When it comes to travel insurance and pre-existing conditions, there is a lot of misinformation floating around about how pre-existing conditions are not covered at all. Sometimes people incorrectly assume that their existing conditions would not be covered by a policy. However, most of the time pre-existing conditions will be covered, as long as you disclose the condition to your broker so you are put on the proper plan, and the condition meets the plan's stability criteria.
What is stability?
Stability refers to the requirement of a policy, that there be no changes in a medical condition for a period of time. A change means a change in treatment or symptoms, including:
- Being hospitalized;
- Being put on a new medication;
- An increase in a prescribed medication dosage;
- Reducing or coming off a prescribed medication;
- A flare-up, or worsening of symptoms.
Coming off a medication or having your dosage reduced is considered a change in stability even if it seems counter-intuitive
People are often surprised to learn that a reduction in dosage or being taken off a medication altogether is considered a change in stability. The reason is that you won't know right away what effect coming off a medication will have. It may mean your condition worsens, but you won't know until some time passes.
Coverage is available for conditions with as little as 7 days of stability
Different providers and plans have different requirements to qualify. A certain condition with 12 months of stability may qualify for a less expensive plan than the same condition with only three months of stability. For people with very recent stability changes, we offer a 7 day stability buy-down. Meaning, that as long as your condition and the treatment of that condition hasn't changed for 7 days before departure, your condition will be considered stable.
Medical testing affects stability
If you've had medical tests and are awaiting results, that is considered not stable. If you have tests scheduled, it's the same, you would not be considered stable. If your doctor has told you that you will need testing, but no test have been scheduled yet, that may or may not be considered stable, depending on the insurance company. It can be complicated, so just let us know what is going on and we'll let you know what it all means.
Your doctor is not a travel insurance broker
If your doctor says something will or won't affect your travel insurance, take it with a grain of salt. They are not experts in insurance. Trust your doctor for medical advice, but leave the interpretations about the insurance side of things to us!
Track your medical changes, exact dates are very helpful
Knowing the exact date that a change was made can make getting on the right plan easier. And even though it may cost more, getting the right insurance can save you a lot of money in the long run. Keep track of your doctor's visits and whether you have changes to medications and other treatments. You can use our client portal at MyMediquote.ca to track these changes in your medical history. And when it comes time to quote your travel insurance we'll have the exact information because you've updated the information as it happened.
Don't put off doctor's visits
Go to the doctor now. If you've got travel coming up, give yourself plenty of lead time in case any medication adjustments are made. You'll have more time between the change and your departure date, which means a longer period of stability. Don't avoid the doctor for fear a change will affect your travel insurance costs negatively. Your health is the most important thing you have!