Travelling with a pre-existing condition



Cory Hill

Financial Advisor & Associate Portfolio Manager


The irony of getting older is that we finally have the time and financial wherewithal to travel at our leisure but, for many of us, we have “pre-existing” conditions that can make securing quality travel medical insurance a challenge.

If you are fortunate enough to have extended health benefits through your employer, former employer post-retirement or through a private plan, usually pre-existing conditions are covered, as long as they are considered “stable”.  Typically, a pre-existing condition is considered stable if we are under the care of a physician for the condition and there have been no changes in the condition or changes in treatment for at least 90 days.  In the insurance company’s eyes, even if there is improvement in a pre-existing condition where medications can be reduced or stopped, this re-starts the 90-day clock.  The condition is considered “unstable” for another 90 days.  Many standalone travel insurance policies that we get for individual trips do not cover pre-existing conditions under any circumstances.

So, what should we do?

First and foremost, speak to a representative of the insurance company that provides your travel medical insurance and/or extended health benefits to confirm their policy on pre-existing conditions.  If your condition is not covered, there are insurance companies such as BCAA that offer affordable travel medical insurance specifically for pre-existing conditions.  The dollar limits for coverage are lower than traditional policies but some coverage is better (and safer) than no coverage!


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