One of the most serious problems that consumers of Medical Insurance face is discrimination in terms of pre-existing conditions. Because these conditions are understood to increase medical risk, they generally cause premiums to increase as well. However, there is another, darker side to this assessment. Many insurance holders find that their insurance company will not cover a treatment or procedure because some aspect of the treatment has been determined to be a “pre-existing” condition. This has led to many calls for reform when it comes to what kind of treatment is possible for individuals who have pre-existing conditions of whatever kind.
To understand how problematic this can be in Medical Insurance, envision this scenario: A service member returning home fromIraqis diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Although he wishes to argue that the diagnosis is related to his combat service, it is found to be a “pre-existing” condition. In the event it is certified as such a condition, the service member may not be entitled to benefits that he would otherwise receive. Although the cases that civilians face are often less dramatic, the basic concept remains the same — traditionally, it has been very difficult to receive full “pre-existing” treatment.
Recognizing that this is a serious problem, federal lawmakers sought to address it in the recent round of healthcare reforms. Under some provisions of the new reform laws, it will no longer be legal for insurers to deny coverage to policyholders on the basis of their pre-existing conditions. This will provide for a wider range of Medical Insurance options among those Americans who already suffer from a serious or chronic condition. With this change, it is hoped that policyholders will not find themselves spiraling into more and more precarious situations due to lack of insurance to cover their existing ailments.
It should be noted that not all of the provisions of healthcare reform that might alter Medical Insurance have actually come into effect as of the time of this writing. In fact, challenges to the healthcare law mean that some provisions may be thrown out. However, under the law as now written and understood, those with pre-existing conditions are among the Americans slated to benefit most from insurance reform. Under the intent of the law, they will find their premiums to be less expensive, their range of covered care to be greater, and the spectrum of potential insurers to be wider.