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How Does Travel Insurance Define a Pre-Existing Condition?

Becky Hart | May 14, 2024

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In both trip insurance and travel medical insurance, you'll see the term "pre-existing condition." Most of the time, pre-existing conditions are included in the exclusions in the plan document. The term can be both intimidating and confusing.

Let us help clear some things up with the definition of a pre-existing condition and other important information. By the end, you'll understand what the term means and be better equipped to get the right coverage.

What Is Considered a Pre-Existing Condition?

In simple terms, if an issue started before your plan did, it’s a pre-existing condition. The fuller definition of a pre-existing condition varies by plan, as we’ll explain in the sections below.

Generally, an example of a pre-existing condition is something you may have had for much of your life, such as diabetes or asthma. Or it may be a more recently diagnosed condition, such as your knee that started hurting a few days before your trip.

You may be receiving treatment for a pre-existing condition, or you may have never received medical treatment for it.

Pre-existing conditions in Seven Corners Trip Protection

Person with a knee brace at physical therapyWith Seven Corners Trip Protection and Seven Corners Trip Protection USA, a pre-existing condition is an illness, disease, or condition you or your travel companion, business partner, or family member booked to travel with you has during the 60 days immediately before your plan starts.

During those 60 days before you purchased a plan, one of two things happens:

  • A test, exam, or treatment was received or recommended for a condition that first manifested, worsened, or became acute, or exhibited symptoms that would have prompted a reasonable person to seek treatment, or
  • Prescription medication was received or taken for the condition. However, if you took prescription medication, and your condition was controlled solely by that medication, and it remained controlled for 60 days before your plan began, your condition is not considered a pre-existing condition.

Our Trip Protection Choice and Trip Protection USA (if you purchase the medical bundle) plans provide coverage for pre-existing conditions if:

  • You buy the plan within 20 days of the date your initial trip payment or deposit is received; and
  • You or your traveling companion are medically able and not disabled from travel when you pay for the plan or upgrade your plan; and
  • You update your coverage to include the additional cost of subsequent travel arrangements within 15 days of paying your travel supplier for them.

Finally, there’s our Seven Corners Trip Protection Annual Multi-Trip plan, which provides coverage for as many trips as you want over the course of a year. With this plan, pre-existing conditions are covered after it has been in effect for 60 days.

Remember, regardless of the plan, there are some conditions and situations specifically excluded by travel insurance. You can find these by reading the exclusions in the plan document.

Waiver for pre-existing conditions

Some trip insurance offers a "waiver of pre-existing conditions" that can apply to your coverage. It is referred to as a waiver because it comes into play by waiving the exclusion for pre-existing conditions. The exclusion can be waived if you meet the requirements stated in the plan document.

Seven Corners’ Trip Protection Choice and Trip Protection USA (if you purchase the medical bundle) plans offer a waiver of pre-existing conditions, which eliminates the exclusion for pre-existing conditions. For Trip Protection Annual Multi-Trip, the waiver kicks in 60 days after the plan goes into effect.

Pre-existing conditions in Seven Corners Travel Medical Insurance

Man testing blood sugar.With many travel medical insurance plans, a pre-existing condition is defined as any medical condition, sickness, injury, illness, disease, mental illness or mental or nervous disorder or resulting consequence, regardless of the cause, that existed with reasonable medical certainty during a specified amount of time prior to the start date of coverage. That length of time varies by plan. Additional terms apply, so please read your plan document carefully for a full explanation.

Seven Corners Travel Medical Insurance provides coverage for pre-existing conditions that is different from what you’ll find in our Trip Protection products just described. Below you’ll find some important information to note. As always, though, we recommend you review your plan document to understand your coverage and exclusions.

Acute onset of pre-existing conditions

Travel medical plans often have coverage for an acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to a stated dollar amount that typically varies by the age of the traveler, with reduced coverage for older ages. An acute onset can be described as a sudden flare-up, like an asthma attack. It’s best to review the plan document to see how a pre-existing condition is defined because this varies by plan.

In order to be eligible for coverage of these types of conditions, you must receive immediate emergency care, within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Coverage for Acute Onset varies by plan.

Pre-existing condition exclusion period

Some plans provide this coverage only if the acute onset occurs after a specified waiting period. The length of the waiting period varies by plan.

Emergency benefits and non-insurance assistance services

The Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation benefit applies regardless of whether your transportation is related to a pre-existing condition. Likewise, the Emergency Medical Reunion and Return of Children benefits apply regardless of whether your hospitalization is related to a pre-existing condition, and the Return of Mortal Remains and Local Burial/Cremation benefits provide coverage regardless of whether your death is due to a pre-existing condition.

Again, we encourage you to review your plan document for details.

Seven Corners Travel Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

As you can see, many of our plans have coverage for pre-existing conditions. If you still have questions, contact the licensed agents at Seven Corners. We’re ready to work with you and help you find the best travel insurance for your next trip.

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