Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Obtaining medical insurance for a pre-existing condition.

Shortly after my heart attack on June 27th, we cancelled a pre-arranged vacation in the United States since I would not be covered for any medical problems that might arise there if these were related to my heart. My regular travel insurance paid for the costs of refunding the pre-paid expenses for this US trip, but the company advised me I would be unable to get any insurance for this now pre-existing condition for at least three months following the heart attack. Further, they would not cover me for anything related to this now pre-existing condition. My insurance advisors at the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) told me to call another company once that three months were up to seek extra insurance for that pre-existing condition.

Yesterday, I began that process. I called OTIP to see who I should call for this extra coverage. When I called the company OTIP suggested, that company referred me back to OTIP since they did not offer such coverage. OTIP then advised me to call my credit card company or my bank.

Master Card was not able to help me since they offered no insurance for medical problems arising from a pre-existing condition. Where to go to next? At this point I "googled" the phrase "pre-existing condition and medical insurance" on the internet. After clicking onto several US sites that were of no help, I came across a site endorsed by good old Canadian Tire's financial services division. This site, by Securiglobe, offered to find quotes for Canadians from a selection of twelve insurance companies for pre-exisiting health problems. I tried that site.

On the web, I plugged in data for a couple of pages before reaching the point where I found that for a person over the age of 55 a phone call was required. I made the required phone call. After a long series of questions about my health, medications, heart attack, treatment etc I secured a quote that would insure me for medical expenses relating to my pre-existing conditions. This quote would have the insurance begin on January 25th, if my health remained good. (January 25th is six months after my second visit to the Heart Institute for the second round of stent insertions.)

The policy I bought is an annual one under-written by The Co-operators, and will cover medical expenses relating to pre-existing conditions on trips outside of Canada for a number of trips, each of which must be 19 days or less. For 2011 we plan possibly two one-week trips to the US, a two-week trip to England and perhaps a one week trip to Cancun, Mexico. For just under $300 we will have peace of mind when we take those trips.

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