You may think you have travel insurance coverage through your employer, a credit card or with your travel agent, but you may not – and even if you do, are you truly covered?
You have purchased travel insurance and answered all the questions truthfully and complete to the best of your knowledge. While away, you encounter an illness that you need to seek medical attention. When you return and submit your claim to the insurance company, you are DENIED! What happened?
As an example – When filling out the form you stated you did not have any blood pressure conditions. But before you left, you visited your physician and your pressure was elevated. The physician recommended a follow up for further testing. You now have a “Pre-existing medical condition” – and your coverage has changed. Even though you had this policy prior to this incidence, whether through the bank, employer or insurance company, you are no longer in the parameters of the “Stability clause.”
Before booking your trip or leaving the country, make sure you understand the definition for a “Pre-existing medical condition,”or know if you are within the time limits of the “Stability clause.”
These terms are inside every travel insurance plan and it is your responsibility to make sure you read your contract, and understand exactly what those parameters of the coverage means. Even though the definition can vary among the different insurance companies here is a general definition you will come across.
PRE-EXISTING CONDITION means a medical condition, illness or injury known to you, and for which you have received medical consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment by a physician. It is a condition that occurred prior to the begining of your trip and includes a medically recognized complication or recurrence of a medical condition.
STABILITY CLAUSE means you must be medically stable prior to your trip. There can be no onset, changes or worsening of a medical condition. There can be no addition, changes or alterations in any medication for the coverage of a medical condition.* This will also include that there has been no changes to this medication or its usage or dosage, prior to the commencement of your covered trip. Also there must not have been, any medical treatment or test prescribed or recommended by a physician, within the period** specified in this policy, before the start date of a covered trip.
This may seem very confusing and overwhelming to the consumer, but all this language can be properly explained and clarified when speaking directly with a Travel Insurance specialist.
When filling out the forms on-line or a written form, they can be quite ambiguous and will need careful attention to detail and responses made on the applicants part.
Most people don’t know this, or just don’t think about their existing contract, and this is where the insurance companies will be able to deny a claim, even if the claim has nothing to do with the realted issue.
Remember your provincial plan only covers a small portion of out-of-country medical expenses. A travel medical plan ensures that you aren’t left with a $100,000 hospital bill after a major accident or an unexpected medical emergency. Just as important, though, are the other benefits of travel insurance – 24/7 emergency assistance to help guide you through an unexpected emergency, and monitor your case to make sure you’re receiving appropriate care.
Travel medical insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance you should purchase, and the peace of mind that it offers you, is priceless.