Planning a fantastic journey abroad? Visiting friends and family members in another country? Whatever the reason for your travel may be, one essential piece of making sure that you stay safe and protected is travel medical insurance. But not only are the options and various price points overwhelming, it can be incredibly difficult for those with pre-existing medical conditions to find an insurance provider and policies at a fair price.
Travelling with a pre-existing medical condition may complicate your travel plans. But don’t let a health problem stand in the way of what will be an amazing experience for you and your loved ones. By keeping the below tips in mind, travellers with any pre-existing medical condition will be able to ensure that they are fully covered and their health protected when travelling.
You May Be Considered to Have a Pre-Existing Condition
Even those who have not been told that they assuredly have a pre-existing condition may be considered to have a pre-existing condition according to a travel insurance company. A pre-existing condition may be related to any condition which is being:
Individuals who have symptoms which may be related to an unknown and undefined pre-existing condition may be considered to have a serious unstable health condition to a travel insurance company. Contact any travel insurance company of interest and ask them poignant questions about whether or not your current medical status would be considered to be a pre-existing medical condition or not.
Plan Ahead Far in Advance
Do not wait until you have left the country to purchase travel insurance. As soon as you know that you will be travelling, begin looking into your travel insurance options. Companies like Medical Travel Compared are committed to offering travel plans which cover pre-existing medical conditions. This website drastically cuts down on the amount of time a traveller may spend scouring the web for different types of coverage, prices, and more.
Make Sure You Are Eligible
As with any other type of insurance policy, travel insurance policies will have a set of rules which defines who qualifies for coverage under that particular plan, and who is not eligible. Everyone – regardless of whether or not they have a pre-existing condition – should carefully read and review the “Eligibility” section of their travel insurance plan. This section contains the eligibility criteria which is related to specific medical conditions and it may even include other conditions which could affect otherwise healthy individuals.
Read the Exclusions
To make matters a bit more complicated, travel insurance companies will also have a list of exclusions within their policy. Make sure that this section is read and understood. Even if you do not have a pre-existing medical condition which makes you ineligible for coverage, you may still be excluded.
What are Exclusions?
Exclusions typically relate to scenarios which may arise and which would not be covered by the insurance policy. Many travel insurance plans will have one or more exclusions which will be related to pre-existing medical conditions.
Ask About Their Definition of “Stable”
In order to qualify for the majority of travel insurance policies, a traveller’s pre-existing medical condition must be considered “stable”. What a specific insurance policy considers to be “stable” will vary from one policy to the next. The policy will likely define what “stable” means, but many travellers are best served by contacting the insurance company to make sure that they are considered to be “stable” and will be covered.
When Am I “Unstable?”
A traveller’s condition may be considered to be no longer stable if they have recently had a change in their medical condition, received a new diagnosis, received a different form of treatment, was hospitalized, or have had a change in their medication.
The time frame in which one may be considered unstable will vary from company to company and policy to policy. For less significant pre-existing medical conditions, a patient may be considered stable if there has been no change in any of the “unstable” conditions listed above for 60 days. For more significant health conditions, individuals may be considered “unstable” if there has been any change in the conditions above within a year or more.
Understand Your Options
Travel medical insurance is the ideal way to have coverage when travelling. However, it is not your only option. For those who are struggling to find a medical insurance plan which will cover his or her pre-existing condition, you may be able to have a medically underwritten plan created for you. This plan is much more detailed and typically requires your family doctor to be involved in the application process. It can also be time-consuming, but is worth your while if you cannot find an existing plan which will provide coverage.
Be Medically Suitable for Travel
The most important part of keeping yourself healthy when travelling outside of the country is to make sure that you are medically able to do so. Individuals researching their travel insurance options should be medically cleared to travel when applying for a policy. Having your doctor say that you will be fine to travel in a week from the time you hope to purchase insurance will not be enough. If you are not medically cleared to travel when looking into your policy options, your application for coverage will likely be denied. This is to protect both the insurance company and to protect the traveller.
Be Honest about Your Condition
It is important for travellers to be honest about their pre-existing medical conditions. May will say that they have had this medical condition for a number of years and are perfectly healthy. Others may believe that a recent improvement in their condition means that they no longer have this pre-existing condition. Unless cleared by a medical professional, your pre-existing medical condition still exists and must be acknowledged by the traveller. Being dishonest or not disclosing your medical condition to your travel insurance company can void your plan and leave you in a troublesome spot should any issues arise while you are away.