Can you extend health insurance cover after diagnosis of illness?

Sadly no. One cannot extend the health insurance cover of existing policy after diagnosis of an illness. If one does not declare the on set of a new illness at the time of extending the health cover amount, then there are high chances that any related claim may be rejected.

What can be done?

  1. Declare all illnesses at the time of extending the health policy

After declaration of any pre-existing illnesses, a doctor empaneled with the insurance provider will call you to underwrite the policy. In most cases, the policy application for extension of cover will be rejected. It is the case with all insurance providers. If it is different for any company, please let me know and I will publish an article about it.

Once the rejection is done, once can reapply after recovery with medical records claiming that the recovery is complete.

2. Extend the health insurance policy cover but don’t claim for the new illness hospitalization till waiting period.

A survival period clause embedded in Health Insurance policies. Meaning one should survive this period for insurance coverage. Few insurance providers may waive the clause and cover any pre-existing illness from day one. However, in such cases they would already have had a health checkup done for the client.

Usually there is also a waiting period of 1 year to 4 years, for pre-existing diseases to be covered. A waiting period of 48 months is generally prescribed for pregnancy coverage, which is not a disease per se. Due to possible health complications, pregnancies are covered under Health Insurance. Certain diseases are not covered in this period and the list is provided in the policy document. This may vary across Insurance providers. It is less risky for insurance providers to extend cover after the waiting period and there should not be an issue in the claim process. The waiting period was suggested by IRDA to insurance providers.

To be kept in mind.

Any form of Insurance is a contract, which should not be void ab initio. Meaning it should not be void at the initiation of the contract. Hence, it is always a best policy to declare everything honestly, else there may be chances of claim rejection in future.

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