Pre-Existing Conditions Period

The Pre-Existing Conditions Period is a time frame defined by each travel insurance company which specifies how far back into your medical history, prior to your travel insurance policy taking effect, the company would be entitled to search for any record of a pre-existing medical condition should you need to file a medically related claim. While the time frame varies between plans and providers, it will generally be anywhere from 60 to 180 days prior to the date your insurance policy goes into effect. Any claim you file that is deemed by your insurance company to be related to a known medical issue within the pre-existing conditions period may not be approved, so it’s essential to understand this aspect of any policy you are considering purchasing.

Important things to note when researching the Pre-Existing Conditions Period include:

Pre-Existing Conditions Waivers

These waivers are special benefits, sometimes offered as part of a Comprehensive Plan, that waive your insurance company’s right to examine your medical history — which renders the pre-existing conditions period essentially void. While that’s good news for most travelers, there are eligibility criteria you must meet in order to be able to purchase a travel insurance policy with a Pre-Existing Conditions Waiver, so it’s crucial that you do your homework.

Definitions of Pre-Existing Conditions can affect not just you, the traveler, but also your traveling companions or close family members as well. Consider carefully whether or not the medical conditions of someone other than yourself may substantially impact your travel plans. Your travel insurance policy should state clearly whether or not the company’s right to look at medical records within the Pre-Existing Conditions Period applies to the records of your traveling companions or non-traveling family members as well. Be sure that you clearly understand the company’s definitions of “immediate” family and other relationship terminology, so you can be sure that the coverage you’re purchasing best suits your needs. If you’re trying to obtain an insurance policy with the Pre-Existing Conditions Waiver, you’ll also need to be aware of whether or not that waiver extends to anyone besides yourself.

Pre-Existing Conditions For Canadian Customers

Every policy, whether it be for trip cancellation only or all inclusive, is going to come with an exclusion on pre-existing conditions. This means that the policy will not provide any benefits for a condition that falls under this exclusion, and how a policy defines existing conditions will change based on a travelers age. Therefore, it is always vitally important to review the wording on the pre-existing condition period before committing to a policy. You can do this just by clicking on the link next to Pre-Existing Condition Period. This will be important when looking into All Inclusive coverage, since a travelers age can change how the look back period will work.

For example with the company RSA, for travelers under 59 the pre-existing period goes back from the date you apply for your insurance. But for anybody older than that they will go back from the date of departure instead.

Pre-existing conditions include any condition other than a minor ailment such as flu or cold that you have either received medical attention for, or was in any other way unstable during the pre-existing look back period. For travelers older than 60, an additional provision is usually included specifically excluding a heart or lung condition, but it still has to have been unstable within the look back period before it can be excluded from coverage.

Written by on 9/11/13.
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