Cover,Take Care

What is a digital medical screening and why do I need It?

25 July 2019

To be properly covered, travellers with pre-existing medical conditions must declare their condition when buying a travel insurance policy. If you don’t, they may find they’re not covered in case of a medical emergency. A medical screening helps travel insurers to calculate the risk involved in providing the extra medical insurance needed.

With travelwithkit.com this can be completed online in a matter of minutes. The best part? We don’t need to see medical certificates, which means you won’t need to visit your GP or specialist for the sole purpose of getting paperwork.

Use our guide to answer your medical screening-related travel insurance concerns.

What is medical screening?

Medical screening for travel insurance is a series of straightforward, multiple choice questions about your health that determine the severity of your condition that will help your insurer determine the severity of any condition when you’re buying travel insurance to ensure you get the right level of cover. Some of the questions might seem personal, but know that the process is completely confidential.

To be human is to have some sort of medical condition on the go. Sometimes it’s a little thing like a case of reflux after a creamy pasta or a joint flare up after a game of tennis. Then there are those that are far more serious, like high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Similarly, some conditions are easy – and cheap –  to treat, while others are complicated and heavy on the wallet.

A complicated medical emergency overseas can rack up the costs in a heartbeat, which is why you want travel insurance in the first place. Similarly a serious medical condition could lead you to cancel your holiday, meaning a cancellation claim could be on the cards.

Equally from the insurer’s perspective, budgeting for exorbitant medical claims can force insurance companies to increase premiums across the board. Medical screening helps the insurer to calculate the risk involved in providing you with a policy – allowing you to buy the cover you need, while keeping premiums lower for the majority of Australian travellers without more serious conditions.

While many everyday medical conditions are automatically covered by travel insurers – we call these ‘included pre-existing medical conditions – the more serious ones are usually not covered. So a claim directly or even indirectly related to a non-covered medical conditions could leave you without insurance, for that particular claim item.

How do I get extra cover for my medical condition?

Some travel insurers offer medical screening after you have bought your policy and will then add an additional premium for the additional medical cover needed. Usually, they’ll leave this up to you to kick-off, so you’ll need to read the fine print and get in contact to request extra cover.

This old way of doing things can be a bit misleading because the premium you’ve been quoted isn’t the one you end up paying – let alone the possibility that you are undercovered. On the bright side, Travel by Us enables you to screen your medical conditions in the comfort of your own home, during your quote, giving you the final premium before you buy your policy.

With Kit, this can be completed online in a matter of minutes. The best part? We don’t need to see medical certificates, which means you won’t need to visit your GP or specialist just for us.

Cover your travelling companions on the same policy

We can also cover your travelling companions who don’t require medical screening on the same policy. This means that they will also have cover for cancellation due to your medical condition. If they are insured by another provider, that may not be the case.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

A pre-existing condition is any type of medical condition that has existed before you purchase your policy. Some conditions are automatically covered – see our list, while others are not and need extra insurance to be covered.

Insurers will also want to know about any condition for which you take prescribed medication as well as any heart, circulatory, respiratory, stroke or cancerous condition that has ever been diagnosed.It is also vital that you update your insurer with any new diagnosed condition after you have purchased your policy.

What happens if I don’t declare a condition?

Most travel insurance policies include some form of emergency medical expenses and repatriation cover however this will not cover existing medical conditions unless they have been declared and agreed to by your insurer.

Hospital and repatriation costs can be significant should you become ill or get injured while on holiday as a result of a previously diagnosed condition that has not been declared, you could be left with a hefty tab.

If you don’t declare your medical conditions then it could mean that if you need to make a claim that is directly or indirectly linked to your medical problem the insurer could refuse to pay out, leaving you with a hefty tab. Therefore it is essential that you declare all pre existing medical conditions to ensure that your travel insurer can provide adequate cover to you.

Insurers will also want to know about any condition for which you take prescribed medication as well as any heart, circulatory, respiratory, stroke or cancerous condition that has ever been diagnosed. It is also vital that you update your insurer with any new diagnosed condition after you have purchased your policy.

During the quote process our medical screening poses a series of questions to make sure that you can identify any conditions that you need to screen.

For example we will ask you if anyone covered under this policy has ever had any cardiovascular problems (anything relating to the heart and its blood vessels e.g. heart attack, angina, chest pain).

All you then need to do is type in the name of the conditions and answer the questions that are shown. We have designed the online medical screening so it’s as easy to use as possible, but don’t forget that if you need any help you can always contact us.

What sort of questions will I be asked in the screening?

The kind of questions you will be asked during the screening process will depend on the nature of your medical condition, it’s likely that you’ll be asked the following:

  • When you were first diagnosed
  • The number of medications you take
  • If you’ve had any operations
  • If you’ve been admitted to hospital
  • Whether or not you have any related conditions
  • If you’re awaiting test results or diagnoses

Confidentiality – Professional medical travel insurance specialists, such as those at Travel by Us, understand the personal nature of the questions being asked and you can rest assured that any details will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Do I have to declare all of my conditions?

Yes – while you may be tempted to bring down the cost of your policy by only declaring only the conditions you want covered, it is simply not worthwhile as this could void your policy.

All medical conditions, past and present, must be declared so that the insurer can accurately assess your health and provide you with an appropriate policy where possible.

Will my medical condition sky-rocket the cost of my travel insurance?

Many medical conditions can be covered for no extra charge, although it’s still important to declare them. An additional premium may be required depending on the severity of your condition(s). Insurers will base its calculations for any extra cost on whether there is an increased risk of you requiring medical treatment or emergency repatriation while you’re travelling.

Medical-screening step by step

Doing a medical-screening with Travel by Us couldn’t be easier. Here’s how:

  1. Start a quote by entering the names and ages of all travellers, as well as your intended destinations
  2. Select a base policy and add any extras for activities and valuable items
  3. Complete traveller details including contact details and home post codes
  4. Select whether you or anyone else on your quote policy has a pre-existing medical condition
  5. Complete a short medical screening, per person listed on your quote policy
  6. Received results on whether your medical condition can be covered at an extra premium, or not.
  7. If yes, agree to the additional premium
  8. Complete your quote and buy your policy securely, with a 14-day money back guarantee and credit card security in place.

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

− Maya Angelou