Whether for business or pleasure, thousands of Australians with asthma travel every year. People with asthma who travel interstate or overseas should consider taking out travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses.
For people with asthma, including well-controlled asthma, their condition will often be described under travel insurance policies as ‘pre-existing medical condition’. In order to obtain cover for a pre-existing medical condition like asthma, you may have to meet certain conditions and requirements.
Insurance policy conditions
For insurance policies that cover asthma, the conditions generally include:
Certain age restrictions.
A specified period of time in which you have had:
- no exacerbations of asthma
- no hospital admissions or emergency department attendance
- no change in medication
- no change in usual treatment required
If you cannot meet these conditions, you might also have to:
- have a medical assessment prior to the policy being issued
- pay an extra premium
This varies across insurers and underwriters, so you should check the various policies available to ensure you can meet the conditions and requirements of the particular policy you choose.
It is best to’shop around’ and compare policies to make sure you find one that provides adequate insurance cover for your travel needs. Make sure that you read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of the individual policy to find out the exact cover provided and any conditions that may apply, including those for pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma.
Some financial institutions provide travel insurance cover as part of the benefits of certain credit cards. As will all insurance policies, please check the exact details of the cover to make sure it meets your needs.
Family members or travelling companions with asthma
Some travel insurance policies also cover you for emergency travel arrangements that are not directly related to your own health, for example if you have to return home because of a family members’ illness. In this situation, the policy definition of a pre-existing medical condition such as asthma can also apply to your unwell travelling companion or family member.