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Travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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Travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about pre-existing conditions and travel insurance so you can take off on your next adventure with confidence and peace of mind.

  1. What is a pre-existing condition?

    Normally a pre-existing condition is a medical or dental issue, disease or illness that you have prior to leaving your province, country, or territory of residence. This includes both long and short-term health issues of varying severity.

    Keep in mind, every insurance policy is different, and the definitions in this article will vary slightly by provider. Check your chosen policy wording to understand your coverage.

  2. What is a stability period?

    Most insurers use a stability period to determine whether or not a pre-existing condition is stable enough to be covered under the policy. It often refers to a specific number of days your condition must be “stable” for before your policy will cover any related expenses you incur. This timeframe is usually 90, 180, or even 365 days before either:

    • your departure (for Emergency Medical), or
    • the day you purchased the policy or booking date of the first pre-paid, non-refundable expense (for Trip Cancellation/Interruption)

    The definition of “stable” can vary, but often refers to conditions that have not changed or worsened. Depending on your policy wording, changing medications, treatments, or visiting a doctor for a new condition may be seen as changes affecting your coverage. Check your policy details to know if there’s a stability period, and how it’s been defined.

  3. What if I don’t meet the stability clause terms in my chosen policy?

    If you don’t meet stability requirements, there are several options you could consider:

    • Speak with your insurance provider or broker and explore your coverage options. They may offer guidance or alternatives that could provide you with the coverage you need.
    • Consult your health professional who may be able to offer insights on the stability of your condition and help you make an informed decision about your travel plans
  4. Do I need to declare my pre-existing condition to my travel insurance provider?

    Yes, you must declare your pre-existing condition to your travel insurance provider. Failing to do so or providing inaccurate information can lead to claims denial and even void your entire policy.

    If you’re ever unsure about your medical history, clarify your health details with your health professional. Be sure to accurately share these details with your broker or agent assisting you with your application so they can ensure appropriate coverage.

  5. When should I consider pre-existing condition coverage?

    Ultimately, the choice to buy pre-existing condition coverage depends on your risk tolerance, budget, and existing travel coverage you may already have through a personal or employer-sponsored health plan, for example.

    Pre-existing condition coverage will help ensure peace of mind travels knowing you have enhanced protection against related emergency medical expenses under your policy. This makes it the perfect option for snowbird travellers with age and health considerations.

  6. Why choose Pacific Blue Cross travel insurance?

    Get the most coverage on your existing health conditions with our optional Pre-existing Condition coverage. Travel well knowing you have unlimited coverage for eligible expenses as long as your symptoms don’t worsen or change just 7 days before your trip starts. In addition, our Medi-Assist team is available over the phone anytime to ensure you receive the best possible care for your condition outside of BC.

Questions on pre-existing condition coverage? Review our Travel Contract anytime. Otherwise, contact a trusted travel insurance representative during our business hours Monday to Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm at 1 877-PAC-BLUE (722-2583), or talk to your broker.

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