Medical travel insurance for overseas emergencies

Medical travel insurance

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Injured Traveller

Find travel insurance for overseas medical emergencies or if you have a pre-existing conditions

Getting seriously ill or injured overseas can be expensive ordeal. The cost of receiving emergency transportation to local facilities or back home or to receive treatment can cost you thousands of dollars.

Medical travel insurance provides cover for:

  • Emergency medical and hospital expenses including hospital stay, surgery and dental treatment.
  • 24 hour emergency assistance including ambulance fees, medical evacuations and hospital stays.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s still possible to take out travel insurance but there may be some exclusions for certain conditions. Read on to learn about how medical travel insurance works and how you can get cover for your condition.

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Travelex travel insurance policies

Looking for a travel insurance policy that covers just about any vacation? With reasonable rates, Travelex could help.

  • Choose from 10 flexible policies that protect you from risks at home and abroad.
  • Comprehensive plans can cover trip cancellations, interruptions and delays.
  • Options available to cover accidents, sickness and medical evacuation when flying.
  • Protect your car rental for the duration of your trip.

    What exactly does medical travel insurance cover?

    Travel insurance can provide cover for a whole range of medical expenses including:

    • Visits to a local doctor or other certified medical practitioner approved by the provider.
    • Emergency evacuation to the closest medical facility. This may be transport by air or road.
    • Admission and treatment in a medical facility.
    • Prescribed medication for serious illness or injury suffered while traveling.
    • Prosthetics and therapeutic services and supplies.
    • Additional out of pocket expenses if you are admitted to a hospital.
    • Repatriation back home.

    What exactly is a pre-existing medical condition in travel insurance?

    Definitions of what is a pre-existing medical condition vary between insurers, so it is always worth checking prior to application. However, a pre-existing condition is generally defined as:

    • An ongoing medical or dental condition you knew about prior to applying for coverage.
    • A medical or dental condition that is currently being investigated by an approved medical practitioner.
    • A condition for which you take prescribed medication.
    • A condition which has required surgery.
    • A condition that you receive ongoing treatment for from a medical practitioner.
    • Pregnancy.

    This definition is not only relevant to you as the policyholder but any other people that are listed on your medical travel insurance such as your spouse or dependent children.

    How will my pre-existing medical condition be assessed?

    Depending on your condition, an insurer will take one of four steps during the application process:

    1. Automatically accept you for coverage.
    2. Refuse your application.
    3. Exclude claims related to the condition from cover under the policy.
    4. Apply a premium loading to account for the additional risk.

    If my pre-existing condition is not covered can I still get coverage?

    Yes. It’s still possible to take out coverage for other losses but you will not be covered for any medical expenses incurred that are related or attributed to your pre-existing condition. This includes expenses for hospitalization, emergency evacuation and emergency medical assistance.

    What if my condition is not listed?

    If your condition is not listed under the automatically covered or automatically excluded groups, you may be able to receive cover for the condition by paying an additional premium. If you don’t pay the additional premium for the cover, you won’t be covered for any claims attributed to your condition.

    Dengue fever in downtown Bali

    In late 2013, finder.com.au user Jess Eve suffered from Dengue Fever on a 4 week trip in Indonesia. This is her story of the illness and subsequent travel insurance claim.
    During my stay in Bali, I hopped around to various surfing destinations: Uluwatu, Canggu and Sumbawa. I stayed in budget accommodation and ate at the local warungs. Somewhere around Kuta, I believe I was bitten by a mosquito before a flight to the nearby island of Sumbawa. I don’t remember being bitten.

    Four days later on the island of Sumbawa, I woke up with a fever, headache (behind my eyes), and muscle and joint pain. It was unlike anything I’d experienced before. Within hours I had broken out in a red rash.

    To relieve the pain I drank water and took paracetamol and Ibuprofen (I was later informed that Ibuprofen should be avoided as it can aggravate bleeding).

    I called home and was told to get on a flight back to Kuta and check into the hospital. Which I did. Once in the hospital my blood test came back as positive for Dengue fever.

    My medical travel insurance representative got in touch with the Bali International Medical Centre and the overall support from both parties was amazing. I had an American nurse I could contact at any time and the insurance company arranged to have mom fly over if needed.

    I was surprised how many other American tourists were in the hospital for Dengue Fever during my stay. My platelet count was extremely low and there was a high danger of internal bleeding so I remained in hospital for five days.

    After 14 days, the hospital gave me the all clear to fly and I traveled home.

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    Can I get travel insurance with a heart condition?

    Travel insurers consider all heart conditions as high risk factors, and many conditions related to the heart tend to find automatic exclusions from medical travel insurance policies. The good news is it’s possible to get cover even with a pre-existing heart condition through different insurance providers, but they would expect the following:

    • A medical assessment.
    • No instances of heart trouble in the last five years.
    • Lower cover limits and higher premiums.

    Can I get travel insurance for pregnancy?

    Getting medical travel insurance in the early stages of pregnancy is relatively simple. While there are some exclusions for things such as previous complications, multiple pregnancies and medically assisted pregnancies, most insurers offer cover up until around the 26th week of pregnancy.

    There are insurers that offer cover for those between 26 and 32 weeks, those having multiple pregnancies and those who have undergone IVF treatment.

    To find out how the insurers in our panel treat travel insurance for pregnant women, you can follow the link below.

    Can I get travel insurance for diabetes

    To get travel insurance while suffering from Type I or Type II diabetes, you will, in all likelihood, have to meet the following conditions:

    • You are younger than 50 years old.
    • Your diagnosis took place at least 12 months ago.
    • You don’t have eye, nerve, vascular and kidney complications.
    • You don’t suffer from hypercholesterolaemia, hypertension or a known cardiovascular disease.


    Comparison of medical travel insurance policies

    Details Features
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    TravelEx's most comprehensive protection plan for the comprehensive traveler. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip Cancellation - 100% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption - 150% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Delay - $1000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $100,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Select
    Travelex Travel Select
    TravelEx's family friendly plan with free cover for children under 21. Optional "Adventurer Pack" cover for a range of activities such as mountain climbing or parasailing.
    • Trip Cancellation - 100% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption - 150% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Delay - $750
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $50,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Basic
    Travelex Travel Basic
    TravelEx's Basic travel insurance policy with essential trip protection for the budget-conscious traveler. Perfect for short, domestic trips.
    • Trip Cancellation - 100% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption - 100% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Delay - $500
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $15,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Multi-Trip AD&D Only
    Travelex Flight Insure Multi-Trip AD&D Only
    Cover unlimited trips in a 12 month period with TravelEx's basic multi trip policy for Accidental Death and Dismemberment.
    • Cover all trips in a 12 month period
    • Cover for accidental death and dismemberment while traveling
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Accident Insurance
    Travelex Flight Accident Insurance
    Tailored cover for you and your valuables while flying.
    • Accident Medical Expense - $2,500
    • Sickness Medical Expense - $2,500
    • Medical Evacuation / Repatriation - $25,000
    • Baggage - $2,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Provides option to choose between different levels of flight insurance protection.
    • Flight Accident AD&D - Up to $1 Million
    • Baggage - $2,000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $2,500
    • Medical Evacuation / Repatriation - $25,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Annual Travel Insurance
    Allianz Annual Travel Insurance
    Allianz works with a 10-day review period guarantee.
    • Emergency medical coverage - Up to $5,000,000
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance makes sure you are covered incase your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $500,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    If you frequently travel abroad and want extra coverage in case you get sick, injured, or need to cancel your trip, Allianz International Travel Insurance is the perfect solution.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $1,000,000
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Provides customizable coverage for specific losses. Cover can be tailored to provide a balance between the basic essentials and premium cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $1 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $500
    • Travel Delay - $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Provides quality cover for a range of benefits with higher cover limits. Premium plan is perfect for travellers with health concerns looking for total protective cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $2 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $1,000
    • Travel Delay - $200/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Get premiere cover for a whole range of options with STA's premium policy. This option will still provide up to $100,000 in medical expense cover and up to $3,000 in cancellation cover.
    • Trip Cancellation Cover - $3,000
    • Emergency Medical Expenses Cover - Up to $100,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects - Up to $2,500
    • Trip Delay - Up to $1,000
    Go to site More info

    Group travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

    It’s quite common for people to take out group travel insurance policies to provide cover for up to 10 or more friends, co-workers or teammates. While there’s only one certificate of insurance for group policies, cover is still provided to each member of the group as if they were to have their own policy.

    When taking out cover for a group, the applicant is asked if any member of the group has any pre-existing medical conditions. In the event that one member has a condition that’s not automatically covered under the policy, they may be required to take out their own separate policy. It may be possible to still purchase group cover if the condition is not listed though you may pay a higher premium.

    Are other people on my travel insurance policy covered for pre-existing medical conditions?

    Generally, the insurance company won’t provide a benefit payment for claims from pre-existing medical conditions that are automatically covered other than for those that are named on the insurance policy. Cover for pre-existing conditions can be provided to your spouse and/or dependent children/grandchildren.


    Can I get medical only travel insurance?

    If you are only interested in taking out cover for medical treatment, many insurers will offer basic policies with a reduced range of benefits for lower premiums. This can be a good option for those that may have other forms of cover in place and need medical coverage for their trip overseas.

    Find travel insurance policies with coverage for medical related losses

    It’s critical that anyone considering taking out travel insurance takes the time to actually read through the product disclosure statement so that they are aware of any particular exclusions that may be relevant to their situation. This is especially important when it comes to pre-existing medical conditions as the terms can vary between different providers on how they will cover certain conditions. If you’re ever unsure whether a condition you have is covered under the policy, it is always best to contact your insurer to clarify prior to purchasing your cover.

    Compare medical travel insurance policies

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    2 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      ClaudiaOctober 15, 2017

      Hi, my name is claudia. My husband and I are traveling to Japan in two weeks. I will be 12 weeks pregnant with twins and I am looking for travel insurance. I have been cleared by my doctor to travel to japan. Can u recommend a company for me?
      Thank you.

      • Default Gravatar
        LiezlOctober 16, 2017

        Hi Claudia,

        Thanks for reaching out. While we are unable to recommend a specific insurance brand that will provide cover for your condition, you may compare your international travel insurance options on this page.

        Please note that pregnancy is classed as a pre-existing condition. This means that you’re legally required to disclose your pregnancy to an insurer during the application process. Moreover, you’ll need to check with your insurer to find out whether it will still provide cover for your pregnancy, as some insurers classify pregnancy as an automatically covered pre-existing condition and others do not.

        Kind regards,
        Liezl

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