< Private Health Insurance

What’s moratorium and full medical underwriting?

When you apply for private health insurance, you can choose how we assess any pre-existing medical conditions you have. We’ll use either moratorium underwriting or full medical underwriting to do this.

If this is new to you, or sounds a bit baffling, don’t worry. Here’s a simple guide to what the key terms mean, and what you need to think about when deciding which one’s best for you.


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Video transcript

What's a pre-existing condition?

It's when you've had symptoms, medication, advice, treatment or diagnostic tests for a disease, illness or injury before you take out the policy. We need to know about these conditions, even if you weren't diagnosed at the time, so we know what we can and can't cover. That's because health cover is usually meant for new and unexpected medical conditions.

Compare your health underwriting options

There are a few key differences around applying and making a claim when it comes to pre-existing conditions:

Moratorium underwriting

  • You won't need to tell us about any pre-existing conditions when you apply
  • If you had a pre-existing condition in the five years before you take out cover, you'll only be covered for it once you've been free from medication, treatment, diagnostic tests or advice for the condition for two continuous years after your cover started
  • Each time you make a claim we'll look at your medical history, and may ask for information from your GP, to understand if your symptom or condition is new or pre-existing. So the claims process may take a bit longer

Full medical underwriting

  • You complete a full health questionnaire and tell us about any pre-existing conditions when you apply. We may also ask for information from your GP
  • Pre-existing conditions aren't usually covered. Once we've considered your information, your policy documents will tell you which symptoms or conditions we can't cover
  • When you claim, we'll already know what you're covered for, so the process may be quicker
  • It may cost less than moratorium underwriting

You can choose which type of underwriting you'd like us to use when you reach the medical history step of your application.

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