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Pre-existing conditions

Several individuals are continually diagnosed of chronic illness at an increased rate, and in various parts of the world. This has hindered these individuals from enjoying the benefits offered by the standard medical insurance. Quite fortunate enough, travel insurance provides coverage for some chronic and pre-existing condition, in some instances, based on different conditions stipulated by varying insurance companies.

What are Pre-existing Conditions?

Pre-existing Conditions are acute illnesses, health issues or disorders diagnosed in individuals before the purchase of a medical insurance and departure from their permanent country of residence. Pre-existing conditions are usually chronic in nature with a high probability of recurrence.

For example, an individual may be diagnosed of cardiac related diseases or kidney failure before acquiring a contract with the insurer. Or in cases where by an individual sustains severe injuries caused by fatal accidents prior to the purchase of the insurance policy. In such circumstances, the individual is considered as one who possesses pre-existing condition.

Coverage of pre-existing condition

Though, the standard medical insurance may not provide coverage for permanent and recurring health issues which were diagnosed earlier before purchasing the insurance policy. On the contrary, the travel insurance policy would cover some of these pre-existing conditions confronting the insured traveler, provided certain contractual conditions in the policy are satisfied. Several material from various internet resources suggest various criteria specified by different insurance companies, regarding the coverage of pre-existing conditions. In general, the coverage of expenses incurred by a traveler with any pre-existing condition, will be guaranteed, provided:

  • The traveler purchased the travel insurance plan.
  • The traveler departs to the intended destination.
  • The illness was first diagnosed within a specified period before purchasing the insurance policy.

Usually various companies with varying degrees of leniency provide various period of grace ranging from 1 to 6 months of being predisposed to a terminal illness, prior to the purchase of the insurance plan and departure from permanent country of residence.

Note: Individuals with history of certain kinds of illness should deliver an accurate and up-to-date medical report to the intended insurer. This will provide an opportunity for the insurer’s in-house medical consultants to determine if such an illness is covered by the intended plan of purchase.

Limits to coverage of pre-existing condition

The travel insurance shall not provide coverage on expenses for treatment of pre-existing, chronic or recurrent illness and disorder, if the insured:

  • Was hospitalized within a certain period prior to departure or before each departure, if the traveler selected an annual travel insurance plan.
  • Has been treated or diagnosed by a physician within a specific period before departure, or prior to each departure, if the traveler had selected an annual travel insurance plan.
  • Has had an alteration in medication within a specific timeframe prior to departure from country of permanent residence.
  • The traveler is medically unfit to travel while purchasing the insurance policy.
  • Has not received medical treatment, has refused or given up treatment, especially if the insured is aware of urgent requirement for treatment, or the illness has deteriorated to a critical point.
  • Has reached a critical point where by an attempt of further treatment is forbidden by the physician.
  • Is expecting to receive treatment or has been referred to an alternative place of treatment.

Note: several insurance companies may not accept the coverage of pre-existing illness, injuries or abnormalities that occurred within six (6) months, prior to the purchase of the insurance policy document. Not all insurance companies may specify the aforementioned amount of period for coverage. Therefore cross-check the insurance policy document for such issues.

Additional facts

The Traveler must review travel insurance policies in order to select a policy that is suitable for his/her circumstances. It is recommended that, travelers consult experienced and trusted travel agents for proper explanations, prior to the acquisition of the travel insurance document.

The insured traveler is responsible for studying all associated material of the insurance policy. This will provided understanding on how to obtain the benefits accruing from the acquisition of the insurance policy.

Except the traveler is aware of possessing no pre-existing condition, it is recommended that such traveler purchases a travel insurance policy containing no exceptions to coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Though, finding a travel insurance policy which possesses no exclusion to pre-existing conditions, could be tedious. In spite of this fact, there are several online resources that provides an opportunity to trivially review and compare solutions offered by several insurance companies.

Summary

The medical insurance will not cover expenses on treatment of pre-existing illness or health abnormalities. But the travel insurance policy may provide coverage for some pre-existing issues, in accordance with stipulated terms and condition existing in the policy document. Travelers are recommended to deliver updated medical reports to their insurers and its in-house medical experts to evaluate if a condition is covered.

Though the travel insurance may cover pre-existing conditions, but some limitations exists, and vary according to the insurance providers.