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The Scoop on Pre-existing Conditions
In both trip insurance plans and travel medical insurance plans, you'll see the term "pre-existing condition." And most of the time, this is listed as an exclusion. This term can be both intimidating and confusing.
What classifies as a pre-existing condition? Are any conditions like this covered?
What is a Pre-existing condition?
A pre-existing condition is an illness, symptom, or diagnosis you had before you purchased the insurance plan. You may have diabetes or asthma. Or, your knee may have started really hurting a few days before your trip. These pre-existing conditions may be controlled with maintenance medications, or they may be currently under treatment. Or, you may never have been treated. In simple terms, the issue started before your plan did, and that makes it pre-existing.
All plans have a lookback period for pre-existing conditions. For example, if the plan has a 365-day lookback, it means that if you've had the symptoms, or if you've been treated or diagnosed in the last year before your policy started, or if the condition existed (even if you did not know about it) it will not be covered. But, if you were treated three years ago for the issue, and never again since, it may be covered because it does not fall within that lookback period.
Acute Onset for Liaison® Travel Plans
Travel medical plans often have coverage for "acute onset" of pre-existing conditions for non-United States residents traveling in the United States. Acute onset can be described as a sudden flare-up, like an asthma attack. These are things that you wouldn't see coming, and ones that require immediate emergency care (within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms). Many plans will cover these issues up to a stated amount, because they require emergency care and cannot be foreseen.
Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions for Liaison® Travel Plans
Travel medical plans
also often include a waiver of pre-existing conditions for U.S. residents traveling outside the United States. In this case, the plan pays up to a stated limit for a sudden, unexpected recurrence of a pre-existing condition. This benefit does not cover known, required, or expected treatment of any kind that existed for 12 months before your coverage began.
Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions for RoundTrip® Plans
Additionally, some trip insurance plans
offer a "waiver of pre-existing conditions" that can be purchased. If you feel you need coverage for your pre-existing conditions, the exclusion is waived if, within a certain number of days of your initial trip deposit, you insure all nonrefundable prepaid trip costs.
Our RoundTrip Elite and RoundTrip Choice plans provide coverage for pre-existing conditions if you buy the plan within 20 days of your initial trip deposit and buy coverage for all nonrefundable prepaid trip costs. You must also insure the cost of subsequent travel arrangements added to your trip within 20 days of the date you paid for each of them. This waiver allows you to have a certain amount of coverage for any concerning pre-existing conditions.
In general, you'll want to assume any pre-existing conditions are not covered, unless your plan says otherwise. If in doubt, contact Seven Corners Customer Service. We can tell you if there is a limit to your coverage for pre-existing conditions. Our Sales team can also let you know what plans are available to fit your needs.
About the Author
Julia Peterson joined the Seven Corners Customer Service team in February 2016. She is known as a writer and photographer, an extrovert, and master of the Rubik’s cube. She works from home in Michigan where she lives with her husband and her orange, half-blind cat, Murphy.