Finding health insurance when you have a pre-existing medical condition is not easy. Often, prices are inflated and coverage is limited, and that’s if you can find a carrier that will take you in the first place. Unfortunately, the same is true for travel health insurance. There are a few things you can do to find decent coverage, however, and we will discuss them in this post.
Understand who thinks you have a pre-existing condition
The first thing you need to do is to understand who considers your condition pre-existing. For example, your doctor and your medical center may consider a condition pre-existing, but the travel insurance company may not in certain instances. As an example, let’s say you have a persistent medical issue for which you take medication on a regular basis. This seems like it would be considered a pre-existing condition under most circumstances, but some carriers may not consider it to be one, if you have been taking regular dosage of the medication (no increases in dosage, in other words) and there have not been any new complications.
The bottom line is that you should make sure to do your due diligence and ask travel insurance companies directly if your condition is considered pre-existing or not.
Use the power of the internet
The internet has made the travel insurance marketplace a lot more competitive. Aggregate comparison sites abound and when it comes times to make a decision, you know that you can instantly compare prices and plans from a long list of carriers. The same ability to compare policies benefits those with pre-existing conditions. While there are some carriers that may avoid pre-existing conditions altogether, there are many companies that believe the risk is worthwhile as they can profit from many new customers if their rates are reasonable. If you are searching for travel insurance with pre existing medical conditions, start your hunt on the internet and then follow up with individual companies once you narrow down the carriers and find reasonable rates.
Read the fine print and ask questions if you need to
This cannot be stressed enough. Take the time to read the fine print, as tedious as it may be. If something doesn’t make sense, call the company. We recommend calling the company regardless, because in addition to providing you with concrete information, it also gives you an idea of the company’s customer service, which could be a factor later on if you actually have to file a claim. This obviously adds a bit of extra work to your search, but you will be grateful for it later on if you have to navigate the claims process and get reimbursed for medical expenses.
Know that you are not alone
You are not the only one with a pre-existing medical condition and you should realize that there are in fact many other people in your position trying to find suitable travel insurance. The fact that there are so many people with a pre-existing condition who also travel, makes it somewhat easier to find a policy as there is simply a large customer base to draw from. If you do your due diligence, read the fine print, follow all of the instructions and get in touch with the company directly, you will be able to find a policy that will serve you well on your travels while not emptying out your entire trip budget at the same time.
Photo credit: flickr user luxomedia