Private Business Intermediaries

What is underwriting?

Underwriting is the term used by health insurance providers that refers to the use of medical information  to evaluate an application for coverage. A private medical insurance is designed to cover mostly new and acute conditions. However, policies have different types of underwriting that determine which conditions are covered and which are not.

There are five main types of medical underwriting:
  • Full medical underwriting (FMU)
  • Moratorium
  • Continued personal medical exclusions (CPME)
  • Continued moratorium (CM)
  • Medical history disregarded (MHD) - only for corporate policies

Full medical underwriting (FMU)

A health questionnaire (known as a full medical assessment) is used to ask you questions about your past and current health. In some cases we may need to talk to your doctor to get further information. Based on this information we can then inform you which previous or existing conditions we will be able to cover.

You will receive documentation that will list which conditions will be covered under the terms and conditions of your policy.

Key points:
  • A full medical questionnaire must be filled out.
  • Clearer explanations of cover and exclusions.
  • The policy is tailored to your health requirements.

Moratorium

In this case there is no need for a medical questionnaire. Instead, the policy has automatic temporary exclusions. These are generally pre-existing conditions: any condition where you have asked for medical advice, had symptoms of, or been treated for, within the last five years before your policy was taken out.

If you take out a health policy on a moratorium basis and you have two ‘clear years’ for a medical condition: you have not asked for advice, had symptoms of, or have been treated for that health problem; then you will be eligible for cover for that condition subject to policy terms and conditions.

Key points:
  • No medical questionnaire required.
  • Automatic and instant acceptance.
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Automatic exclusions.

Continued Personal Medical Exclusions (CPME)

If you already have a policy that is fully medically underwritten and you are under 70 years old, your new policy can be set out to continue your existing personal medical exclusions and no new exclusions will be added.

Continued Moratorium (CM)

If you already have a policy that is written on a moratorium basis and you are under 70 years old, you can transfer your policy. Freedom Health will apply our moratorium conditions starting from the date of your existing policy inception. In this way, the entire period when you were covered by the previous policy under moratorium terms will count for the new Freedom Health insurance policy.

Medical History Disregarded (MHD)

If you take a corporate policy and all applicants are under 70 years old, you could be covered without any personal medical exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

For a comprehensive guide to underwriting for each of our policies please see the brochures from our documents library.