We are going to Tuscany in October. We did not know that travel insurance had to be purchased within 15 days of initial deposit to cover preexisting conditions, so we have missed that window. I had a heart attack three years ago, but I am doing well, with no complications. Is there any trip insurance available for me?
-Katharine, Springfield, Va.
When it comes to traveling abroad with a preexisting medical condition, there are two types of insurance to consider: travel insurance and medical evacuation. Travel insurance is a good option to consider if you suspect you may cancel prior to the trip or need international health care on the trip itself. This will cover you if you choose to cancel last-minute or have health complications while abroad.
However, travel insurance will not whisk you back home during or after any health issue. This is where the option of medical evacuation comes in, a service that will treat you overseas and then fly you back to the hospital of your choice in the United States immediately afterwards. There are a number of good companies that provide this type of plan, such as MedJet Assist, which has memberships that start at $95.
When it comes to buying insurance, never purchase travel insurance from the same tour operator or cruise line with which you’re traveling. If that company goes out of business, there may not be money to cover your claim. Use a third-party provider. They tend to be much more flexible about the window in which you have to purchase insurance—even with a preexisting condition. A good place to start to find the insurance that's best for you is http://www.insuremytrip.com. InsureMyTrip says it "offers more than 100 plans from 18 insurance providers."