I have a pacemaker. Does this make me uninsurable?
UPDATED: Jul 7, 2015
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Asked July 7, 2015
Part of the insurance application process involves a review of your family and personal medical histories. This includes identifying any medical devices you require, such as a pacemaker. Depending on the device and your current health, the insurance company will either deny coverage or use the information to more accurately determine what your rates will be.
The pacemaker alone will not exclude you from health insurance coverage, but it will have an impact on what your rates will be. Most insurance companies will have a waiting period after having a pacemaker installed, ranging from 90 to 10 days, before they will initiate health insurance coverage. This gives the insurer the opportunity to ascertain that the surgery was successful, and that you are in stable health.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are not allowed to reject a health insurance applicant on the rounds of preexisting conditions. For someone with a pacemaker, this means that you cannot be denied health insurance because of the device, although your insurability is also affected by other factors. For example, having a pacemaker is acceptable, but you may not be able to buy health insurance if you develop a terminal condition.
Even if you are looking at a company which does not currently accept pacemaker recipients, all of them will be required to do so in the near future. If you are applying for coverage through an employer-sponsored plan, the company should have already adopted the new laws and begun to offer coverage for all applicants, regardless of any preexisting conditions they may have.
Answered July 10, 2015 by Anonymous