12 Actual Pre-Existing Conditions From Before The Affordable Care Act

Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies could refuse to cover you because you had one of these “pre-existing conditions.” Here’s a Throwback Thursday to confuse your brain.

1. Pregnancy.

Pregnant women could be denied coverage. That was a thing.

2. Soon-to-be-fatherhood.

You didn’t have to be the pregnant parent—expectant fathers could be denied coverage too.

3. Soon-to-be-adoptive-parenthood.

Yes, really. An intention to adopt could be considered a pre-existing condition too.

4. Acne.

Before the Affordable Care Act, treating your pimples could have rendered you uninsurable.

5. Allergies.

Your treatment for your sniffles around cats used to be grounds for an insurance company to turn down your business.

6. Asthma.

Insurance companies used to be able to reject people—including kids—with asthma.

7. Toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus? Gross. Insurance companies refusing to cover you if you had it? More gross.

8. Being a firefighter.

Because insurance companies considered firefighting to be a “high-risk occupation,” they could include it in their underwriting guidelines as an uninsurable profession.

9. Or a police officer.

Another high-risk profession that insurance companies used to use as an excuse not to cover people. POLICE OFFICERS, PEOPLE.

10. Or even a war correspondent.

Another occupation deemed too risky for health insurance: being a journalist in a war zone.

11. Hemorrhoids.

Yes—if you had been treated for hemorrhoids, that was grounds for an insurance company to refuse to cover you for anything at all.

12. Bunions.

Let’s face it: Bunions are still unpleasant. But they used to be cause to drop you from your health insurance.

Here’s the good news

When you shop on the new marketplace, you won’t be asked if you have a pre-existing condition. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you have basic protections from crazy insurance company abuses, and pre-existing conditions are no longer a thing.

Now that’s something to celebrate.

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