Insurers Are More Likely to Deny Coverage to Seniors

Posted on Oct 22, 2009

When it comes to individual insurance policies, senior citizens are more likely to be denied coverage.  Older Americans are often denied based on "pre-existing conditions," as they usually have at least one chronic condition. 

The rate of insurance denial only goes up with age.  According to statistics within the insurance industry from 2006, 17.4 percent of people ages 50 to 54 were denied individual insurance coverage and 22.3 percent of people ages 55 to 59 were turned down.  Individuals in the 60 to 64 age bracket had a denial rate of 28.7 percent.   The Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that the denial rate for individual policies in the age group, 60 to 64, was three times higher than people ages 35 to 39. 

For the lucky few who are able to obtain individual coverage, the plans often include something known as an "elimination rider."  Basically, it is a clause that states that the insurer does not have to pay any claims associated with the policyholder's pre-existing condition.  Florida is among the 37 states that currently allow these types of clauses.  That means that seniors could have to pay high medical costs, even if they have insurance coverage.

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