Visitor Health Insurance for travellers with Diabetes as a pre-existing condition

Diabetes commonly referred by doctors with the medical terminology Diabetes Mellitus is a disease where the person has high blood sugar level either due to body’s inability to produce adequate insulin or the body cells do not respond to insulin properly. Initial symptoms include frequent urination, increase in thirst and hunger.

In 2013 it was estimated that around 382 million people in the world had diabetes.

There are 3 types of Diabetes:
  • Type 1 Diabetes: This type of Diabetes affects approximately 10% of the population. In this type, body does not produce insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin injections for the rest of their life.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: In this type body does not produce enough insulin. This type affects 90% of the population.
  • Gestational Diabetes: This affects the females during their pregnancy.
Patients with Diabetes have high risk of heart diseases and hence they need to ensure the blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored and maintained. Diabetes is primarily self- managed disease. This include usage of supplies like a test strips, meters and insulin.

People with diabetes who are traveling abroad are often concerned about coverage for diabetes as it is treated as a pre- existing condition. In the US, it was earlier virtually impossible to get health insurance for diabetes but after the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, the availability for health insurance has been made easier and affordable for individuals with existing ailments. However the Affordable care act is only applicable to domestic health insurance covering US citizens and US residents, it does not impact travellers who are visiting the US. It is therefore all the more important to know the coverage offered by Visitor insurance for travellers with Diabetes visiting the USA.

Travelers should be aware that visitor insurance plans will not provide any coverage for preventive care, or for regular treatment for an existing ailment. For example in the care of a diabetes patient, visitor insurance will not pay for insulin that a traveller is already using before he or she started this travel.

Here are few of the comprehensive visitor insurance plans along with details of their coverage for a pre-existing condition such as diabetes:
  • Atlas America: If you are younger than 70, you may be covered for an acute onset of a pre-existing condition. Atlas Travel provides a limited benefit up to the medical coverage maximum lifetime for eligible medical expenses. This also includes a $25,000 lifetime maximum for emergency medical evacuation. An acute onset of a preexisting condition is a sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence of a pre-existing condition which occurs spontaneously and without advance warning either in the form of physician recommendations or symptoms. Treatment must be obtained within 24 hours of the sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence.
  • Patriot America Plus: This plan covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to age 70 for Non US citizens. The benefit for this is URC which is Usual, Reasonable and Customary charges for that geographical area. For pre-existing condition emergency medical evacuation, this plan covers up to $25,000 medical maximum.
  • Liaison Travel Economy: Waiver of pre-existing conditions for US citizens up to $25,000 for up to age 70 and for people above 70 up to $5,000. Acute onset of pre-existing condition for Non US under age 70 is up to $15,000 or $2,500 if over, but both groups are limited in emergency services and assistance to $25,000."

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