Travel Insurance & Existing Medical Conditions (2024)

Travel insurance is more than a perk or a “nice to have.” Atravel insurance plancan save your travel investment if you must cancel your trip for covered health reasons caused by pre-existing medical conditions. But in order for this to happen, you’ll need to select a plan that offers a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver, and also meet specified conditions. Additionally,emergency medical coveragecan reimburse you for the costs of getting covered medical treatment domestically or overseas.

What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

We know this can seem complicated. We’re here to help. Before we jump into the details of how you can obtain a travel insurance plan that can cover a pre-existing condition, let’s define exactly what we’re talking about. Quite simply, a pre-existing condition is an injury, illness or medical condition that caused someone to seek treatment, presented symptoms, or required medication. This may have taken place anytime within 120 days prior to and including the plan’s purchase date.

Note that you don’t even need an official medical diagnosis from a physician for something to be considered a pre-existing condition.

How to Meet Conditions for a Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Waiver

We know that the term is a mouthful, but the conditions needed to qualify for a Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Waiver are fairly straightforward.

First and foremost, you must insure your full nonrefundable trip costs. From there, if you insure the full cost of your trip within 14 days of paying your first trip deposit, and you're medically able to travel when you do so, you can be covered for most existing medical conditions. We’re going to cover each of these conditions a bit more in depth below.

Note that all travel insurance plans cover existing medical conditions. Certain travel insurance products from Allianz Global Assistance do — but specific requirements apply. Below are three hypothetical examples to help you understand how to make sure your existing medical condition is covered.

For travel insurance to cover your pre-existing condition, you must be medically able to travel on the day you purchase your plan.

After suffering debilitating pain in your left knee for three years, you've finally scheduled a total knee replacement. You get the procedure done and find that your recovery goes more swiftly than expected. After two weeks of physical therapy, your doctor says she's amazed at your progress. Heartened to hear this, you book a cycling trip through the French Alps for the fall and you purchase travel insurance to protect it. If you suffer knee problems and you have to cancel the trip, are you covered?

With a pre-existing medical condition, the safest course of action is to get your physician's certification that you're fine to travel before you book your trip. Allianz Global Assistance’s travel insurance requires you to be medically able to travel on the day you buy your plan. It doesn't matter if you expect to be able to travel in the future, or if your doctor says you should be able to travel by the time you're scheduled to leave.

Let's say you book that cycling trip and your travel insurance 12 weeks after your surgery, when you're feeling pretty good and you can take long walks around the neighborhood. Don't assume you're medically able to travel. If you end up making a travel insurance claim related to your knee, Allianz Global Assistance may review your medical records and talk to your physician to determine your condition at the time you bought insurance.

One more important thing to understand: the "medically able to travel" only applies to the people named in the insuranceplan . If your mother has uncontrolled diabetes, for instance, you need existing medical condition coverage in case you need to cancel your trip because she's in the hospital. But your mother does not need to be medically able to travel in order for you to be covered.

For a pre-existing medical condition to be covered, you must insure your full nonrefundable trip costs.

You just booked the trip of a lifetime, a two-week European river cruise with your sister. You hold out on buying your plane ticket, however, because you're hoping airfares to Paris will drop. A few weeks later, you grab that cheap ticket — whew! — but you forget to update your plan by adding the airfare cost to your coverage. Then, a week before departure, your sister (who has long suffered from hypertension) has a major change in her medication and her doctor won’t let her travel. Will travel insurance cover your trip cancellation?

Your travel companion's condition would have been considered a covered reason for trip cancellation if you had insured your full trip costs. Because you didn't, your travel insurance plan would not cover cancellations caused by pre-existing medical conditions. If you had to cancel for another covered reason — because the covered cruise operator went out of business, for instance — your travel insurance would cover the trip cancellation.

Travel insurance only covers pre-existing medical conditions if you buy your plan within 14 days (depending on your plan) of making your first trip payment or deposit.

You and your husband are both nature lovers, and to celebrate your 25th anniversary you're planning a two-week stay at a luxury eco-resort in Costa Rica. You buy travel insurance to protect your trip investment, but not untilthree weeksafter the trip purchase. Because you waited, pre-existing medical conditions aren't covered. No problem, you think. You're both fit and healthy. Except your husband has had some urinary problems over the past few months, so you make him go to the urologist before the trip. Bad news: he has a prostate condition that will keep him grounded. It's treatable, but you'll have to cancel the trip. Is this trip cancellation covered?

For Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance plans, an existing medical condition is defined as an illness or injury that exhibited symptoms or was treated any time 120 days prior to purchasing your plan. In this instance, your trip cancellation due to an existing medical condition would have been covered if you had bought travel insurance within14 daysof paying your first trip deposit.

Three more things you need to know about travel insurance and existing medical conditions

  • Certain pre-existing medical conditions are excluded from Allianz Global Assistance’s travel insurance coverage, such as mental and nervous health conditions, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer's disease.
  • There's a cap on trip costs when you're buying travel insurance with pre-existing medical condition coverage, so be sure to know the amounts.
  • You must be a U.S. resident to buy travel insurance with existing medical condition coverage.

We encourage customers to contact our insurance advisers at 1-866-884-3556. They'll answer your questions and help you find the travel insurance plan that's best for your unique needs. Safe travels!

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  • How to Use Your Trip Delay Benefit and When to Cancel
Travel Insurance & Existing Medical Conditions (2024)

FAQs

Travel Insurance & Existing Medical Conditions? ›

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it's important to purchase travel insurance shortly after making your initial trip payment. Based on our quote collection process, we found that you usually need to be within 10 to 21 days of your first trip payment to qualify for a pre-existing conditions waiver.

Can you get travel insurance if you have pre-existing conditions? ›

Medical travel insurance covers you for your existing medical conditions. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may be more at risk than a healthy person. This type of insurance can offer a higher level of cover if you have a condition that means you need extra care after an accident.

Can I get international health insurance with a pre-existing condition? ›

Note that international travel health insurance enrollment is not subject to medical underwriting, so you can't be denied for pre-existing conditions; however, be aware that pre-existing conditions are not covered.

What qualifies as a pre-existing condition? ›

A health problem, like asthma, diabetes, or cancer, you had before the date that new health coverage starts. Insurance companies can't refuse to cover treatment for your pre-existing condition or charge you more.

Can you be denied insurance for a preexisting condition? ›

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies can't refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a “pre-existing condition” — that is, a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts. They also can't charge women more than men.

What conditions are not covered by travel insurance? ›

Conditions which may not be covered

Conditions like terminal illness, the need for oxygen, pending surgery, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, specific types of cancer, congestive heart failure, and recurring pain are generally excluded from coverage.

What is preexisting condition waiver for travel insurance? ›

Simply put, the Waiver of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions covers, or “waives” the companies right to exclude pre-existing medical conditions from their policy. It's a feature only available with certain comprehensive package plans that include trip cancellation/trip interruption.

What is the look back period for preexisting travel insurance? ›

However, some policies have a look-back period of 60 to 180 days. If the preexisting ailment, injury or illness has changed or worsened in that period, or you've received care for it, an insurer can deny the waiver and won't cover your preexisting condition.

How do you avoid pre-existing condition exclusion? ›

If your health plan is fully compliant with the ACA and obtained in either the individual/family market or the employer-sponsored market, you no longer need to worry about pre-existing condition exclusion periods.

What is the best medical travel insurance? ›

Based on our comprehensive review, the companies offering the best travel medical insurance are Faye, IMG, Travelex, AIG Travel Guard and Allianz. Travel medical insurance is a specialized type of coverage that helps pay for medical bills and emergency evacuations if you're hurt or become sick while traveling.

What is the difference between existing and preexisting? ›

Existing is a certain thing that is present nowadays and can be seen in present time. Preexisting refers to something that has existed a long time ago, and forgotten, and has existed once more in our present time.

Is high blood pressure considered a pre-existing condition? ›

In the health insurance world, a pre-existing condition is any injury, sickness or condition that exists before the date an insurance policy takes effect. Examples include asthma, diabetes, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and so on.

How many US citizens have pre-existing conditions? ›

Introduction. According to a new analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, 50 to 129 million (19 to 50 percent of) non-elderly Americans have some type of pre-existing health condition. Up to one in five non-elderly Americans with a pre-existing condition – 25 million individuals – is uninsured.

When did pre-existing conditions end? ›

Before 2014, some insurance policies would not cover expenses due to pre-existing conditions. These exclusions by the insurance industry were meant to cope with adverse selection by potential customers. Such exclusions have been prohibited since January 1, 2014, by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Does Medicare exclude preexisting conditions? ›

Original Medicare ( Part A and Part B ) has helped cover preexisting conditions since it began in 1965. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act signed in 2014, there are no additional costs for Original Medicare coverage if you have preexisting conditions.

What is considered a pre-existing condition for UnitedHealthcare? ›

Pre-existing condition

A health condition that exists before the date that new health coverage starts.

Is anxiety a pre-existing condition for travel insurance? ›

That means you can choose to include or exclude these conditions on your policy, providing the anxiety is not medically linked to another pre-existing condition. Please note there is no cover for suicide or self harm on any policy. If you aren't insured for your anxiety, your policy may become invalid.

Do I need travel insurance if I already have insurance? ›

Even if your health plan does cover you internationally, you may want to consider buying a special medical travel policy. Much of the additional coverage available is supplemental (or "secondary"), so it covers whatever expenses your health plan doesn't, such as deductibles.

Can you get travel insurance later? ›

The short answer is: It's not too late! You absolutely can buy travel insurance after booking your trip. However, it's always best to purchase insurance as early in the process as possible.

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