Travel Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions
If you’re getting ready to travel and have a pre-existing medical condition, it is advisable to buy travel insurance to cover you for any medical assistance you may need overseas. But you might be wondering if a travel insurance provider will cover your pre-existing condition.
Some insurers will automatically cover certain pre-existing medical conditions - you will need to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the insurer, which will list the conditions they automatically cover, without having to pay an extra premium. The PDS will also list the steps you need to take to receive additional cover for any conditions not listed.
What is considered a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is:
Any medical condition which has been previously diagnosed by a doctor and you are aware of
Any medical condition you are receiving or have received treatment for or is currently being investigated by a healthcare professional
Any medical condition you have been prescribed medication for
Any medical condition you have had surgery for in the past
A chronic illness that is on-going or life-threatening
Any know pregnancy prior to travelling.
If the insurance provider does not offer coverage for your medical condition, you will still be able to buy travel insurance, but will not be able to make a claim for any expenses related to your pre-existing condition. You will be able to claim for expenses related to some - or all- of the following:
Medical bills not related to your pre-existing medical condition. If you fall pregnant on your trip or are unaware of a pregnancy before you travel, this should be automatically covered by your travel insurance
Lost or stolen luggage
Delayed or cancelled flights
Trip cancellation resulting in a loss of deposits or money paid for accommodation or pre-booked services
Travel delays resulting in unforeseen extra expenses
Rental vehicle excess
Before you purchase travel insurance, you need to let the insurer know about any pre-existing conditions you have, even if you are no longer receiving treatment for them. If you fail to do this, you could be left with huge medical expenses overseas, if you fall ill or need to be treated for anything related to your conditions. Medical expenses in a foreign country can be extremely expensive, especially if that country is not part of the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia. That’s why buying travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition is absolutely critical.
Before you buy travel insurance, it is advisable to compare travel insurance quotes between a few different insurers to find the best coverage for your needs. If your pre-existing medical condition requires a lot of attention and medical assistance, you will need to find an insurer that offers sufficient cover for these expenses while you are overseas, particularly if you will be travelling for an extended period of time.
If you are a senior travelling with a pre-existing medical condition, you may find it harder to find an insurer to cover you, as the risk of injury or illness is higher in seniors. Travel insurance can also be more expensive if you are 60-years or older (age limits differ between insurers). Fewer pre-existing medical conditions are covered for seniors, and you will need to find out if your condition is covered or purchase additional coverage. Insurers offer different terms and conditions for travel insurance for seniors with pre-existing medical conditions and you should compare a few different quotes to find the best travel insurance for your needs.
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