Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can contribute to multiple other medical conditions. The most common of these are heart conditions and stroke. High blood pressure also presents a risk to pregnant women. In most cases, hypertension is caused by a person’s diet, and people with poor diets or excess weight may experience particularly high blood pressures. Some people, however, have naturally high blood pressures due to genetic issues.

Either way, high blood pressure is usually viewed as a medical risk, and it can qualify as a preexisting condition on most insurance applications. What effect it may have on your insurance policy will vary depending on several factors. The extent of your hypertension, the presence of other symptoms, the type of policy you carry and more can all affect what type of coverage you can qualify for.

Why Insurance Companies Won’t Cover Preexisting Conditions

In order to make money, insurance companies need to collect more money in premiums than they pay for healthcare. This means that insurance companies are eager to attract young, healthy people with few medical problems. They’re also reluctant to offer coverage to older people or those with preexisting conditions as these customers will tend to cost them money.

Additionally, insurance companies want to avoid insuring people who will only buy coverage when sick. For this reason, some companies will place restrictions on a policy during the first few months or year that the policy is held. All preexisting conditions are denied during that time. After the probation period, preexisting conditions may be considered.

It’s important to determine how your insurance policy handles preexisting conditions. Aside from the probation period offered by some companies, you may face additional limitations. Treatments related to your preexisting condition may be excluded from the policy, or your rates may be higher than they would otherwise be. Some insurance companies might deny coverage altogether.

What Happens if Insurance Won’t Cover Your Preexisting Condition?

Assuming you can get health insurance at all, you may find that coverage for hypertension-related claims is limited. For example, you may not be able to get your blood pressure medication paid for. You may also face difficulties getting treatment for heart disease or other issues covered. This varies from one company to the next, and the details of what will or will not be covered will be listed on the policy.

It’s always a good idea to read your policy information carefully and confirm any questions you may have with the insurance company. This will prevent you from unwelcome surprises down the line. By understanding what is or is not covered under your insurance policy, you can plan accordingly. Taking the time to research these factors will also help you decide between multiple insurance companies when shopping for coverage.

At one time, the issue of preexisting medical conditions was a serious problem for people looking for insurance. Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, individuals with hypertension or other problems have an easier time of obtaining coverage. Private insurance may continue to create limitations for insureds, but policies purchased under the state insurance exchange will face fewer limitations. Additionally, most people with group policies do not need to worry about preexisting conditions. This means that people who are insured through their employers can usually receive insurance regardless of their blood pressure or other conditions.

How to Get Coverage for Your Hypertension

Your insurance company’s application will ask about your medical history and any preexisting conditions. When shopping for health insurance, it’s important to be honest with your potential insurance company. It may be tempting to lie, but your insurance company will be able to find out about your medical history. If you’ve ever been diagnosed with any condition, the insurance company will inevitably find out; once they do, you run the risk of having your policy canceled if you were dishonest about your history.

In most cases, hypertension will not be enough to prevent you from getting health insurance. You may have higher premiums or limitations on your coverage, but you should still be able to get health insurance. Of course, if you are enrolled in a group policy through your employer, your medical history may not matter at all.

If you cannot find a private health insurance policy that will cover your hypertension, it’s worth investigating your options through the state’s insurance exchange. Preexisting coverage insurance plans, or PCIPs, are offered by every state. The rates are also scaled to your income, so you should be able to find affordable coverage regardless of your medical history.