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What is Health Underwriting?

Unless you have a Guaranteed Issue or Special Enrollment, a Medicare Supplement plan is subject to health underwriting. What this means in plain terms is, the insurer is going to decide whether they think you are a good risk. Here is what is normally involved.

Health Questionnaire. The Medicare Supplement application has a section containing some simple health questions. The questions vary from company to company, and even change from one year to the next. But basically, this is a screening for any chronic conditions that might be considered not under control or chronic with complications.

Medications. Most of the applications require a list of your medications. They sometimes also request the specific diagnosis being treated and how long you have been taking that medication. In the last few years this has taken on more importance with the insurers.

Physician’s Records. The application will probably ask for the name of your Primary Care Physician and for permission to request your medical records. What is requested is simply a short one page summary of your health, specifically looking for any diagnosis that is not currently under control with medication or treatment, or a surgical procedure that has been recommended but not yet completed.

Personal Interview. the Insurance Underwriter may call you to verify information on your application. How long have you taken this medication? Have you ever taken another medication not listed? We often advise clients to answer the questions honestly but treat it like a deposition in a legal case. answer the questions, but don’t volunteer any extra information.

We periodically review underwriting policies for each insurer so we can help you decide which medicare supplement policy has the best chance of being issued if you have a health condition that might be questioned. This gives you the best chance to have the coverage you want and avoid a decline in underwriting.

Next week, we will review the most common Guaranteed Issue or Special Enrollment situations.

This is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. Randy Foulds of Foulds Health Insurance Agency is an independent broker and Medicare specialist in La Quinta. license #0G69218. You can reach him at 760-346-6565.