Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions: FAQs

The term acute onset of pre-existing condition refers to an unwarned, sudden and spontaneous recurrence of a pre-existing medical condition. Some visitor insurance policies do offer coverage for acute onset of pre-existing medical conditions. The purpose of this benefit is to cover the risk that the recurrence of pre-existing medical conditions could happen. The conditions must be life threatening and the person must seek the medical care within 24 hours.

(To learn more about acute onset of pre-existing conditions, please refer to: Acute Onset of Pre Existing Conditions Explained)

What An Acute Onset of Pre-existing Condition Benefit May Cover

Acute onset of pre-existing conditions benefits 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.

A full definition of Acute onset of Preexisting conditions can be found in respective insurance policy document.

From a customer point of view: How do you know whether a particular medical condition will be covered under Acute onset of pre-existing conditions benefits of the policy or not?

Its nearly impossible to outline every situation that could occur, but from an insurance companys 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 persons experience is unique but only its assessment and other factors may determine whether the situation falls under the term acute onset of pre-existing condition.

We understand the anxiety around these types of questions and we know that for some travelers, this may be a deciding factor as to whether insurance will cover a given preexisting medical conditions situation or not.

However, to help you make that decision, we offer some additional information

What May Not Be Covered by the Acute Onset Of Pre-Existing Conditions

The following are most likely not covered under Acute onset of pre-existing condition benefits:

  1. Any Routine Medical Checkups.
    Example: See doctor if heart is healthy, or physical exam.
  2. Any Preventative Care or Medical Consultations
    Example: Getting flu shot, treadmill test.
  3. Refill of Prescription Medication
    Example: Refill of blood pressure medicines, refill of diabetes glucose meter test strips.
  4. Health Management Classes
    Example: Consultation, health management seminar, health consultation.

For example: If a traveler with pre-existing medical condition, lets say 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 conditions because these are considered as preventative care or routine health-care management or not a sudden, unexpected recurrence of an pre-existing medical condition.

Most Frequently Asked Questions By Travel Insurance Buyers:

Many buyers ask these types of questions related to pre-existing conditions:

  • My father has high blood pressure and diabetes, which are under control with medication. If he has a heart attack or stroke, will it be covered?
  • My mother has asthma, which is under control, but if she has an asthma attack will it be covered?
  • My father had a heart attack four years ago and underwent heart surgery. Hes doing well since then but if he has another attack, will it be covered?
  • My aunt has diabetes. If she has to go to the hospital for high blood sugar, will her medical care be covered?
  • My father has high blood pressure. If he has a heart attack, will it be covered?
  • My father is visiting USA and a cancer patient, he wants to consult a cancer specialist in the US, will this be covered?
  • My father, who is visiting the US, requires dialysis will this be covered ?

Unfortunately, neither the insurance company nor VisitorsCoverage can provide a definitive answer to any of these hypothetical questions. To put it simple, conditions that do not fit in the definition or Acute Onset of Preexisting Conditions will not be covered under this benefit.

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 as per the terms and conditions of the benefits defined in the policy, before the money is paid out.

It is important to mention that Insurance companies are regulated in the US, and as a consumer, you have rights to question and appeal for any claims. But it is also important to understand what is covered and what is not, review the policy document before you purchase.


Information provided here is high level, provided for your convenience and information purpose only. Please review the Evidence of Coverage and Plan Contract (Policy) for a detailed description of Coverage Benefits, Limitations and Exclusions. Must read the Policy Brochure and Plan Details for complete and accurate details. Only the Terms and Conditions of Coverage Benefits listed in the policy are binding.