Is osteoarthritis considered a pre-existing condition?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Osteoarthritis (OA) may be considered a pre-existing condition. If you change jobs or insurers and are already receiving treatment for OA, your new health insurance company may consider it a pre-existing condition. Whether you will be denied coverage or charged a higher premium depends on your health plan. Health insurance issuers and employer plans use different definitions.

However, under the Affordable Care Act, denying coverage or excluding benefits due to a pre-existing condition will no longer be allowed. For children under 19, this new protection begins this fall. For everyone else, this protection will be in place by 2014. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)
If you have osteoarthritis (OA) and switch health insurance companies, your OA might be considered a preexisting condition. In that case, the insurance company might refuse to pay for your OA drugs and related medical expenses for a specified time period (usually anywhere from three months to a year). This is a complicated issue, because the laws covering preexisting conditions vary from state to state and are affected by national changes in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Check with the customer service department of your new insurer or the human resources department of your new employer to learn about your options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.