What is a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition usually means any medical condition, or symptoms for which medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment was recommended or received by a doctor or other practitioner at any time prior to your departure date. These medical conditions or symptoms are described in the insurance policy.
Getting insurance with a pre-existing medical condition
Many people with existing medical conditions assume they are ineligible for travel insurance; not true. In many cases you can get insurance, and even if you aren’t eligible for coverage for a pre-existing medical condition, you can still be protected against other risks or risks to your family, through a travel insurance policy.
Some pre-existing medical conditions, like asthma, are no big deal. For others you may need to provide a little more information to your insurance company before they will issue a policy.
If you have one of these pre-existing medical conditions you will have the opportunity to have a policy tailored to meet your needs. First you’ll be provided with a medical questionnaire to complete. Then, the information provided is used to provide a policy that fits your situation.
The benefit of this process is that you will have peace of mind to know what you are covered for while away with a policy created for your unique situation.
Speak to your insurance company or an insurance expert to find out if your condition is insurable before assuming it isn’t.
The cost of insuring a pre-existing medical condition
If you have a pre-existing medical condition there is a chance that the cost of your policy will increase. How much it increases depends on a number of factors, including the type and severity of the condition, your age and the length of your trip.
Qualifying for insurance with a pre-existing medical condition
Many insurance companies will provide coverage if your condition is “stable.” The definition and duration of stability can vary depending on the insurance company, and policy. Generally, though, to be considered stable your condition must meet some common conditions:
- No new diagnosis, treatment or prescribed medication
- No change in treatment or medication, including the amount taken or frequency
- No new symptoms or more frequent or severe symptoms
- No test results showing deterioration
- Not awaiting test results investigating the condition
- Not been hospitalized or referred to a specialist
Coverage for your other risks
If you can’t get insurance for an existing condition because it is not stable, you can still be insured for other conditions that are. And you and your family can still benefit from coverage for other medical emergencies as well as the other policy benefits like trip cancellation and lost baggage.
Don’t let a pre-existing medical condition prevent you from protecting yourself and your family while you are travelling.
Travelling with coverage from a credit card or employer
If you have travel insurance through your employer or a credit card, be sure to review the policy regarding pre-existing medical conditions before travelling. Many policies will refuse claims related to these conditions.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions it doesn’t mean you have to travel without coverage, though. You can purchase supplemental private coverage as long as your condition is stable, meaning you are not currently receiving treatment and your medication has not changed within the time period set out by the insurance company. Some companies will even insure a condition that is not stable, although at much higher rates.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, speak to an insurance expert about your options to ensure you are protected when you travel.
Can I just not mention my pre-existing conditions?
This is NOT a good idea! Getting a policy in your hand doesn’t necessarily mean you actually have the coverage. If you purchase a travel insurance policy without disclosing a pre-existing medical condition, the policy will be considered invalid and any medical claims you make against that policy will be denied.
Even coverage for trip cancellation may be denied if it is related to your undisclosed condition.
Speak to an insurance expert about your options for insurance with a pre-existing medical condition. In many cases you can still get insurance for it. In all situations, you can still get insurance for other risks, just be sure to disclose your condition so you don’t put your eligibility for other coverage at risk.