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Limitations On Pre-Existing Health Condition Exclusions/Waiting Periods

How Can I Learn Whether An Employer's Plan Has A Pre-Existing Condition Waiting Period?

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If you are considering going to work for an employer and would like to know about whether there is a pre-existing condition provision in the health plan, and, if so, the terms, check the employer's web site. If there is no information there, you can either ask at an interview or after you get a job offer and before you accept it. You can preface your request with a statement such as "My pushy brother-in-law has been doing financial planning for me and insists on knowing about the benefits at my job. Would you mind telling me about the ins and outs of benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance and retirement plans, what's covered, when coverage starts, that sort of thing...."

If you are already working for a new employer, to find out what if any limitations are contained in the health insurance plan, read your Summary Plan Description. If there is a Pre-Existing Conditions Provision and Waiting Period, it will be spelled out. It is usually a separate provision with a bold heading.

If there is no provision about Pre-Existing Conditions, then there is no waiting period. Look carefully to make sure it's really not there, not that you just overlooked it the first time through.

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