you qualify; there is no chance of a decline. You may take two consecutive six month policies and then take a fresh look on your state's listing of affordable health plans in a year to see what other options are available in your area. At this time, other than Celtic, your only choices are the high risk pool (that you stated was unaffordable) and limited benefits policies like Value Benefits and Core Health Insurance. See the article "Supplemental Health Insurance" for a more complete listing of choices.

It is our experience that when a person presents a situation like yours then there is a very strong possibility that the medical records contain symptom notes or a diagnosis more serious than what you have mentioned. For example, sometimes pre-diabetic symptoms follow a diagnosis of high blood pressure but the patient may be unaware of the implication of these symptoms noted by a physician. In other cases high blood pressure can be associated with obesity. We are not suggesting this is the case with you, but rather just giving examples of the type of information that can be easily overlooked in your medical records. We suggest that you obtain a copy of your complete medical records for your own purposes and keep this with your important papers at home.

Few insurance companies rely on medical records. An increasing number rely only on the your statements on the application combined with an MIB check to see that there were no recent declines from other insurance companies. In your case, because of the previous decline, you should be prepared to supply a copy of your medical records for any type of life or health insurance application over the next few years.

One final tip: if you decide to discuss the insurance problem with your doctor rather than review the records yourself then ask specifically for the most recent diagnosis in your recent records. Do not ask the doctor why you were declined for insurance. Doctors are not insurance underwriters and so you will invariable receive the response that there is no reason that you were declined for insurance. This type of comment is not useful in addressing the insurability problem. 


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