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Visitors coming from India to the US must carefully consider pre-existing conditions. Thousands of Indians come to the US every year for leisure holidays, business trips, and even to visit their families. If you are too planning to bring your parents to India for a few months, you can never ignore the pre-existing health conditions.
Elderly parents tend to have illnesses that are already present. Conditions like cholesterol, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and more are quite common, and many senior travelers suffer from these. It does not mean that people with pre-existing conditions cannot travel; all they need to be extra careful with their health and well-being.
Before learning about visitor insurance, let us understand the difference between the pre-existing and acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
What is a pre-existing condition?
Pre-existing conditions are defined as those conditions that already existed in the body before the effective date of the policy. It does not matter whether you know about these conditions, whether you are under treatment or not, or whether you are diagnosed with them. , If these conditions existed before the policy’s effective date, these will be considered pre-existing. Reading the plan’s brochure and certificate wording is recommended as each plan describes a pre-existing condition differently.
What is an acute onset of pre-existing condition?
Acute onset of pre-existing conditions means a sudden outbreak of a pre-existing condition that occurs without advance warning. In such cases, medical treatment is required within 24 hours of the first symptom or situations can go out of hand. Some plans do not cover chronic and congenital conditions. For example, if an individual gets a sudden attack of asthma during a trip, the plan may be able to cover you. However, checking the brochure is suggested as each plan describes acute onset separately.
Does visitor insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
Visitor insurance for parents does not cover pre-existing conditions, rather the plans can cover only the acute onset of pre-existing conditions. When your parents are visiting the US, it is essential that you choose a plan that offers acute onset coverage. Parents with pre-existing conditions should not take the risk of not carrying insurance coverage because medical events can occur anytime. Before things take a worse turn, let your comprehensive plan cover you of unfortunate events.
Visitor insurance with pre-existing conditions has a look-back period, which can range from 180 days to 2 years, depending on the plan you choose. Some pre-existing conditions like diabetes, AIDS, cancer, heart condition, and more may not fall into the look-back period because these conditions do not occur overnight. Again, check the plan’s brochure to understand the look-back period.
What conditions can be covered?
- Diabetes– Diabetes is a condition in which a person has a high blood sugar level due to inadequate production of insulin. Visitor insurance plans for diabetes will not cover preventative care or regular check-up. Depending on the plan you choose, a sudden flare-up of diabetes or diabetic coma may be covered under acute onset benefits only if it meets the plan’s criteria.
- Heart ailments– Cardiovascular diseases are quite common in old age and are considered pre-existing conditions if the conditions occurred during the look-back period. Sudden onset of a heart attack or stroke can be covered under acute onset coverage depending on the plan you choose. Not all plans would cover the acute onset of chronic pre-existing conditions. Do check the policy’s criteria and conditions before buying.
- High cholesterol– High cholesterol leads to a lot of fatal health problems. The health insurance plans do not cover routine care, blood work, and medication for cholesterol, but if the condition leads to a heart attack suddenly, it may be covered under acute onset. Again, policy reviewing is necessary as not all plans cover acute onset due to high cholesterol as a pre-existing condition.
- High blood pressure- High blood pressure is a health problem that needs routine medications. It is considered a pre-existing condition. The plans do not cover routine care and medication for high blood pressure, but if the condition leads to heart disease suddenly, it may be covered depending on the plan you choose.
- Arthritis– Arthritis is unpredictable, and there are chances of experiencing sudden pain or discomfort in joints. Arthritis is considered a chronic condition and not all plans offer coverage for chronic conditions. Depending on the plan you choose, a sudden occurrence of pain that needs immediate medical care and support can be covered under acute onset.
Heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and cholesterol are considered chronic illnesses. While some plans do not cover chronic and congenital illnesses, some may. Hence, reading policy wording is highly recommended to understand what the plan covers and excludes.
Do you need visitor insurance for parents with pre-existing conditions?
Yes. Buying visitor health insurance for parents with pre-existing conditions is essential because it is going to protect your finances when a medical emergency arises suddenly. Besides coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions, these plans typically cover medical expenses for new illnesses and injuries, hospital stays, surgeries, dental, doctor’s visits, urgent care, prescription coverage, and more. Some plans can also cover emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.
Without an insurance plan, you need to bear all the medical expenses if they fall sick suddenly. For treating chronic illness or hospitalization stays, the bill may amount to some thousands of dollars. To protect your finances, it is essential to buy an insurance policy for your parents.
If your parents are coming from India to the US, you can get various plans with pre-existing coverage. Safe Travel USA Comprehensive, Atlas America, Patriot America Plus, Patriot Platinum, and Safe Travel USA are some popular comprehensive plans that you can buy that offer coverage for the acute onset of a non-chronic pre-existing condition. On the economic side, we have Visitors Care and Safe Travels Elite. To discuss further about the plans and buying process, contact Visitor Guard®.