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Can I get travel medical insurance if I have a medical condition?

A medical condition or chronic illness doesn’t have to stop you from travelling. Nor does it have to stop you from protecting your health and finances while you’re abroad. Travel medical insurance covers your medical bills for any unexpected illness or injury you suffer on your trip and a good policy will also cover your transport home to receive further medical treatment. If you have a pre-existing medical condition any treatment related to your illness may not be covered or you may have to pay higher premiums.

Why does having a medical condition affect travel medical insurance?

Travel medical insurance is intended for sudden unexpected injury or illness while you’re travelling . It does not cover medical tourism or continued treatment.

As someone with a pre-existing medical condition you’re considered to be a high-risk individual by an insurance company. This is because there is a higher likelihood that you may require urgent medical care while you travel – which your insurance company would need to pay for.

Keep in mind that not all medical conditions are considered equally perilous. How pre-existing illnesses affect your premiums and travel medical insurance coverage will depend on the medical condition and the insurance company.

What is considered to be a pre-existing medical condition?

A pre-existing medical condition can be defined as anything you’ve received medical advice or treatment for before the effective date of your travel medical insurance policy. Exact definitions may vary depending on the insurance company.

Can you get travel medical insurance with a medical condition?

Yes you can absolutely get travel medical insurance even with a pre-existing illness or injury. It is likely that anything related to your existing medical condition won’t be covered. Alternatively you may simply need to pay a higher premium.

How do insurance companies screen for a pre-existing medical condition?

You will be asked by your insurance broker or the insurance company if you have any existing illnesses or injuries based on the insurance company’s definition of a pre-existing medical condition.

You may need to fill out a medical questionnaire and in some cases provide additional documentation. If you are over a certain age (generally 65) you may need to have proof of a recent physical exam by a doctor.

If you fail to disclose an existing medical condition or lie on the medical questionnaire any claims you have may be denied or your insurance policy may be voided.

Should I get travel medical insurance if I have a chronic illness?

Even if your existing condition isn’t covered travel medical insurance will cover you for any other unexpected or sudden illness or injury. In some cases your medical condition will be covered. In either case it helps protect your health and your finances as medical treatment abroad can be very expensive.

Talk to your broker if you have a medical condition to find out what your options are for travel medical insurance. They’ll be able to find you a good company and walk you through any medical questionnaires.