When it comes to travel medical insurance, the major questions at the top of every travelers mind is, what will it cover and of course, what will it not cover? Travel medical insurance covers any new and unexpected injuries, accidents, or illnesses that occur after purchasing a policy but excludes any coverage for preventative or routine care, as well as preexisting conditions. While most travel insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions themselves, there are plans that do offer some coverage for an acute onset of a preexisting condition.
Preexisting Condition Vs. Acute Onset of a Preexisting Condition
In order to understand how coverage works in regards to an acute onset of a preexisting condition, it is important to first understand how it differs from a basic preexisting condition:
- Preexisting conditions pertain to any medical condition, diagnosed and undiagnosed, existing in an individual prior to purchasing a policy. This can include (but is not limited to) high blood pressure, heart ailments, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, asthma, and chronic injuries. Due to the short-term nature of the plans, travel medical insurance does not provide coverage for such conditions.
- An acute onset of a preexisting condition is defined as a sudden and unexpected recurrence of a pre-existing medical condition. Policies that offer some coverage for an acute onset of a pre-existing condition generally cover necessary emergency care for any medical emergency that is life threatening or requires immediate medical treatment. They may also provide coverage for emergency medical transportation, emergency room costs, surgery, or medications, depending on the plan benefits you choose. It is extremely important to note that only the doctor can diagnose an acute onset as such and the diagnosis can only be done at the time of visit.
Conditions and Services That May Not Be Covered Under an Acute Onset Benefit In Your Travel Medical Insurance Policy
While there are many gray areas in regards to acute onset coverage, the following are things that will likely not be covered under your travel medical insurance policy:
- Any routine medical checkups such as physicals
- Preventative care or medical consultations such as flu shots or lab tests
- Prescription medication refills for a preexisting condition
- Health management classes
Commonly Asked Questions By Travelers with Preexisting Conditions
When it comes to acute onset coverage under a travel medical insurance policy, the questions are endless. Some of the key hypotheticals that buyers tend to ask are as follows:
- I have diabetes. If my blood pressure spikes and I have to make a trip to the hospital, will it be covered?
- I have had a heart attack in the past and had to undergo heart surgery. I havenâ€™t had one since but if I do while I am traveling, will my care my covered?
- I had back surgery in the past for an injury I endured. If I have a flare up after the long plane ride and have to visit a doctor, will I receive coverage?
- Iâ€™m currently a cancer patient and Iâ€™m planning on taking a trip abroad to visit family. If I want to visit a specialist while Iâ€™m there, will it be covered?
The fact of the matter is, only the doctor can answer these hypothetical questions at the time of the diagnosis. Itâ€™s nearly impossible to outline every situation that could occur, but from an insurance companies point of view, anything that is not actually acute (i.e., serious or life-threatening) falls under routine medical care and it will likely not be covered.
Having said that, when it comes to traveling abroad with a preexisting health condition, it is imperative that you purchase a policy with acute onset coverage because letâ€™s face it, having at least some protection is better than having none.
For more information about travel medical insurance or to get a quote for your upcoming trip abroad, go to VisitorsCoverage.