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.
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.
Interesting points about Medical Travel Insurance
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.
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:
- Automatically accept you for coverage.
- Refuse your application.
- Exclude claims related to the condition from cover under the policy.
- 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
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.
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
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.