Visitor Insurance: Pre-Existing Health Conditions and Other Non-Covered Benefits

Most visitors and travel insurance policies don't cover pre-existing conditions.

Here is a video that explains why pre-existing medical conditions aren't covered by most travel insurance plans, and what visitors can do about it.

Q. What are pre-existing conditions? How do insurance companies determine these conditions?

Generally, pre-existing conditions include all such medical or physical conditions that do not occur overnight, including high blood pressure, diabetes, AIDS, pregnancy, and any such condition, whether known or unknown. However, each visitor insurance plan has its own definition of what is considered a pre-existing condition, hence you are advised to read the policy documents carefully. Any injury, illness, or medical condition that meets any of the following criteria will be considered a pre-existing condition: 1) condition that requires you to seek medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment before the Effective Date of coverage under the policy, 2) condition for which manifestation, medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended, received, or noticed prior to the Effective Date of coverage under the policy.

Q. Who determines if it's a pre-existing condition?

The insurance company evaluates the attending physician's (doctor's and hospital's) statement, past and present medical records, history, and nature of treatment to determine if the condition is pre-existing.

Q. Why are pre-existing conditions not covered by most visitor insurance plans?

Travel or visitor insurance plans are short terms plans. The policies are meant to cover an insured person for any new conditions that may occur after the policy Effective Date. The insurance company will not cover for conditions the traveler knowing will have to undergo while traveling outside of their home country such as check-ups, dialysis and any other known and scheduled treatments and services.

Q. Why should I purchase visitor medical insurance if it does not cover pre-existing conditions?

Medical and health service costs in the U.S. are extremely high. The costs can be financially devastating especially in case of any emergency or accident and subsequent hospitalization. Visitors insurance is a means to insure against such unforeseen medical emergencies and should not be seen as a means to get medical treatment for existing medical problems.

If a traveler is concerned about their pre-existing conditions and the possibility of it worsening during their trip, INF Elite may be a suitable options that could provide pre-existing condition coverage.


INF Elite

Ace American Insurance Company
  • For international travelers to the US
  • Coverage up to 360 days
Plan Highlights:
  • Covers pre-existing conditions up to $25,000
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Free Telemedicine Services
  • Covers emergency dental treatment and eye exams
Plan Information

Q. Will visitor insurance help to cover planned surgeries?

No. Any known or preplanned treatment and services prior to the Effective Date such as surgeries will not be covered in the polices.

Q. I want to get a complete physical checkup done while in U.S. Will my visitor insurance cover expenses for the checkup?

No, preventative care services like check-ups are not covered under the plans.

Q. I want to have a vision/eye test and get new pair of eyeglasses. Is this covered in the insurance?

Depending on the plan purchased, you may be covered for emergency eye exams and covered for eyeglasses. Please read your policy terms and conditions carefully.

Q. Is pregnancy and prenatal care covered?

Pregnancy and maternity-related care are not covered in most travel insurance plans.