If you have a pre-existing condition, and want to be covered for it under your travel insurance policy, you might be interested in learning more about something called a Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Waiver.
Pre-Existing Condition Coverage helps travelers who have a pre-existing medical condition. This type of coverage is considered an exclusion waiver since most travel insurance plans auto-exclude insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Pre-existing conditions can be injuries, illnesses, diseases or other types of medical conditions that existed before the travel insurance’s effective date. One example of a pre-existing condition is Type 1 Diabetes. Even if you’re managing your health, insulin requirements may fluctuate. You had to have shown symptoms of these conditions and sought out a diagnosis or medical treatment, or been prescribed new or different medications.
Let’s say you decide to travel to Costa Rica to go snorkeling. A few months before your trip, you begin to get severe headaches. You visit your doctor, get a prescription and recover completely. However, once you get to Costa Rica, your headaches return.
If you purchased a policy that includes Pre-Existing Condition Coverage and have met the requirements for the waiver of exclusions (typically by purchasing your policy within a set amount of days after making your initial trip payment), you’ll be able to visit a medical facility to be treated and you’ll likely be covered for the cost of treatment.
To effectively use this type of travel insurance, you need to understand the “look-back period.” The look-back period is the duration of time prior to the effective date of the travel policy. This is the time period that the insurance company will look at to find your pre-existing conditions. The duration of the look-back period may vary from plan to plan. However, it’s normally between 60 and 180 days.
If your health was stable during the look-back period, the condition is not considered to be pre-existing. However, if the medical condition existed during the look-back period and you had symptoms, received treatment or had a change to your prescriptions, it’s considered a pre-existing condition.
Another term that should be understood is “medically stable.” This term means that you haven’t had any new type of medical condition or any changes to your prescriptions during the look-back period. it’s important that you’re medically stable when you purchase the travel coverage so that you’re protected if a claim has to be made.
When comparing plans on TravelInsurance.com, be sure to read the coverage details of each policy, as they tend to vary depending on the specific provider and policy.