Pre-existing Condition, Preexisting Condition

A medical condition developed prior to issuance of a health insurance policy which may result in the limitation in the contract on coverage or benefits. Some policies exclude coverage of such conditions is often excluded for a period of time or indefinitely. Federally-qualified HMOs cannot limit coverage for pre-existing conditions. New statutes in 1997 and 1998 altered the freedom other health plans have enjoyed in setting preexisting time limits. Certification of prior coverage may mean new insurers would need to waive preexisting clauses for some subscribers.