Moratorium Health Insurance

29th June 2023

For more flexible private health insurance, consider a policy with moratorium underwriting. Moratorium is one of the most popular methods of private medical insurance underwriting in the UK because it’s typically cheaper than the alternatives, generally with a quicker, easier and less obtrusive process to get the policy active.

Understanding moratorium underwritten health insurance

If you have a historic medical condition, you may think it will impede you from getting full cover with a private health insurance policy. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Insurance policies with moratorium medical underwriting are an excellent choice for those with a pre-existing condition, depending on your individual circumstances.

Medical insurance with moratorium underwriting disregards your medical history and therefore doesn’t factor in previous treatment you may have received more than five years ago. For any medical condition you’ve received treatment for in the past five years, you’ll need to have two full “clear” years (i.e., not experienced symptoms or receive treatment or medical advice) before your health insurance covers you for that particular condition again. Moratorium underwriting is therefore an excellent option if you have received treatment in the past but don’t want your distant medical history to affect your future insurance protection.

How does moratorium underwriting work?

With a moratorium health insurance policy, your insurer will typically not ask for your medical history at the time of taking out the policy, but they will require further medical information any time you make a claim. At this stage they will determine whether your recent history shows that you’ve received treatment for the same or related condition in the past five years. If you haven’t — and the condition and treatment are covered under your policy — your insurer will approve your claim.

Moratorium versus full medical insurance underwriting

When it comes to healthcare and medical insurance, everyone is unique. Your personal medical history and experience is going to play a significant factor in determining what type of policy and coverage is the best fit for you. If you’re trying to decide whether full health insurance or a moratorium underwritten policy is right for you, there are several key points to consider:

Why pick moratorium health insurance?

  • Moratorium underwriting implementation is usually faster because you normally don’t need to fill in a health declaration.
  • If you’ve not suffered any major health conditions in the past five years, there’ll typically be no automatic exclusions on your policy.
  • If you do have a pre-existing medical condition, you may be able to get coverage for it after two years without incident.
  • Usually, historic medical conditions from over five years ago will be covered.


Why choose full medical insurance?

With a full medical insurance policy you’ll have absolute transparency from the start over what is or isn’t covered. This is suitable for those without any ongoing or historic conditions that are likely to be temporary, but if you do have (or previously had) a condition that required treatment, this will be excluded from your full medical insurance policy.

That said, you may be able to get coverage for conditions that occurred in the past five years, especially if that condition is minor. This is, however, always subject to your insurer’s discretion. It’s therefore worth consulting with an experienced health insurance advisor to fully discuss your options and determine which is the most suitable choice for you.

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When considering your options for private medical insurance, it’s important to get a complete understanding of your choices and the types of policies available to you. The best way to do this is to speak with a professional insurance advisor, but if you would like to get a better understanding of moratorium health insurance policies before picking up the phone, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

What is the moratorium period in health insurance?

The moratorium period covers the past five years and the future two years from the time of any claim you make with your medical insurance policy.

At the time of your claim, your insurer will review your medical history for the preceding five years to look for related incidents, where you may have had symptoms, been treated for or received advice regarding the same or similar condition. If there is no record of such incidents in your medical history, you will be covered for your claim (assuming it is a medical condition that your policy usually covers).

What happens after the moratorium period?

The moratorium period impacts your medical insurance coverage for two years into the future from the point of any claim. From the time of your last treatment, consultation or recorded complaint, your policy will no longer cover you for the same condition for a period of two years. If during that two year period, you experience a recurrence of the condition or complaint, that two year moratorium period will be restarted.

What is “rolling” moratorium health insurance underwriting?

You may come across the term “rolling moratorium” in relation to this type of medical insurance. Rolling moratorium coverage simply refers to a moratorium policy where you don’t need to seek health advice or receive treatment for a pre-existing condition for the entire qualifying period. If you are advised or treated within the two-year period, the date of your policy will be renewed. The alternative to a rolling moratorium can be a fixed moratorium, where the qualifying period doesn’t change regardless of what treatment, advice or medication you receive.

Who is eligible for moratorium health insurance?

Essentially anyone is eligible for moratorium health insurance. There are, of course, specific stipulations which are dictated by individual insurance providers. Some may have age limits or particular health level requirements such as not offering moratorium policies to over-65s or those with a BMI of 35 or above. These types of parameters are set at the discretion of each insurer, so it’s worth consulting with an insurance advisor to assess your best options.

What is the benefit of moratorium health insurance?

If you would like insurance for private healthcare, a moratorium underwritten policy could be the best option for you. Unlike full medical insurance, moratorium cover doesn’t require access to your complete medical history before approving the policy. It also allows you to flexibly adjust what conditions are covered over time, depending on circumstances and requirements.

Moratorium medical underwriting is therefore most beneficial to those who have either no pre-existing health conditions, or people who have had at least five years without any record of an incident regarding a medical condition. As moratorium health insurance doesn’t require a full medical history background check before granting the policy, it’s also a great option for anyone looking to have private medical cover in place quickly.

Can you opt out of a moratorium insurance policy?

As with any private medical insurance policy, you can choose to cancel your coverage when you choose. Depending on the provider and the terms and conditions of the agreement, there may be notice periods or charges for cancellation.

If you want to switch from one insurance policy under moratorium underwriting to another, you can be transferred from your existing scheme into a new underwriting period, so long as the existing policy is valid at the time of the transfer.

If you want to switch from a moratorium underwritten policy to a full medical insurance policy, this will require a consultation with your broker to determine what your best option would be. Due to the distinct differences between these types of private health insurance, changing from one to another can be likened to trading in your car to buy a new one — the whole product is completely different and will have entirely unique coverage, requirements and stipulations.


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The Clear Health Group Ltd
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