What is Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions?

Acute onset of pre-existing medical condition refers to an unwarned, sudden and spontaneous recurrence of a pre-existing medical condition. The purpose of this travel medical insurance benefit is to cover the risk that the recurrence of pre-existing conditions could happen. The conditions must be life threatening and person must seek the medical care within 24 hours.

Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

Acute onset of pre-existing medical conditions covers necessary emergency care for any medical emergency that is life-threatening or requires immediate medical treatment. It may also cover you for emergency medical transportation, emergency room costs, surgery, medications, etc. depending on the plan benefits you choose. These are Factors that Affect Premium Cost.

From a customer point of view, how do you know if an emergency medical situation arises whether it will be covered? It’s nearly impossible to outline every situation that could occur, but from an insurance company’s point of view, anything that is not actually acute (i.e., serious or life-threatening) falls under routine medical care and it will not be covered. Of course, every person’s experience is unique but an assessment of the situation by the insurance company and other factors may determine whether the situation falls under the term acute onset of pre-existing medical conditions.

We understand the anxiety around these types of questions and we know that for some travelers, this is a deciding factor as to whether they will buy visitors insurance or not.

What is Not Covered?

We have an article and video in detail for discussing Visitors Insurance and Pre-Existing Conditions.The following medical treatments and services are not covered by pre-existing condition benefits:

  • Any routine medical checkups
  • Any preventative care or medical consultations
  • Refill of prescription medication
  • Health management classes

For example: If a traveler with pre-existing diabetes needs to obtain glucose monitoring strips to measure their blood sugar levels or needs refill of daily medications, or needs to consult a medical professional expert for any treatment; these benefits are not covered under the acute onset of pre-existing medical conditions because these are considered as preventative care or routine healthcare management or not a sudden, unexpected recurrence of an pre-existing medical condition.

Insurance is a complex subject and there is some subjectivity to the claims process. Insurance is related to risk and there are many factors involved that finally decide whether a particular situation is covered or not. While simple and straight-forward situations can be quickly determined, some situations must be fully evaluated by the insurance company to ensure that the medical risk was fully covered before the money is paid out.

Remember that purchasing visitors insurance does not guarantee complete coverage, and this goes for acute onset of pre-existing coverage as well. Even if your plan covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions, the policy will only reimburse you per the policy terms, so be sure to read the policy details carefully.


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