Many types of travel insurance are available, including travel medical insurance. Can you get travel medical insurance if you have a pre-existing condition? Read on to learn about the answer to this question.
Travel insurance can cover medical expenses anywhere in the world, and some types also include emergency evacuation, which allows you to be moved to any hospital or medical facility of your choice. Frequent travelers to foreign countries can choose to purchase annual travel medical plans or purchase this insurance on a per-trip basis. Also, travel insurance with trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage can cover the cost of the trip in the event that the trip has to be cancelled or cut short on account of a medical emergency.
Pre-existing medical conditions are generally excluded by all travel insurance companies and their policies. If you or a member of your travel party has a pre-existing medical condition, the insurer may offer a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver (which means they would cover pre-existing conditions) if certain conditions are met. Most comprehensive travel insurance plans offer this option.
The insurer may require the policy by purchased by a certain deadline, usually 10 to 21 days from the date any money was put towards the trip and the full trip cost is insured under the policy. In addition, the traveler must be medically able to travel at the time of purchasing the policy. In this case, no additional fee is typically charged for this service.
Some individuals may not qualify for a pre-existing condition waiver. This does not necessarily mean that these people will not be able to purchase travel health insurance. However, their pre-existing conditions may be excluded from being covered by the insurance policy.
Be aware that it’s important to understand how the insurer defines “pre-existing condition” before buying a plan with a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. Many insurers do not require the waiver if the condition has been considered as “stable” for a period of three to six months before purchasing the policy. A condition is “stable” if there has been no new diagnosis, change in medications, new treatments, or testing during the specified time period. Examples of conditions that are considered stable would be a heart condition that has been controlled with one consistent medication for years or a joint replacement surgery that was performed more than six months prior that no longer requires any particular medications or therapy.
If you file a claim, the insurer typically has the right to look back at your medical history prior to the trip. Your claim may be denied if the insurer looks back at your medical history and decides that the condition you’re claiming developed or worsened during the specified pre-trip period.
Be sure to read the pre-existing condition exclusion waiver clause on your policy before buying.