An Acute Onset of Pre-Existing condition is defined as an emergency sickness caused by a pre-existing conditions. Emergency sickness means if you do not get emergency medical attention, you will most likely face an adverse health consequence.
Most visitor insurance plans define acute onset as a pre-existing condition which in a short duration rapidly progresses and require immediate medical attention. Acute onset can also be classified as having sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence, affecting your visitor spontaneously and without advance warning.
What does all acute onset of pre-existing conditions mean in plain english? You have to meet a rigid, opaque standard to qualify for coverage underneath an acute onset plan. Do you have shortness of breath? Are you experiencing chest pain? Do you have an allergic reaction? These are all claims which will be denied by most acute onset of visitor insurance plans.
Example 1: Jerry with cardiac issues
Jerry is visiting his daughter from Singapore. He is 67 years old with a history of high blood pressure. His physician recommended an increase in his dosage of a blood pressure medication before his visit to USA and to stay away from flying. Nevertheless, Jerry went ahead with his flight, regardless of his doctors form of physician recommendations. While walking in the park, Jerry experiences a sudden recurrence of chest pain, and has a heart attack. Would this be covered?
No. Jerry is not covered due to having a change in his medication prior to his journey. Unlike INF, most plans will exclude any acute onset event due to prior changes in medication within 6 months. Even if Jerry doesn’t take his medication during travel- this allows other insurance companies to exclude the claim.
However, INF Advantage would provide coverage in this situation, as per the policy. INF Advantage as no specific exclusion pertaining to changes in medication prior to the effective date.
Example 2: Sonia with chronic kidney issues
Sonia is visiting her son from Italy. She has a chronic medical condition which affects her kidneys. While visiting her granddaughter’s college she has a sudden recurrence of her pre-existing kidney issue. The symptoms are of short and rapidly progressing. Is there coverage for this acute onset event through her travel insurance?
No. Sonia is not covered by her visitor medical insurance. Acute Onset plans will account for her chronic kidney condition, and classify it as the “worsening of a pre-existing condition” – and not an acute onset event. Because there is a grey area of what exactly qualifies are “acute onset of pre-existing conditions” – there is enough language in the policy to allow most insurance companies to deny the claim. Visitor health insurance, otherwise know as visior accident & sickness insurance, typically has benefits limitation which prevent any claim for being paid unless it can be absolutely proven to be a new sickness or accident.
No Acute onset plan will cover kidney issues. Most plans actually have specific exclusions regarding kidneys infections due to their high prevalence in older travelers visiting the United States. Insurance companies know these claims are costly, and that’s why they don’t want to pay them.
If you are looking for a plan that will cover parents no matter what happens- we suggest you to take a look at the INF Elite plan. This plan covers any worsening of pre-existing conditions, including issues related to kidney, thyroid, blood pressure, diabetes, and much more. INF Elite plan treats pre-existing conditions like new sickness. INF Elite visitor insurance covers all pre-existing conditions.
Example 3: Romit with mild BP and Sugar
Romit is visiting the USA for the birth of his grandson. Romit is pretty health, and has only the things that come with age- a little bit of BP, some diabetes, and the occasional leg pain. This is his first time visiting the USA, and his body takes a bit of time to adjust to the new air, water, climate, and food.
After a few days after Romit arrives to the US, he contracts a Urinary Tract Infection. The infection rapidly progresses, and not Romit has acute kidney failure. Is this going to be covered by an Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions plan?
No. Urinary tract infections are explicitly excluded from most acute onset of pre-existing conditions plans. Even if you try to tell the insurance company that there was “acute kidney failure” and that it should be covered by Acute Onset- they will say it is considered the worsening of pre-existing conditions.