What are chronic conditions?
A chronic condition also has one or more of the following characteristics:
- is recurrent in nature
- is without a known, generally recognised cure
- is not generally deemed to respond well to treatment
- requires palliative treatment
- leads to permanent disability
Chronic health conditions can be treated and managed but usually not cured. Some can be immediately life-threatening, such as heart disease and stroke. Others can linger over time and need intensive management, such as diabetes. Most chronic conditions persist throughout a person’s life, but are not always the cause of death, such as arthritis.
Some examples of chronic conditions include asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.
How best to manage a chronic health condition
Understanding your chronic condition starts with researching all about your symptoms and the treatment options available to help control them. Your first port of call should always be your doctor who can give you specific advice based on your individual situation.
Keeping a diary of your symptoms to track whether they improve or worsen can also be helpful when discussing your treatment with health professionals. You’ll feel more in control of your health and better able to make informed decisions regarding your care. Talk to people who have the same condition and find a local support group or online group for people who have the same condition as you.
How to choose health insurance for chronic conditions
Managing a chronic condition can require more frequent check-ups, medication, and supplies – and these costs can add up. So it's important to choose a health insurance plan that will help keep your monthly costs as low as possible.
Many healthcare providers set a yearly or lifetime limit to claims relating to chronic disease. Some agree to cover only the stabilisation of acute flare-ups of a chronic illness, while others may also cover the routine maintenance of chronic conditions, such as prescription drugs. And then some do not cover chronic conditions at all.
As a member of Allianz Care, we can provide cover for the vast majority of pre-existing or chronic conditions. Some examples of the conditions we cover include asthma, dermatitis, allergies, migraine, thyroid disorders, and hypertension.
On average, 70 per cent of applications we receive are accepted for cover without any additional exclusions and at no additional cost. No specific restrictions apply to the maintenance or ongoing supervision of your condition and eligible costs are covered under the benefits outlined in your Table of Benefits.
Alternatively, a surcharge may be applied to your premium, and where this is the case, we may be able to offer the option of excluding the condition from cover to keep your premium cost down.
Usually, chronic conditions diagnosed during the term of your Allianz Care health policy will be covered. However, if the chronic condition is pre-existing, i.e. already diagnosed before the policy inception, then it will depend on the terms and conditions and type of underwriting approach defined for your particular healthcare plan.
The importance of medical underwriting when you have a chronic condition
How you can prevent chronic diseases and promote health
According to the World Health Organisation, about 80 per cent of chronic diseases are driven by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. By making healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your likelihood of developing a chronic condition and improve your quality of life.
The following healthy habits can prevent chronic disease:
- Eating healthy reduces your risk for almost every chronic condition. Eat a balanced diet of fruits, veg, whole grains, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.
- Regular activity can help prevent, delay, or manage chronic conditions. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week.
- Avoid smoking/drinking. Over time, smoking and drinking can lead to high blood pressure, various cancers, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease.
- Get screened. To prevent chronic diseases or to catch them early, schedule regular visits to your doctor.
- Get enough sleep. Aim for at least 7 hours of restful sleep every night.
- Know your family history. If you have a family history of a chronic disease, you may be more likely to develop that disease yourself. Be sure to inform your doctor about your family health history so you can both take steps to prevent these conditions or catch them early.
Learn more about International health insurance solutions from Allianz care.