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Do Visitor Insurance Plans cover Pre-Existing Conditions?  

Traveling with a pre-existing medical condition can be a minefield. There are many questions to answer. Can you get travel health insurance for visitors to USA with pre-existing conditions? Are certain medical conditions covered while others are not? Who insures you if you have a pre-existing condition? 

The good news is you can travel safely with a pre-existing condition, provided you are cleared by your doctor. You just need to find the right visitor insurance for pre-existing conditions coverage.

What is technically considered a pre-existing condition differs from insurer to insurer. With that said, most visitor health insurance insurers state that a pre-existing condition is a medical condition that existed at the point of or before buying travel insurance.

travel medical insurance that covers preexisting conditions
Preexisting conditions and visitor medical insurance

What are Pre-existing Medical Conditions for Visitor Insurance? 

  • For visitor health insurance, pre-existing conditions are defined as any illness, disease, injury, or other types of medical condition for which you sought medical advice, received a diagnosis, experienced symptoms, had treatment, or took prescription medication at the time of or in a specified time prior to applying for coverage.
  • Each travel insurance policy has a look back period for pre-existing conditions.
  • The most common conditions include heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, breathing conditions, kidney conditions, arthritis, stroke, epilepsy, liver conditions, or psychological conditions including depression and anxiety. Listing all medical conditions would be impossible and it would be wise to say if it exists at the time of application it will be considered a pre-existing condition.  
  • Some conditions like the flu, shingles , and arthritis may also be considered as pre-existing depending on when the symptoms/illness began compared to the time of purchase. If an illness began during the lookback period, it is considered pre-existing. 

What is a Look Back Period?  

The lookback period is a fixed amount of time the insurer will look back on to determine if a medical condition has been previously diagnosed.  Usually the “look back” period can range from 180 days up to 2 years, depending on the plan/insurer. If a medical condition that was treated or symptoms were diagnosed existed in that timeframe it is considered a pre-existing condition. 

Typically, chronic conditions like a heart condition, high blood pressure, diabetes, AIDS, pregnancy, cancer, etc. would be considered pre-existing conditions even if they do not fall in the lookback period, as they do not manifest overnight.  

Visitors insurance and travel insurance automatically exclude pre-existing conditions. This means that a travel insurance plan will not cover the costs of treating a pre-existing medical condition and hence an insurance company can deny a claim arising from a pre-existing condition. 

travel insurance pre existing conditions exclusion
health insurance for non us citizens visiting usa

How to get Visitors Insurance for Pre-existing Conditions?

Health Insurance for Non-US Citizens offers benefits for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. This means an insurer might not deny a claim for a pre-existing condition that is considered an acute onset and is as per the schedule of benefits. 

Companies that offer travel insurance plans for pre-existing conditions can cover the acute onset of these medical conditions. These include plans that come up when you Get A Quote. For example, plans like the Inbound USA plan, the Patriot America Plus, and Atlas America can protect an acute onset of a pre-existing condition up to the chosen policy maximum for individuals below the age of 70. In order to get the best health insurance for visitors to the USA, you must check the pre-existing exclusion criteria as it can affect your insurance coverage. 

Remember: Insurance companies can ask for medical records for up to five years prior, meaning you must disclose your pre-existing conditions in the event you use the insurance. 

Which Visitor Travel Insurance Plans Covers Pre-existing Conditions?

Safe Travel USA Comprehensive

Safe Travels USA Comprehensive is a travel medical plan that covers Non- US Citizens and Non-US Residents while visiting the USA. The plan provides acute onset of pre-existing conditions coverage and covers one Well Visit per policy. Rates are based on age, policy maximum and deductible choice. The plan also covers covid-19 as any other illness.  

Atlas America

Atlas Travel insurance is a comprehensive visitor insurance that covers Non-US citizens and Non-US residents while visiting the US. The plan provides acute onset of non-chronic pre-existing conditions coverage. The plan also has limited coverage for complications due to pregnancy per the schedule of benefits. Rates are based on age, duration, policy maximum and deductible choice. 

Patriot America Plus

Patriot America Plus Travel insurance is a comprehensive visitor insurance plan that covers individuals outside their country of residence. The plan provides acute onset of non-chronic pre-existing conditions coverage for individuals below the age of 65 years.  Rates are based on age, duration, policy maximum and deductible choice.  

What Medical Conditions affect Travel Insurance? 

Many foreign tourist travelling outside their country and to the US have questions on what is considered a pre-existing condition.

Is  High Blood Pressure a pre-existing medical condition?

High blood pressure or hypertension is a chroniccondition and can contribute to other conditions. It is usually defined as a pre-existing condition for travel insurance applications. Safe Travels USA Comprehensive may be able to provide with some coverage for an acute onset of pre-existing condition.

Is  Diabetes  a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, diabetes is usually defined as a chronic pre-existing condition. Seeking a travel insurance cover for pre-existing medical conditions such as this will help the insured pay medical bills in case of an emergency. Safe Travel USA Comprehensive can provide with some coverage for an acute onset of pre-existing condition.

Is Stroke considered a pre-existing condition?

Yes, for visitor health insurance pre-existing condition like stroke is considered to be a pre-existing condition and excluded from coverage. It is always a good practice to read the certificate wording for the policy to understand chronic and non-chronic medical conditions are covered.

foreign visitors with pre existing conditions  visiting usa

Visitor Insurance and Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Pre-existing medical conditions like the ones described here, and many others, affect your travel insurance. If you take out cover, or you purchase a plan that doesn’t include protection for an acute onset of a pre-existing condition, you are effectively traveling uninsured for that health condition. If any problems occur which are related to the pre-existing condition, then you will need to pay for them yourself. 

pregnancy coverage for visitors usa

Is Pregnancy a Pre-existing Medical Condition for Travel Insurance? 

Often visitors to the US have various questions in regards to coverage for pregnancy and maternity-related expenses. The most commonly asked questions are:

Does visitor insurance cover Pregnancy?

An existing pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition and is therefore not covered. Most health insurance for visitors to the US with pre-existing conditions excludes benefits for maternity however you can consider a plan that can extend to treatment for complications of pregnancy.

Can I claim on travel insurance if pregnant?

You can generally claim for any unexpected complications of pregnancy (as per the schedule of benefits for that policy) when you are traveling under a visitor health insurance policy that includes cover for pregnancy. You can, however, claim for an eligible medical condition not related to pregnancy.

If for some reason you do have to travel and cannot avoid foreign travel be mindful of the coverage limitations and be prepared to pay high bills for pregnancy and maternity treatment.

Review Safe Travel USA Comprehensive and Atlas America plans that can provide limited coverage for complications due to pregnancy.

insurance companies providing best coverage for visitors

Who are the Best Travel Insurance Companies?

It’s difficult to answer that, as many insurance companies have a variety of excellent plans to cater to different needs. You want to find a plan that meets your needs (i.e. depending on your age, coverage time period, and need for coverage for pre-existing conditions or sports). Once you have a shortlist you can narrow them down. The underwriting company’s financial standing is another important criterion to look out for as they are the ones paying the claims. All the plans listed here on this site are underwritten by companies that have good to excellent financial ratings. If you have a pre-existing condition, it is good to be aware of the lookback period. Also, it is often helpful to talk to an insurance professional if you have questions regarding travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions.

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Tips for those Visiting the US with a Pre-existing Condition

  1. Get a comprehensive health checkup done before you leave home and carry these medical records with you while traveling though not necessary to buy the insurance but a good practice to have it done so you can have the medical records in case of a claim.
  2. Bring medication to last twice the length of your trip. Be sure to plan ahead case of delays with the flight.
  3. If your condition flares while in the US, give the attending doctor your complete history and your medical history.  You can even carry your medical papers with you.
  4. If your claim regarding a non-pre-existing condition is denied, you can submit an appeal When you submit an appeal, you will have to write to the insurance substantiating why you think this claim needs to be paid along with supporting documents. These supporting documents typically are the medical records you have from the past health checks ups from your country and detailed records/letter from your doctor with whom you sought treatment.
  5. If the appeal is denied on the pre-existing condition exclusion clause, then it would be up to the insured to pay the bills.  In such cases, it can be difficult for the insured to pay these high amounts.  You can talk to the hospital/provider to see if there are any payment options or discounts that they offer so that the billed amount can be reduced.  Hospitals typically do offer various options in such situations.

atlas america insurance coverage for visitors to usa

Atlas America Insurance

Looking for health insurance for your trip to the US? Apply now or get a free quote for visitors insurance through Visitor Guard® today!

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Visitor Health Insurance for Preexisting Conditions FAQ

Visitors insurance plans will not cover a pre-existing condition even if you are ready to pay a higher premium. However, many plans include coverage for an acute onset of pre-existing condition. You can review more details in the brochure to find out which plan offers coverage for acute onset of nonchronic preexisting conditions.

Generally high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, AIDS, pregnancy, cancer, cataract etc. would be considered pre-existing conditions. Typically, those illnesses or injuries would be considered preexisting if you are taking medication for or have seen a doctor for a medical consult before buying the policy. Conditions that would not have occurred overnight after buying the insurance plan would typically be considered a preexisting condition.

No, typically visitors health insurance plans do not cover preexisting conditions. Many plans offer coverage for an acute onset of a nonchronic preexisting condition. It is a good practice to review the brochure for more details on how the plan defines and covers pre-existing conditions.

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