Pre-existing Medical Conditions
When it comes to coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, all of our travel protection packaged plans state simply that you must not be disabled from travel at the time you make your insurance purchase. That makes sense. But what if you just received clearance from the doctor to travel? You can still make sure you have trip cancellation and travel medical coverage by purchasing a travel protection plan that offers the pre-existing medical conditions waiver.
Many of the basic plans that you will find on our Policy Picker comparison pages (you know, the plans with the lowest premiums) do not offer a waiver of pre-existing medical conditions. There is a reason the premium is lower and that’s one of them. The insured person (and their non-traveling family members) are subject to a look-back period for unstable pre-existing medical conditions. If there is a claim, the medical history of the individual in question would be scrutinized by the travel insurance company. They will look back into that person’s medical history to confirm that the medical condition that has caused the claim was previously stable and the event was unexpected. If they find the medical condition was unstable within their pre-existing condition look-back period, the claim will be denied.
Pre-existing medical condition look-back periods on travel protection packaged policies are commonly 180, 90, or 60 days depending on the plan selected.
So what is considered unstable?
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Waiver
There are many travel protection packaged plans that offer a waiver of pre-existing medical conditions. Many companies offer this waiver if you purchase their insurance within a certain number of days after making the very first trip payment or deposit. The window of opportunity to qualify for this waiver is usually 14, 15, 21 or 30 days depending on the plan. The waiver offer is kind of a reward for purchasing the insurance right away. The insured person is happy as they no longer have to worry about pre-existing medical conditions causing cancellation/interruption of their trip or possibly needing medical attention for a pre-existing condition while on the trip. The insurance company is also happy because they get to deposit the premium in the bank and the trip isn’t for another 6 months!
Whenever I purchase or make a pre-paid deposit on a trip, I always purchase the insurance right away. I make sure I have the pre-existing medical conditions waiver in place. I don’t want to provide a family member’s medical records to an insurance company so they can establish whether my reason for trip cancellation was due to that family member’s pre-existing medical conditions. That’s a phone call I just don’t want to make. “uh, Aunt Ruth…Dan here. I know Uncle Joe died and everything but can I get his doctors phone number please?” I just get the waiver and know I don’t have to worry about it.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Waiver Past the 14 – 30 Day Window
If you have future trip payments to make and are past the 14 to 30 day qualification periods previously mentioned, you can still qualify for a waiver. CSA Travel Protection offers their waiver of pre-existing medical conditions if you purchase their Freestyle or Freestyle Luxe before you make your final trip payment.
What plans work best if you are past the Pre-Existing Qualification Period?
Travelex plans plans are popular with those who are concerned with pre-existing medical conditions but find that they are past the waiver qualification purchase window. Travelex offers the shortest pre-existing medical conditions look-back window, which is only 60 days from the trip protection purchase date or post departure coverage trip departure date. Also, Travelex does not take into consideration the pre-existing medical conditions of non-traveling family members when reviewing a claim. When customers call concerned about a non-traveling family members pre-existing medical condition that might cause a problems with their travel plans, Travelex plans are the ones we recommend.
Get A Waiver Without Insuring the Trip Cost! What?
It’s true! There are a few companies who offer a waiver of pre-existing medical conditions but do not require that you insure the pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost.
TravelSafe Vacation Classic policy Description of Coverage clearly states: The exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions will be waived if this plan is purchased within 21 days of the date your initial trip deposit is paid.
The M.H. Ross Advantage Bridge policy Description of Coverage clearly states: The exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions will be waived if this plan is purchased within 15 days of the date your initial trip deposit is paid.
CSA Freestyle and Freestyle Luxe: The premium for the coverage is received prior to/or within 24 hours of your final payment for your Covered Trip. Note: The purchase before final payment waiver qualification is a nice niche for CSA. No one else does that.
This spreadsheet outlines the pre-existing medical conditions waiver qualification requirements and the corresponding look-back period for our most popular plans. For those who are past the waiver qualification period, please note you may still purchase a travel protection plan. The only difference is that you (and possibly your non-traveling family members) will be subject to the pre-existing medical conditions look-back period established for the policy you chose. Also included are sample premiums for a 75-year-old buying insurance mainly for the medical and medical evacuation benefits. No trip cancellation coverage ($0.0 trip cost, post departure coverage) for a trip of up to 30 days in length.
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