What is a Medical condition?

Photo By: Hui Quan Yang

Medical condition

A change in health due to an illness, disease, injury or symptom. Pregnancy is considered a medical condition. In some plans, this term also means pre-existing conditions.


Some insurers distinguish between medical condition and minor ailment. This means that no medical stability requirements need to be met to receive coverage for a minor ailment. Your medical condition is considered a minor ailment if it:

  • Does not require extensive use of medication (for example, more than 14 days)
  • Does not require more than one follow-up visit to a doctor, hospitalization, or referral to a specialist or surgery
  • Is self-limiting (for example, ends 30 days prior to your departure date)


To get coverage for a medical condition that existed prior to your date of departure, it needs to be stable for a specific period of time as determined by the insurer.

Insurers will not cover a change in health status due to:

  • A recurrence, complication or ongoing treatment after you received emergency care for that medical condition during the trip.
  • Not seeking medical attention in a timely manner for a condition requiring treatment or hospitalization during your trip and before your date of departure.
  • An investigation or treatment that was planned but not completed before your departure.
  • Purchasing a plan knowing or expecting that you would need treatment, surgery or any medical care for the condition before or during your trip.
  • Travelling against the advice of your doctor.


Do you have a plan that covers cancer or HIV?

Learn more in IAMAT’s Guide to Travel Health Insurance
  • Did you know?

    You are not covered if you need medical care or hospitalization as a result of drinking alcohol.

    The majority of travel health insurance plans exclude injuries resulting from alcohol consumption. Some plans do cover injuries related to alcohol use but you cannot exceed the maximum allowable blood alcohol levels.

  • Did you know?

    Your travel health insurance plan is a legal contract. When you purchase a policy, you have to adhere to the terms set out within that specific policy for the insurer to fulfill their obligation to provide coverage.

    Remember that insurance only covers you for unforeseen and unexpected events – an unstable pre-existing condition or participating in activities that can increase your risk for personal harm or injury put your coverage at risk.

  • Did you know?

    Medical questionnaires are required to be completed at the time of purchase if you are over a certain age (typically over 60) or have a pre-existing condition. These forms can be complex and include medical jargon. If you need help, ask the insurance provider for clarification. Many insurers also want your doctor to sign off on the medical questionnaire.

    If you file a claim, insurers will look closely at the answers on your medical questionnaire to see if they match your medical file before accepting your claim.

  • Did you know?

    Mental health coverage is excluded from most standard travel health plans.

    If you have a first time mental health event or need care for a pre-existing psychiatric condition, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for medical services and prescription medication you need abroad.

  • Did you know?

    If your existing insurance benefits plan or credit card (primary coverage) doesn’t fully or adequately cover you for your health condition, you will need to get supplemental or secondary coverage (also known as excess insurance).

    This additional plan pays for medical expenses after your existing or primary coverage has reached the payout limits. The secondary insurer pays the balance of your medical costs.

Photo By: Sharif Hossain Sourav