Travel Insurance and the Pre-Existing Medical Condition.
As a teenager I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Luckily, I have a very mild case and do not have to take medication to keep the disease in check. However, for medical insurance purposes, this does not matter. Either, I am not insurable because I have a pre-existing condition, or I have to pay a lot more for coverage; it does not matter that I have not sought medical attention for the disease in nearly 15 years. In the eyes of insurance companies, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness; therefore, I will have a pre-existing condition for life.
Fortunately, travel insurance companies are a bit more sensible when it comes to pre-existing medical conditions. For example, if I was traveling now and had to seek medical attention because of my Crohn’s disease, my travel insurance would cover any expenses that I incur. Why? Because travel insurance companies have a look-back period–generally, between 60 and 180 days–and will review your medical records to see if you were medically stable during this period. This means that despite having a chronic illness, if I didn’t have any prescription changes or treatments for my medical condition, then it would be considered medically stable, and I wouldn’t need to pay extra for an exclusion waiver if I wished to cover my medical condition while traveling.
On the other hand, Bob (Beth’s father), who has diabetes and requires daily changes to his insulin requirements, would have to get an exclusion waiver if he wanted trip coverage for the disease. Basically, in the eyes of travel insurance companies, a pre-existing medical condition is considered to be any sickness, condition or accident that medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care was given for during the look-back period.
Remember, most travel insurance medical plans automatically exclude pre-existing conditions. So if you have one, you’ll want to look into purchasing a plan that offers a pre-existing condition exclusion, which generally require that the exclusion be purchased within a certain time frame and that you cover the entire cost and length of the trip.
As always, it’s a good idea to compare prices when shopping for travel insurance. For our UK readers, one good place to begin comparing travel insurance is moneysupermarket.
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