Pre-Existing Conditions

In the insurance world, "pre-existing conditions" are a hot topic. It should come as no surprise that the same holds true with travel insurance; if you have a pre-existing condition, you'll need to consider that when making arrangements for travel insurance. It's also important to consider pre-existing conditions of your loved ones, whether they're traveling with you or not, before you purchase a travel insurance policy.

It's possible to get travel insurance even if you or a loved one have a pre-existing condition. In some policies, a pre-existing conditions waiver is actually included as one of the benefits as long as you purchase the policy within a specified time frame – usually anywhere from 10-30 days of making your initial trip payment. In such cases, there is usually no additional paperwork required to obtain your travel insurance policy, and no additional fee for the benefit. It's considered a part of the standard travel insurance comprehensive policy when it is purchased this way. However, in other cases, you'll need to look into getting coverage for your pre-existing condition separately, in which case there may be additional fees or paperwork required.

With a pre-existing conditions waiver, you'll be eligible for travel insurance benefits should something related to your condition (or your loved one's condition) disrupt your trip. For example, if you are traveling abroad and a family member at home who suffers from a pre-existing condition suddenly takes a turn for the worse, making it necessary for you to cut your trip short, your policy's trip interruption benefits would apply. If you were traveling with a pre-existing condition of your own, and suddenly had a recurrence or relapse that required you to seek medical attention, your expenses would be covered under the guidelines set by your travel insurance provider. Without the pre-existing conditions waiver, you would not be eligible for these benefits.

When looking into travel insurance coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, it's important to understand how the insurance companies define the term. In general, most companies will consider you to have a pre-existing condition if you have a diagnosed illness or medical concern that has not been "stable" within a defined period of time prior to your travel insurance purchase. The period of time that is specified will vary by plan and provider, but is usually anywhere from 60-180 days. "Stable" means, in brief, that your condition has not changed or worsened in any way – no new diagnoses or treatments, no new medications, no treatments of any kind, and no pending or initiated treatments, scans, or test results.

Without a pre-existing conditions waiver, your travel insurance company will have the right, should you file a claim, to look back into your medical history – or the medical history of pertinent family members – up to the defined period of time stated in your policy and determine whether or not they believe the incident for which you've filed the claim is related in any way to a pre-existing condition. If they determine that you are, in fact, filing a claim for something related to a pre-existing condition, they may decide to deny your claim. That's why understanding pre-existing conditions waivers and making sure that you purchase a policy that suits your needs is so important. To make sure that you've done everything you can to protect yourself and your trip, do your research; be up-front with your insurance company about any conditions you think might apply; purchase your travel insurance policy as soon after paying your initial trip deposit as possible; and familiarize yourself with all the details of your policy before you depart.

Written by on 9/11/13.
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Question:


I suffered a minor heart attack and as a result had a triple bypass 15 months ago. I am 66 and work 20 hours a week delivering prescriptions for my local pharmacy. I consider my condition to be stable as i have suffered no further episodes,been signed off by my consultant and have no changes to my medication.Is this considered pre existing?
johnM,
05/26/2014

Answer:


Each plan has a Pre-Existing Condition Period, The Pre-Existing condition period is the number of days that the insurance company will "look back" from the date the insurance was purchased, to see if your claim is related to a Pre-Existing Medical Condition. If the reason you are canceling, interrupting or seeking medical coverage is related to pre-existing conditions there will be no coverage. A Pre-Existing Condition is any treatment, diagnostic tests or exams, any recommendations for diagnostic test or exams, or any adjustments in medication up or down within the pre-existing condition period stated (depending on the company, 60 – 180 days prior to the effective date). Most policies will offer a waiver of pre-existing conditions if you meet the following conditions: You purchase the policy within 10 to 21 days of making your first trip payment; insure ALL prepaid non-refundable expenses prior to your departure date; and be medically fit to travel the day you purchase the policy.
NicholeH,
Customer Care insureMyTrip
05/26/2014
2 of 2 people found this helpful
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Question:


How does pregnancy fall under pre-existing? Healthy pregnancy, no medication, no treatment.
DevanB,
04/06/2014

Answer:


Pregnancy is not a preexisting medical condition, it is a foreseen event, it is currently on going.The preexisting medical condition waiver does not apply to pregnancy.
ChristopherG,
Customer Care insureMyTrip
04/06/2014
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Is an artificial joint (i.e., hip replacment) considered a "pre-existing" condition of there have been no complications and one year after surgery there are no problems with the hip?
EugeniaA,
01/11/2014

Answer:


Each plan has a Pre-Existing Condition Period, The Pre-Existing condition period is the number of days that the insurance company will "look back" from the date the insurance was purchased, to see if your claim is related to a Pre-Existing Medical Condition. If the reason you are canceling, interrupting or seeking medical coverage is related to pre-existing conditions there will be no coverage. A Pre-Existing Condition is any treatment, diagnostic tests or exams, any recommendations for diagnostic test or exams, or any adjustments in medication up or down within the pre-existing condition period stated (depending on the company, 60 days to 3 years prior to the effective date). Most policies will offer a waiver of pre-existing conditions if you meet the following conditions: You purchase the policy within 10 to 21 days of making your first trip payment; insure ALL prepaid non-refundable expenses prior to your departure date; and be medically fit to travel the day you purchase the policy.
NicholeH,
Customer Care insureMyTrip
01/11/2014
3 of 4 people found this helpful
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Question:


If I put a down payment on my trip one day and the next was hospitilzed am I then not eligible for a pre-existing waiver even if I was looking to buy insurance that week?
Cameron,
12/16/2013

Answer:


It depends on the situation. In order to get the pre-existing conditions waiver you must be medically fit to travel when applying for the insurance, and you must be buying the plan within the specified number of days. Furthermore, even with the pre-existing conditions waiver, the illness or injury that prevents you from traveling must still be unforeseen as of purchase.
David M.,
Customer Care insureMyTrip
12/16/2013
2 of 3 people found this helpful
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Question:


Is high blood pressure that is controlled by medication generally considered to be a pre-existing condition in the event of a heart attack?
Sharon,
12/01/2013

Answer:


That would depend on what was in your medical records and how the claims department would interpret those records. We recommend that if you are able to purchase a policy with a Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver, you do so. Other-wise, look for a plan with a 60 day look back (pre-existing period) as this is the shortest amount of time a company will look back into medical records to determine if a loss is due to a pre-existing medical condition.
Lynne,
Customer Care insureMyTrip
12/01/2013
3 of 3 people found this helpful
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