Effective Date and Pre-Existing Condition Lookback

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#1
New Port Richey FL
553 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Just looking at our policy. It has 2 effective dates. The day after we bought the policy (December 2017) is the effective date for trip cancellation, and the effective date for "other benefits" is the future day we designated as the first day of our trip in August 2018.

Does this mean the start of the 180 day lookback period is not until we are scheduled to start the trip? So, anything diagnosed in the six months before August will be considered pre-existing?

I find this stuff so very confusing.
#2
4,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Typically, if you buy travel insurance within a specified period after your first deposit, you will be covered for pre-existing conditions.

In the policy we get, we have to buy it within 14 days of deposit. Therefore, no lookback ... nothing. We are covered. (We buy it up front because my husband has a chronic condition.)

You should have received the entire policy with all its terms and conditions. The best thing I can suggest is that you read the small print where it covers pre-existing conditions.

If you haven't received the entire policy, contact the insurance company and ask for it.
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#3
USA
2,857 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by LDVinNC
Just looking at our policy. It has 2 effective dates. The day after we bought the policy (December 2017) is the effective date for trip cancellation, and the effective date for "other benefits" is the future day we designated as the first day of our trip in August 2018.

Does this mean the start of the 180 day lookback period is not until we are scheduled to start the trip? So, anything diagnosed in the six months before August will be considered pre-existing?

I find this stuff so very confusing.
First, you MUST read all the fine print of YOUR policy.
None of us can know exactly how your particular policy is worded.

We also get policies within 20 days (for out type) of first deposit, so that we get that essential waiver of the exclusion of pre-existing conditions.

But think about the "travel date". Prior to that, you might need to cancel the trip.
But prior to that, you can't incur medical costs DURING travel/after you've left home.
Likewise, you wouldn't need transportation home, or reimbursement for delays.
Nothing will be happening until the travel date.
That's my guess about why you are seeing that other "effective date".

And it sounds like your policy does NOT have an overall waiver of exclusion of pre-existing conditions, but rather, they use the "look-back" (these look-back periods can differ).
The reason we would never use a polity like that is that the way the "look-back" period and criteria are usually written, it seems too easy for something to be linked to something "pre-existing".
OTOH, the way some of those seem to be written, if there has been no change in any medication, no visits to doctors (and no need to visit a doctor/seek medical care), etc., within the look-back period at time of deposit, then it should be okay.
(But I wouldn't want to fight an insurer who tries to claim something about a pre-existing condtion, and then searches all medical records or such. Another nice feature of the waiver is that should there be a medical claim, the insurer won't need to look at any medical records, and we think this is one reason why our claims were paid so promptly.)

Again, *read* your policy, and prehaps call the insurer or insurance broker to make sure you understand your specific policy.

GC
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#4
New Port Richey FL
553 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Thank you Diane, My question is because when we booked the trip I purchased insurance, wanting only to insure for medical and evacuation. I put in $0 amount which I did not then know invalidated the pre-existing coverage. I have developed a medical issue in the interim, and if the effective date is the first day of travel, I now have a pre-existing condition, based on the following:

The policy reads a s follows:

“Pre-Existing Condition” means any Accidental Injury, Sickness or condition of You, Your Traveling Companion, orYour Family Member booked to travel with You for which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommendedor received within the 180 day period ending on the Effective Date. Sicknesses or conditions are not considered preexistingif the Sickness or condition for which prescribed drugs or medicine is taken remains controlled without any change in the required prescription.

Effective Date For Trip Cancellation: (shows my purchase date)
Effective Date For Other Benefits: (shows first date of travel)

So, I am pretty sure this policy is now worthless to me in terms of my current situation. I have to decide if we cancel the trip before final payment next month or try to find a policy that will insure pre-existing conditions when purchased at final payment time.
#6
USA
2,857 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by LDVinNC
Thank you Diane, My question is because when we booked the trip I purchased insurance, wanting only to insure for medical and evacuation. I put in $0 amount which I did not then know invalidated the pre-existing coverage. I have developed a medical issue in the interim, and if the effective date is the first day of travel, I now have a pre-existing condition, based on the following:

The policy reads a s follows:

“Pre-Existing Condition” means any Accidental Injury, Sickness or condition of You, Your Traveling Companion, orYour Family Member booked to travel with You for which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommendedor received within the 180 day period ending on the Effective Date. Sicknesses or conditions are not considered preexistingif the Sickness or condition for which prescribed drugs or medicine is taken remains controlled without any change in the required prescription.

Effective Date For Trip Cancellation: (shows my purchase date)
Effective Date For Other Benefits: (shows first date of travel)

So, I am pretty sure this policy is now worthless to me in terms of my current situation. I have to decide if we cancel the trip before final payment next month or try to find a policy that will insure pre-existing conditions when purchased at final payment time.
"...within the 180 day period ending on the Effective Date..."

This is probably the key clause.

My *guess* (and I am NOT a licensed insurance agent!) is that if your condition began AFTER you started the coverage, then you should be okay.
However, we have no personal experience with starting coverage with $0 cost, or without that precious waiver.

You should CALL the insurer or agent.
Better to know now, than to risk going and then later find out you have major costs that are not going to be covered.

GC
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#7
New Port Richey FL
553 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Thanks to all. I guess I should stop guessing and make some calls.

I really think that because the policy shows the "effective date for all other benefits" (aside from cancellation) as being the first day of travel, what is currently going on will be considered pre-existing.
#8
4,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Based on what you wrote, you have no coverage for any out of pocket expenses before you set off on your trip.

So, for instance, if you have a non-refundable deposit, you will lose that. If you make final payment and can't go, you will lose that. And both have nothing to do with pre-existing condition. It is because you opted not to cover the cost of the trip.

Seems like the big question is if you do go, and have medical issues due to what has recently occurred, will you have coverage for treatment and evacuation? For that, you'll have to call the insurance company.

BTW, I noted your policy covers "You, Your Traveling Companion, orYour Family Member booked to travel with You."


We use Allianz and we are covered if we have to cancel because the issue is a 'Family Member' ... even someone not traveling with us.
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#9
New Port Richey FL
553 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Yes, as I mentioned in a previous message, we wanted ONLY medical and evacuation coverage. The $0 amount was a deliberate entry - EXCEPT that I did not realize it would invalidate the pre-existing condition waiver which was the whole point of buying the insurance the very day I booked the trip!

I will call the company but I am pretty sure that we will have to buy a whole new policy at final payment time. The only one I can find that has the waiver available when purchasing at final payment is Nationwide.
#13
New Port Richey FL
553 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Okay, I called Global Alert and we are, indeed, NOT covered for pre-existing conditions based on the $0 trip cost. I asked about changing the policy and she said I would have to call the claims department to see if they would accept a change to the policy.

That is just too iffy for me - and their claims are processed by Tripmate, about which I have read too many horror stories - so I am going to eat my losses and buy a CSA or Nationwide policy just before we make the final payment.

I do appreciate the helpful responses I have gotten.
#14
New Mexico
14,853 Posts
Joined May 2004
Based on what I know, because of the $0 stated cost, the policy effective date is not the date of purchase, it is the date of trip start. One of those tricky glitches as mentioned by Steve in the link above. Had you insured a $1 cost instead, then your policy effective date would have been the date of purchase.

I am so sorry this ‘gotcha’ happened to you. But I do hope you are able to purchase insurance that will meet your needs; perhaps working with a knowledgable broker will be helpful.
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