Health Insurance for Hepatitis B Positive
P.S. To protect my identity online I have not signed up with my full name and have only used my initials.
I am 39 years old. I am Hepatitis B positive. I was diagnosed 15 years back when I took admission in a college for post-graduation and I was diagnosed during a routine medical checkup for providing hostel accommodation. It took me a long to stop seeking "why me".
I don't know when I got infected and how. I am under no medication or treatment. It's a Silent e-Negative Chronic Hepatitis B. I only go for my annual blood tests to determine the viral load and Fibroscan/ MRA to determine the health of my Liver.
Thankfully and by God's grace my health is fine and liver profile and SGOT/ SGPT are good and the viral load is minimal.
10 years back I had applied for Tata AIG Health Insurance Policy and honestly provided my health details but I was declined.
4 years back I applied for a health insurance at Star Health and in the proposal form didn't mention Hepatitis B positive as PED (with my past experience that if I disclose I won't get the policy). And after receiving the health insurance policy, next year before renewal I raised a grievance ticket and disclosed my Hepatitis B positive status as PED.
Star Health issued me an endorsement document for the inclusion of PED and put me under 4 years of waiting.
I have not taken any claim from Star Health yet.
In 2021, I realized that 10 lakh cover is not enough with rising inflation and seeing friends and colleagues who were hospitalized due to covid, had to face huge medical bills.
Considering these, before renewal of my policy I requested for sum assured enhancement to Rs 50 Lakh.
But Star Health declined my sum insured enhancement because of PED. I provided them my last 10 years' annual medical test reposts. I even requested that if they want to put me under 4 years waiting period again, I am okay. Or if they want to negotiate the cover amount, or if they want to increase my premium (I have a term insurance and they increased my load when I disclosed my health status. but didn't decline me). But Star Health didn't give me any choice and it was a blanket ban.
Now, although I have existing health insurance from Star Health of Rs 10 Lakh, I am worried it would not be adequate in the coming few years.
Please guide me what should I do?
The insurance rules are such that if someone discloses honestly, they are not given insurance. And if someone gets a disease after taking the policy, he still gets cover.
There are millions of people around who are Hepatitis B positive because they have never tested themselves. They are living in ignorance. While people who know the truth face stigma from society when they reveal it. E.g. women don't want to marry me when I disclose my Hepatitis B positive status before entering a relationship. The insurance company declined my sum insurance enhancement request .etc.
Please guide me to get health insurance cover to live my life with dignity. Because like my doctor says my disease can remain silent throughout my life or maybe trigger someday. But that holds true for anyone. Even a healthy person can suddenly get a life-threatening ailment.
The health insurance company declining me a cover also makes me vulnerable to other unrelated diseases, if something happens to me.
I request all the experts here to help.