How does your hypertension (aka “high blood pressure”) affect your travel medical insurance? In many ways!
Hypertension is a medical condition that affects many people. 40% of Canadians between 56 and 65 years old suffer from the condition. *
What is hypertension / high blood pressure?
Hypertension occurs when blood pressure within the arteries is higher than normal, requesting more efforts from the heart in order to pump blood throughout the whole circulatory system.
Although it is often asymptomatic, hypertension is an important risk factor of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular conditions, such as strokes, cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or mini-strokes. It needs to be taken seriously!
So how does it affect your travel medical insurance?
When buying a travel medical insurance policy, the insurance company will tell you that each one of your preexisting medical conditions must have been “stable and controlled” for a certain period of time prior to your departure for you to be covered for those conditions while on your trip. This includes your high blood pressure condition. If you have recently been diagnosed with hypertension, or if your high blood pressure medication has been modified, that medical condition is no longer “stable and controlled”, and THIS could have important impacts on your travel medical insurance. (See the definition of “Stable and Controlled” in the policy booklet. Also note that an insurance company’s definition of stability often differs from your doctor’s.)
The required stability period depends on your age:
- Applicants of 69 years old or less must have been stable and controlled for a minimum of 3 months before their departure date.
- Applicants of 70 years old or more must have been stable and controlled for a minimum of 6 months before their departure date.
You could be eligible for only 2 months of stability… maybe 30 days!
Our policy presents the following exception:
Exception: any adjustment of Your Medication for high blood pressure or diabetes requires only 2 months of stability before the Departure Date.
This means that if you were recently diagnosed with hypertension, stability of 3 or 6 months before the departure will be required for you to be covered for that condition while on your trip. But if you have had that diagnosis for a while and your high blood pressure medication has recently been adjusted, you only need 2 months of stability before the departure.
Last but not the least, if you had any change to your high blood pressure condition but will have at least 30 days of stability before your departure, you could be interested by our Reduced Stability Period Option. Ask your broker about it!
” I don’t have high blood pressure. I’m taking pills for that.”
It is true that if you take medication to control your hypertension, the digits on the tensiometer will be close to normal. However, if you were to stop taking your medication, your blood pressure would surely increase… Therefore, you are being treated for hypertension and the condition must be disclosed when answering the medical questionnaire.
*Source : Montreal’s Cardiology Institute (article in French).