5 Best Travel Insurance Options for Seniors with Medical Conditions

Best Travel Insurance Options for Seniors

You may find that package plans are a bit more expensive. However, usually, that is because they offer so much more.

These plans will likely include some form of each of the coverage types detailed above. They may also include other forms of coverage, including:

  • Car rental coverage
  • Trip interruption coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Accidental death coverage

There are also specialized versions of package plan options. One example is cruise insurance. This is a package deal that covers events that are unique to cruising, such as:

  • Hurricanes
  • Port of call changes
  • Disruptions in ship services
  • Pre-paid excursion reimbursement

Cruises are very popular among seniors. So having cruise-specific insurance may be a good idea.

Pre-Existing Conditions

The fact that many seniors have pre-existing medical issues can pose a challenge when searching for insurance. Coverage may be significantly reduced for issues that arise as a result of these conditions.

For example, many seniors have heart conditions.

These heart conditions put you at greater risk of having a serious medical event during your travels. In response, insurance providers will be much more reluctant to give you coverage.

They seek to minimize their risk by opting to insure those who are less likely to have a medical issue during a vacation. The insurers disincentivize those with pre-existing conditions in many common ways that we will not detail in full here.

A coverage provider may reduce the maximum amount they will cover when medical issues arise from pre-existing conditions.

Clearly, this is a concern for seniors shopping for insurance. In many situations, insurance companies will exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions by default. However, there is still some hope for those with pre-existing conditions who still want coverage.

Pre-Existing Condition Waivers

Many insurance providers offer pre-existing condition waivers. Here is a basic idea of how they work:

  1. The traveler has a pre-existing condition not covered by the plan provider
  2. The traveler meets certain requirements making them eligible to apply for a waiver
  3. After paying for a trip, the traveler purchases insurance soon after and applies for the waiver
  4. Based on the scenario, the insurance company will evaluate whether or not the traveler will be granted a waiver
  5. If granted, the waiver gives coverage for otherwise excluded medical events

Eligibility for a waiver will depend on the nature of each insurance company and the plans they offer.

For some seniors, this additional service is a great relief. So, if you are feeling limited in your insurance search based on your pre-existing condition, know that you may have waiver options.

In our later list, we emphasize plans that are good for senior travelers. You can expect to see plan options that include the option for pre-existing condition waivers.

This feature will be noted for each listed plan that offers it.

In turn, each plan will have different qualifications and definitions surrounding these waivers. Be sure to contact the company directly if you have confusion surrounding your pre-existing conditions.

Lookback Periods

Another aspect of insurance related to pre-existing conditions is known as the lookback period.

The lookback period is a defined period of time your provider will evaluate after you make a claim.

These periods are often 180 days before the start of your coverage or less.

The provider will look at your medical record for this period. They are interested in seeing if your claim is somehow the result of a condition present during the six-months before your vacation.

To receive coverage for your claim, you must be seen as medically stable during this lookback period. Many factors will prevent a person from being seen as medically stable, including the following:

  • You were prescribed new medications
  • There were changes in your prescriptions
  • Your current condition became significantly worse
  • You were diagnosed with a new condition

If none of those occurred during the lookback period, you would likely receive coverage for your claim.

Why Can’t I Just Rely on My Current Insurance?

Some people may wonder why it is necessary to purchase travel insurance. After all, wouldn’t your regular health insurance plan already provide coverage?

Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Early Retirement Health Insurance Options

You will have to call your individual plan provider to find out for sure, but one of the following cases may leave you vulnerable:

  • Your insurance offers only limited coverage when traveling
  • There are geographic limitations to your coverage
  • Your provider offers no travel insurance at all

For example, many seniors have Medicare.

If this is the case for you, you should strongly consider buying travel insurance. Medicare does not provide coverage while traveling.

Another prominent example is Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. They offer travel insurance, but on a limited basis.

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