Waiting Period

Updated: 09 June 2023

What Does Waiting Period Mean?

A waiting period refers to the time an insured must wait before some or all of their coverage comes into effect. Only when the waiting period has passed can the insured have a right to file a claim for the benefits of the insurance policy.

A waiting period is also known as an elimination period in case it refers to the time between making a claim and waiting for its payment

Insuranceopedia Explains Waiting Period

Health insurance generally imposes three types of waiting periods. An employer waiting period requires an employee to wait a certain period of time, such as three months, before they can receive covered health services. This is to discourage an employee from filing a major claim and leaving the company shortly thereafter. Second, affiliation periods refer to exclusion periods that HMOs impose. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates this and does not allow it to exceed three months. Lastly, some group plans may have pre-existing condition (PEC) waiting periods, as these plans are the only ones now required to provide insurance to those with a PEC. However, creditable coverage can help reduce or eliminate this wait period.

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