Know what’s covered
Travelling abroad but unsure about your pre-existing medical conditions? Confused whether your travel insurance covers pre-existing medical conditions? Understand what to look for when buying a travel insurance policy.
What is a Pre-existing Medical Condition
A medical condition is a pre-existing medical condition if it is:
- A medical condition you are aware of
- A medical condition for which you are undergoing treatment or had treatment in the past
- A medical condition for which you are taking regular medications
- A medical condition for which you had a surgery or planning one
Let us consider an example.
Reena bought a travel insurance policy for her father for a trip to Australia to visit her brother. At the time of filling the form, she mentioned that her father had no pre-existing disease. During the stay abroad, he had to be hospitalised for high blood pressure. To their surprise, his claim was rejected. He had been taking medication for blood pressure for the last couple of years. However, Reena didn’t think it important to mention this.
Therefore, a proper analysis should be made and all doubts must be cleared before completing the policy form.
How do I Qualify for Insurance with a Pre-existing Medical Condition?
Many insurance companies provide coverage with a pre-existing medical condition, provided your condition is “stable”. Being “stable” comes with a few conditions, which include:
- No new diagnosis or prescribed treatment and medication
- No change in the frequency of treatment or medication
- No signs of further deterioration in the reports
- Should not be awaiting the results of a test
- No further hospitalisation or referred to a new specialist
These conditions may also vary depending on your policy provider. Apart from “stable” there is also a “look back period” which is the time period since you registered for the policy and the day you made your claim. It should exceed the time specified by the company otherwise your claim would be rejected.
Is Travelling with a Pre-existing Medical Condition Coverage Worth it?
Mr. Kumar visited the US for a short trip last month. He had skin allergy and was already on medication. He took a pre-existing medical condition waiver along with his travel insurance. He visited the beach with his friends and unfortunately his skin allergy got to a level so high that he had to be eventually hospitalised. Since he already declared his condition in the form and it was recognised as stable by the insurance company, all his treatment cost was covered.
Thus, a pre-existing medical condition cover is worth buying. Some policy providers may provide it as a part of their policy itself whereas some may provide it as a separate waiver. You can choose the best plan for your travelling needs, keeping into consideration the lookup period and stability of your medical condition.
Read your policy wordings carefully before buying the policy, to know the exclusions and specifics of coverage. Most importantly, never hide your pre-existing medical condition as it may lead to an outright rejection of your claim later.