Pre-existing conditions are a large consideration when purchasing a travel/medical product. If you have an ongoing condition, if you have had surgery, if you have had a change in one of your regular medications in the last 180 days, or even if you saw your doctor for something you think is routine in the 7 days prior to a trip, any of these could have an effect on your coverage eligibility.
If someone is 60 or older they will likely need to complete a medical questionnaire to ensure coverage for any conditions. Attention will be specific to number of medications taken, specific conditions in their history, as well as being stable with no change of medications for a minimum of 180 days.
Even if you are younger and do not have a typical pre-existing medical condition; traveling against doctor’s advice, if you have tests or results pending, are ill with conditions worsening 7 days prior to travel or pregnant and traveling, are all situations that could have coverage implications for you.
Most travel medical coverages have restrictions with respect to activities. Participating in speed racing, bull riding, rodeo, horse show jumping, downhill skiing in organised contests, scuba diving all are specifically noted as excluded under most standard travel/medical policies.
You can however purchase specified coverage that includes, for an addition cost, some of these extreme/adventure or contact sporting activities.
Australian football, Boxing, Football, Ice hockey, Lacrosse, Rugby
(These apply to individuals 18 or over. Youth competitions can fall under basic coverages)
Flying or gliding, Back country skiing or Snowshoeing, Bobsledding, Canoeing, Downhill skiing or boarding, Downhill mountain biking, Endurance activities over 6 hours, Hang gliding, High risk snowmobiling, Ice climbing, Luge/Skeleton, Mountaineering up to 6000 meters, Non-motorized X-Games sports, Parachuting, Skydiving and Tandem skydiving, Paragliding/Parapenting/Paramotoring, Parasailing, Snow kiting, Stunt/Aerobic flying
Base jumping, Bull riding/bullfighting, Free diving over 30 meters, Motorized speed contests, Motorized X-Game sports, Mountaineering over 6000 meters, Rodeo, Running with the bulls, Scuba diving (if not internationally certified), Scuba diving over 40 meters, Ultimate fighting and mixed martial arts, Wing suit jumping/flying
A 74 year old woman was recently featured in a number of new reports after her and her husband were struck by a vehicle in California. Her husband died at the scene. The woman suffered critical injuries.
Each had $500,000 in travel insurance but the bills added up fast. Each sponge, bandage and needle were accounted for the bill was over 400 pages. The costs exceeded her coverage by about $160,000. Delays in transfer back to BC also contributed to the cost as the transfer could not happen until there was a bed available for the transferred patient
The entire scenario is completely out of the insureds control and it highlights how important an adequate limit of coverage is. Most Travel Medical products have a $5 million or even $10 million dollar limit of coverage. In some instances they can be the primary payer or coverage can kick in once the customers underlying coverage reaches it limit.
Some extended health plans have what seems like a sufficient policy limit but using the travel/medical component can affect your lifetime limits of coverage. If your group plan has a lifetime limit of, for example of $1 million dollars, a large travel/medical claim can potentially use a large portion of it and future dental, medical, extended health benefits could be in jeopardy.
MacDonald-Gill Insurance, where we take care of policies, but more importantly people