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Travel Insurance Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions

Last updated: May, 2018

Contents

Introduction

This in-depth InfoDesk article discusses how to get travel insurance coverage for costs relating to pre-existing conditions.

What is a "Pre-Existing Condition"?

A pre-existing condition is any known medical or health condition that existed prior to applying for travel insurance.

When is a Pre-Existing Condition Covered?

Travel insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions if:

  1. The applicant's pre-existing condition is considered "stable" for a required amount of time before applying for coverage.
  2. The applicant is eligible for coverage (each insurance company has its own Eligibility Questionnaire with some health-related questions, see below for links).

Note, however, the definition of a "stable" medical condition differs from insurance company to insurance company, as does the required amount of time that a condition must be stable before being covered.

Eligibility Questions

Most (but not all) eligibility questionnaires will exclude coverage for anyone who:

  • Has a terminal disease.
  • Is traveling against the advice of a doctor.
  • Has AIDS.
  • Has metastatic cancer.
  • Has kidney disease.

Please use the following links to see if you are eligible for travel insurance from our quoted carriers:

  1. Manulife Eligibility Questions
  2. Allianz Eligibility Questions
  3. RSA Eligibility Questions
  4. GMS Eligibility Questions

Overview of Stability Periods

Required stability periods range anywhere from 3 months to 9 months prior to applying for coverage. The exceptions to this are Manulife travel plans, which have 3 to 6 month stability periods that are relative to the effective date of the policy (as opposed to the application date).

In addition we can generally say that a medical condition can be considered "stable" if that condition:

  1. Hasn't required a change in medication (includes decrease in medication).
  2. Hasn't required new treatment.
  3. Hasn't shown any change in scope or severity.
  4. Has been treated as per a doctor's instructions.

The following describes how our quoted, online insurance carriers define "stable" conditions. We do not list the stability periods for all of the plans we quote (note that our quoting tool will display the exact stability periods for all quoted travel plans).

Manulife Travel Insurance and Stable Pre-Existing Conditions

Manulife stability periods range from 3 months to 6 months before the policy's effective date (not the date of purchase).

"Stable medical condition" means that all of the following apply:

  • There has not been any new symptom(s); and:
  • Existing symptom(s) have not become more frequent or severe; and:
  • A physician has not determined that the medical condition has become worse; and:
  • No test findings have shown that the medical condition may be getting worse; and:
  • A physician has not provided, prescribed, or recommended any new medication or any change in medication; and"
  • A physician has not provided, prescribed, or recommended any investigative testing, new treatment or any change in treatment; and:
  • There has been no hospitalization or referral to a specialty clinic or specialist; and:
  • A physician has not advised referral to a specialist or further testing, and there has been no testing for which the results have not yet been received.

Allianz Travel Insurance and Stable Pre-Existing Conditions

Allianz stability periods range from 90 days to 365 days, depending on the health rating of the insured.

Stable describes any medical condition or related condition, including any heart condition or lung/respiratory condition, for which:

  1. There has been no new treatment; and
  2. There has been no change in treatment or change in treatment frequency or type; and
  3. There have been no signs or symptoms or new diagnosis; and
  4. There have been no test results showing deterioration; and
  5. There has been no hospitalization; and
  6. There has been no referral to a specialist (made or recommended) and you are not awaiting the results of further investigations performed by any medical professional.

The following are considered stable:

  1. Routine (not prescribed by a physician) adjustment of insulin to control diabetes provided the insulin was not first prescribed during the time period specified in the Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion shown on your confirmation of coverage.
  2. Change from a brand name medication to a generic medication provided the medication was not first prescribed during the time period specified in the Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion shown on your confirmation of coverage and there is no increase or decrease in dosage.
  3. The routine adjustment of Coumadin or Warfarin provided they were not first prescribed during the time period specified in the Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion shown on your confirmation of coverage.
  4. A minor ailment.

GMS Travel Insurance and Stable Pre-Existing Conditions

The GMS stability period is always 180 days, regardless of the health rating of the applicant.

A medical condition is stable, if during the period of the time specified, you:

  1. Have not received new medical treatment;
  2. Have not been prescribed a new prescription drug;
  3. Have not had a change in medical treatment;
  4. Have not had an alteration in a prescribed drug;
  5. Have not experienced a deterioration in your condition;
  6. Have not experienced new, more frequent or more severe symptoms;
  7. Have not had or required medical consultation to investigate symptoms that remain undiagnosed;
  8. Have not required in-hospital care or a referral to a specialist, including initial follow-up visits, tests or investigations related to the medical condition and pending results; and/or
  9. Do not anticipate further medical treatment after departure from your province of residence.

Note: when purchasing a Multi-Trip Annual plan, medical conditions you experience after the effective date but prior to the departure date of any trip are subject to the stability exclusion. 

RSA Travel Insurance and Stable Pre-Existing Conditions

RSA stability periods range from 90 days to 365 days, depending on the health rating of the insured.

Stable means any medical condition (other than a minor ailment) for which all the following statements are true:

  1. There has been no new diagnosis, treatment or prescribed medication.
  2. No change in treatment or medication, including the amount taken or frequency
  3. There have been no new symptoms, more frequent symptoms or more severe symptoms.
  4. There have been no test results showing deterioration.
  5. You are not waiting for any test results investigating the condition.
  6. You have not been hospitalized or referred to a specialist for the condition.
                 
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