It is very important to carefully consider visitors insurance for parents from India with pre-existing conditions.
Millions of people in the US are originally from India. Many of them are software professionals that settled in the US within the past decade or two. Therefore, many of their family members including their parents live in India. They would like to invite their parents from India to visit them, spend time with their family and also visit many tourist attractions in the United States.
Of course, most of those parents are of older age, typically in their 50s, 60s, 70s and some in 80s and even in 90s. Naturally, many of them have one or more pre-existing conditions which may be blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, kidney issues or other similar issues.
Therefore, while looking into visitors insurance for parents from India, many hosts wonder what kind of coverage they would provide related to pre-existing conditions.
What are pre-existing conditions?
Generally speaking, pre-existing conditions are any medical conditions that existed before the effective date of the policy.
It does not matter whether you were aware of any of those medical conditions or not, whether you were diagnosed with them or not, whether you were treated for the same or not.
As long as those conditions existed before the effective date of the policy, those would be considered pre-existing conditions.
How are pre-existing conditions determined?
While applying for visitors insurance, there are no medical questions asked. Visitors insurance is an instant issue guaranteed policy. Therefore, many people wonder how would the pre-existing conditions be determined.
Based on the attending physician statement and medical records submitted, the insurance company’s claim department will determine whether any given expenses are an eligible medical expense or not. They will determine whether it is a new medical condition, acute onset of a pre-existing condition or pre-existing condition. That would determine, based on the specific visitors insurance, whether it would be covered or not.
After reading the above, many people wonder how the insurance company would determine based on medical records. For many people in India, it is not typical to maintain medical records. The insurance company primarily determines based on the medical records submitted by the US provider (doctor, hospital) when they went for the treatment.
In any case, if any of the parents visiting from India already have medical records, they should bring those with them. If any given medical condition becomes a grey area and if the insurance company can’t easily determine, such medical records would be useful in pursuing them that it was not a pre-existing condition. Additionally, if the insurance company makes a decision unfavorable to you, such medical records may be helpful in appealing. However, if you don’t have any medical records from India, that does not necessarily mean that your claim would not be approved.
What are acute onset of pre-existing conditions?
Visitors insurance plans does not cover routine and expected general maintenance of pre-existing conditions. However, many of them cover the acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
Even though the exact definition of acute onset of pre-existing conditions may vary by the product, one definition is as follows:
An acute onset of a pre-existing condition is a sudden an unexpected outbreak or recurrence of a pre-existing condition which occurs spontaneously and without advance warning, either in the form of physician recommendations or symptoms. Treatment must be obtained within 24 hours of the sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence. Chronic and congenital conditions are excluded from coverage.
In some terms, it generally means, that if your parents visiting from India get into an all of sudden unexpected emergency due to a pre-existing medical condition and you immediately seek treatment, that may be an acute onset of a pre-existing condition. Of course, each case is different, and it cannot be determined in advance based on the hypothetical scenarios whether a particular claim would be covered or not.
A possible example could be that the person has a stable blood pressure under control, the person is taking regular medications and all of sudden that they get a heart attack, that may come under acute onset of a pre-existing condition. It may also come under new medical condition or it may be excluded altogether. It cannot be determined in advance. It can only be determined after the fact.
Many people ask whether a heart attack is covered or not. There is no simple answer. Please look at heart attack coverage for more details.
Why even buy visitors insurance?
Many customers argue that their parents visiting from India have pre-existing conditions and that is what they are worried about as it is much more likely that they may fall sick from that and that is why they need to buy the visitors insurance. The possibility of other completely new matters is very low anyway.
Their argument is quite understandable. However, that is the fundamental concept of insurance. You pay a small amount of money to the insurance company as a premium. In return, in a small possibility that you may have an unexpected and new situation that may result in a claim, the insurance company may pay a lot of money towards the same.
Everyone buys auto insurance. However, no insurance company would give you that to cover your accident that already had. The possibility of you getting into a car accident is very low. But you still buy that.
Visitors insurance also works on a similar concept. You may be worried about the preexisting medical conditions. However, you never know what may happen in the future, completely unexpectedly. And that is the use of insurance.
Some people argue that the definition of acute onset of pre-existing conditions is quite vague and they would like better certainty. However, it is still better to buy visitors insurance that covers acute onset pre-existing conditions, compared to the ones that don’t cover them at all. You never know what medical situation that your parent may get into may be covered under acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
What are the best plans for pre-existing conditions?
As there are many visitors insurance plans that cover acute onset of pre-existing conditions, many people wonder what the best plans are.
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