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Best Pre-Existing Condition Travel Insurance - 2020 Review

Best Pre-Existing Medical Condition Travel Insurance - Review & Comparison

Pre-Existing Medical Condition Travel Insurance protects us if we have a stable medical condition.

Insurance provides financial security for unforeseen events. Consequently, if you have a medical condition before you leave for a vacation, then the insurer usually does not cover it. That seems to make sense. If we have a known problem, then it is not unforeseen, but something we live with regularly.

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Fortunately, most travel insurers support Pre-Existing Medical Condition Travel Insurance when you buy the policy within 2-3 weeks of Initial Trip Deposit.

However, what you may think is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition and what a travel insurer thinks are probably quite different.

To the insurance company, you only have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition if:

  • your condition is new, or
  • your condition has worsened recently, or
  • your medication has changed or increased recently.

The travel insurer only cares about the time between when you purchased the policy, and 60-, 90- or 180-days immediately before purchase. That amount of time is a Look-Back Period, and the shorter the Look-Back Period, the better.

Ultimately, the best Pre-Existing Medical Condition Travel Insurance Policies have a Look-Back Period of only 60 days. That’s 60 days before you bought the policy when your condition first occurred, worsened, or required a change in medication. If your condition is older than 60 days and stable, then as far as the insurer is concerned, it doesn’t exist. They are not bothered by unchanged medical issues.

For example, if you have been taking a small aspirin for mild hypertension for ten years, then the insurer doesn’t care about this. Stable illnesses are not a problem.

However, some of us will have new illnesses or injuries or a change in medication.

Well, if something new happens within the Look-Back Period, then we have a problem. Because this is a Pre-Existing Condition, the travel insurance carrier excludes it from coverage.

Also, if this particular condition worsens and causes you to cancel your trip, or be admitted into hospital while on vacation, the insurer will not financially support you.

No one should face the financial risk of needing insurance and having a coverage gap.

So, how can you make sure you are covered for a Pre-Existing Condition? Buy a Travel Insurance policy with a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Waiver.

To include a Waiver, you must buy travel insurance within the Time-Sensitive Period. This Time-Sensitive Period is a short time, typically 14-21 days, after your Initial Trip Deposit. Once that window passes, the policy does not include a Waiver.

In short, it makes sense to book your travel insurance early.

Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver

This example reads like a flow chart but hopefully makes sense.

  • You have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition, as far as the travel insurance carrier is concerned.
  • The insurance carrier will exclude your Pre-Existing Condition from cover.
  • You book your trip insurance policy promptly after your initial trip deposit, within the Time-Sensitive Period.
  • The insurance carrier now Waives the Exclusion of your Pre-Existing Condition.
  • Your Pre-Existing Condition is now brought back into coverage.

Example

In the scenario below, a traveler planned a trip to Mexico for a week. The traveler is 59 years old and has a Pre-Existing Medical Condition.

His doctor changed his medication within the last 60 days, so we need to find him a Waiver for his Pre-Existing Medical Condition.

The RoamRight Essential is an interesting plan for customers who have Pre-Existing Medical Conditions. It is a low-cost plan, and it offers a Waiver, which is unusual for basic policies.

RoamRight Essential

Look at the cover options.

RoamRight Essential has a Pre-Existing Condition Waiver.

The Look-Back on this policy is 180 days, which is an incredibly long time. However, with the Waiver, the insurer does not care if you recently visited your doctor, or she changed your medication in the past 180 days.

In short, all you need to care about is whether you buy travel insurance within the Time-Sensitive Period of 14-21 days of the Initial Trip Deposit.

Another coverage to consider is Medical Insurance. RoamRight Essential has minimal Medical benefits, so we do not recommend it for an overseas trip.

When traveling overseas, we always urge travelers to take at least $100,000 of Travel Medical Insurance. Most of us have health insurance that does not work outside the USA, so it is useless in an emergency.

Also, Medicare won’t protect a traveler outside the US. Even Medicare supplement policies, if available, only include a lifetime benefit of $50,000. Furthermore, Medicare supplements require you to pay a 20% co-pay, which in itself could be financially devastating ($10,000 or more).

If you’re traveling exclusively within the US, RoamRight Essential is a fantastic option, but we do not recommend it or other basic policies for overseas medical protection.

Robust All-Around Policies – John Hancock Silver and Travel Insured International Worldwide Trip Protector

John Hancock Silver and TII Worldwide Trip Protector are two of our most popular policies.

When you examine John Hancock Silver and TII Worldwide Trip Protector, you can see why they get such great reviews. They provide a comprehensive set of travel protection benefits that suit most customers most of the time.

Specifically, for this article, they each offer a Waiver for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and 60-day Look-Back Periods.

Let’s take a look.

John Hancock Silver - 60-Day Look-Back and 14-Day Time-Sensitive Waiver

Earlier, we explained that the shorter the Look-Back Period, the better for any traveler with a Pre-Existing Condition. Sixty-days is the shortest that we see in any policy. On the other hand, most low-cost travel insurance policies offer 180-Day Look-Back. That’s unsuitable for many travelers, particularly seniors.

John Hancock Silver offers a 60-Day Look-Back. That is excellent news, but if your doctor changed your medication or you sought treatment for a new illness during those 60 days, you have a Pre-existing Medical Condition. Here is where the Waiver comes in.

With this trip insurance policy, we must buy the plan within 14 days of the Initial Trip Deposit to include the Waiver. Again, we think that this is plenty of time for an organized traveler to get the coverage they need.

If you delay arranging your travel insurance, you lose many benefits due to procrastination.

Standard Cancellation Benefit

  • Covered Cancellation: 100% refund
  • Job Termination: 100% refund

Medical Benefits

  • Medical Cover: Primary
  • Hospital of Choice: No
  • Medical Sickness: $100,000
  • Medical Evacuation: $500,000

Free Look Period

  • 10 days

Extra Cancellation Benefit

  • Cancel for Any Reason: Optional
  • Time Sensitive Period: 14 days

Pre-Existing Condition Benefit

  • Look Back Period: 60 days
  • Waiver of Look Back: Yes
  • Time Sensitive Period: 14 days

A.M. Best Rating

A

TII Worldwide Trip Protector - 60-Day Look-Back and 21-Day Time-Sensitive Waiver

TII Worldwide Trip Protector permits up to 21 days for their Time Sensitive Period.

Therefore, you should buy the policy within 21 days to include the Waiver for the Exclusion of Pre-Existing Medical Condition.

That might not sound helpful, but we frequently see quotes from travelers who have left insurance a little too late for the John Hancock Silver, yet have just enough time for the TII Worldwide Trip Protector. Sometimes that extra week is all they needed.

In other areas, the policies are similar.

Standard Cancellation Benefit

  • Covered Cancellation: 100% refund
  • Job Termination: 100% refund

Medical Benefits

  • Medical Cover: Secondary
  • Hospital of Choice: Yes
  • Medical Sickness: $100,000
  • Medical Evacuation: $1,000,000

Free Look Period

  • 14 days

Extra Cancellation Benefit

  • Cancel for Work Reason: 100% refund
  • Cancel for Any Reason: N/A
  • Time-Sensitive Period: None

Pre-Existing Condition Benefit

  • Look Back Period: 60 days
  • Waiver of Look Back: Yes
  • Time-Sensitive Period: 21 days

A.M. Best Rating

A

If you run a quote with us and find that both policies have a similar price, which plan do you choose?

We like that the John Hancock Silver has Primary Medical Insurance. Primary coverage is preferable so that the insurance carrier takes over the responsibility of hospital payment as soon as possible. So, that is a win for John Hancock Silver.

Pre-Existing Medical Condition Policy Language - TII Example

Let’s take a look at the policy definition of a Pre-Existing Condition for Worldwide Trip Protector. It’s essential to understand the contractual language.

Here is what the WWTP uses:

“Pre-Existing Condition” means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 60 day period immediately prior to the date Your coverage is effective for which You or Your Traveling Companion, Business Partner or a Family Member:

1) Received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or

2) Took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine.

Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 60 day period before coverage is effective under this policy.

To sum up, if you fell ill in the 60 days before buying Travel Insurance, or had a change in medication, or the condition became more severe, then the medical condition is Pre-Existing. That is why we like shorter Look-Back Periods. It’s better to worry about the previous 60 days than 180 days.

As a result, if you have a Pre-Existing Condition, then you need a Waiver.

Next, we identify critical language differences between John Hancock Silver and Travel Insured Worldwide Trip Protector.

Medical Exclusion Wavier - Contractual Language – John Hancock Silver and TII Worldwide Trip Protector

Here is what we get from John Hancock Silver:

Waiver of the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion – John Hancock Silver

The exclusion for Pre-Existing Condition will be waived provided:

a) the policy is purchased within 14 days of Your initial trip deposit;

b) the booking for the Covered Trip must be the first and only booking for this travel period and destination; and

c) You are not disabled in a way that prevents you from traveling at the time You pay the premium;

Now, take a look at the policy language for the TII Worldwide Trip Protector:

Waiver of the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion - TII Trip Protector

The exclusion for Pre-Existing Condition will be waived provided:

a)  Your Payment for this policy and enrollment form are received within 21 days of the date Your initial Payment or Deposit for Your Trip is received; and

b)  You insure all Prepaid Trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and also insure within 21 days of the Payment or Deposit for those Travel Arrangements the cost of any subsequent Travel Arrangements (or any other Travel Arrangements not made through Your travel agent) added to Your Trip; and

c)  You are not disabled from travel at the time Your premium is paid.

The big difference between John Hancock and Travel Insured policies is that TII Trip Protector slips in another clause: 

You must insure the entire trip cost to qualify for the Waiver.

Requiring you to insure the full trip cost means if you underinsure, the policy does not cover Pre-existing Conditions at all. We are not fans of that situation!

For the most part, the Pre-existing Condition Waiver on John Hancock Silver offers more flexibility than TII Worldwide Trip Protector.

Pre-Existing Medical Condition Travel Insurance – Shop Around

Whenever you are reviewing different policy options at AARDY, make sure that you take the time to look at the policy benefits.

With this overview of only three policies, we hope that you can see that different plans will have different benefit levels.

Each quote provides an overview of every policy’s benefits. It is always worth reviewing the policy document before you purchase a travel insurance policy, and we provide links to all plans on the site.

Most customers find you can compare over a dozen trip insurance plans from some of the largest US travel insurers.

Therefore, you can save time and money, finding the right plan for your particular needs.

AARDY has a call center to answer any questions you have. We can walk you through the detail of each insurance policy that we offer and make sure you get the trip insurance plan that you need.

Regardless of what your pre-existing medical condition is, there is probably a policy that can cover you.

We wish you a healthy trip.

Safe travels.

Recent AARDY Travel Insurance Customer Reviews

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