Cancer Insurance and Preconditions Exclusions

Unless it’s guaranteed issue, most traditional life and critical illness insurance policies have exclusions for pre-existing conditions and IA Excellence’s Cancer Guard cancer insurance policy is no different. However, it does have only one pre-existing condition exclusion.

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More about IA Excellence’s Cancer Guard

IA Excellence’s Cancer Guard cancer insurance policy has only one pre-existing condition exclusion. This is the 24/24 rule, which states that you cannot be showing signs, symptoms or be being tested for cancer in the 24 months before you apply for the Cancer Guard policy or in the 24 months following your approval for the policy. There are also questions about pre-existing conditions in the core eligibility assessment for the Cancer Guard policy. The first asks if you have been diagnosed with AIDS or tested positive for HIV in your lifetime? The second asks if you’ve been diagnosed with, seen the signs or symptoms of, or been tested for cancer at all? If you can answer “No” to these questions, you could qualify for up to $25,000 in coverage. The next qualification question has to do with your immediate family’s history of cancer. If you can answer “No” to that and one other question, you can get up to $100,000 in coverage.

What do other cancer insurance policies offer?

Traditional critical illness policies have many more pre-existing condition hoops that you must jump through in order to qualify. For example, Sun Life Financial lists a number of conditions that will get you declined from consideration for their critical illness insurance plan. Just like Cancer Guard, HIV and AIDS are at the top of the list, but their are others as well. The list is pretty extensive, including angina, cancer, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, aortic valve replacement, drug or alcohol abuse within the past five years and heart attack to name just a few.

It’s a high bar to clear in order to qualify, but thankfully all Cancer Guard cares about, as far as pre-existing conditions go, is HIV, AIDS and Cancer. Family history is also considered a pre-existing condition and like it does for Cancer Guard, it can also make you ineligible for any critical illness policy.

Pre-existing condition clause and insurance industry

However, the Insurance and Investment Journal has reported in the past that the pre-existing conditions clause (or pre-ex clause, to use industry lingo) has caused some controversy in the insurance industry. It is becoming much more common to see a pre-ex in a critical illness policy, even though the wording can be vastly different from one insurance company to another.

“The way I interpret [pre-ex clauses] is that the benefits may not be payable for any critical condition, whether diagnosed, or not. It does not say whether I know about it or not,” Richard Elias, Marketing Manager Living Benefits for Manulife Financial, told the Insurance and Investment Journal.

“I do not want to take away from the value and importance of CI, but I think a clause like this can give a company the right to contest a claim if they can prove that it was due to a pre-existing condition,” he continued.

However, other insurance companies believe that the pre-existing conditions clause is necessary because it protects the client from any unforeseen health complications. Marcel Martin, Director of Marketing and Living Benefits for Great-West Life, told the Insurance and Investment Journal that  it protects the client at claim time. “We do it to be clear and to avoid any bad surprises for the protection of the client,” he told the publication. “If the client is not hiding anything from the insurer and we have the right picture, it should not make the sale harder. If the pre-ex is not on the contract, there may be some expectations in the mind of the client.”

Go Back to Life Insurance for Cancer Patients Overview.

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