What is Medical History Disregarded (MHD) in Health Insurance?

I’ve been looking to switch my company’s Business Health Insurance scheme because some of my employees have pre-existing conditions that the current plan doesn’t cover. I’ve noticed that medical history disregarded (MHD) underwriting is an option for some of the policies I’ve been looking at. However, I’m not sure what it means. Can you give me some information about it?

Question asked by Kevin Wen

Health Insurance with medical history disregarded underwriting effectively ignores your employees’ pre-existing conditions. This means your policy treats all eligible medical conditions an employee has, regardless of when they arose.

This underwriting is unique when it comes to Health Insurance. Usually, insurers examine workers’ medical history in some form or another to exclude pre-existing conditions.

As insurers don’t do this with medical history disregarded underwriting, it’s therefore the best available on the market.

However, it’s only an option for Group Health Insurance schemes of a certain size. Generally, you need at least 20 employees (although this isn’t a concrete rule).

This means it’s not available for a personal Health Insurance scheme, only company policies.

What Does Medical History Disregarded Underwriting Cover?

You should also understand that even with MHD underwriting, Health Insurance only treats eligible conditions.

One main eligibility criteria is whether the condition is chronic or acute. Acute conditions pass with time and treatment and include cataracts needing surgery or joint pain requiring a joint replacement.

Chronic conditions, on the other hand, stick with you for life. Doctors cannot cure them, only manage them. These include asthma and diabetes.

Private Medical Insurance only treats acute conditions. Chronic conditions aren’t eligible, even with medical history disregarded underwriting.

Is Medical History Disregarded Underwriting Right for You?

You’re looking for a Business Health Insurance scheme that covers your workers’ pre-existing conditions. Assuming you’ve got enough employees, you may well be eligible for MHD underwriting to achieve this.

However, given the broader scope of coverage compared to other underwriting options, medical history disregarded underwriting is the most expensive option to choose.

Despite this, many employers prefer to choose it to cover all eligible pre-existing conditions and ensure equality for all members under the scheme.

Switching Providers

You also mention that you’re looking to switch Private Health Insurance providers.

Here we’d offer some words of caution. It can be tricky to switch a scheme by yourself, especially a Group Health scheme covering multiple people.

Most importantly, you want to do so in a way that offers continuity of coverage. You’ll need to switch your workers on a continuing personal medical exclusions (CPME) basis. If you need advice on this, the team at Drewberry will be happy to assist.

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