Insurance Premium and Heart Conditions

Winter 2008 CSANews Issue 69  |   Posted date : Dec 23, 2008.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

My wife was diagnosed with a "heart block" – a condition that limited blood flow somewhat, and which required the use of a pacemaker. After spending 6 hours in the hospital, we left for home with her new pacemaker humming away nicely. It has really improved her energy level and with her 7-week checkup, was pronounced very healthy and fit. Here's a somewhat troubling scenario with regard to her Medipac Travel Insurance. Her premium for 105 days would have been $438.00 before the pacemaker and now it is $2,736.38? Where is the justification for such an increase?? She is a lot less likely to have any heart trouble for years to come and with a stronger heart, comes a healthier body. We have contacted 2 other travel; one limited the coverage for the pre-existing condition to $200.00 for 3 months and the second, no changes to her premium after 3 trouble-free months. In other words, we will both have the same premium being otherwise perfectly healthy. And yes, I DID check both companies out, just like CSANews suggested on page 6. Hope you will publish this in CSANews, as I'm sure quite a few will have the same issue sooner or later.

Hans Larsen
Surrey, B.C.

Response :
Ed: Mr Larsen's complaint is not uncommon following serious medical treatment, especially relating to heart and lung disease. No one likes higher insurance prices. Medipac's policy requires a six-month recuperation period following a heart-related medical event before providing our normal Standard rates. Our best Preferred Plus rates obviously cannot be provided to anyone who has had serious heart issues, such as a heart blockage and a pacemaker implant. As to prices, Mr. Larsen's wife was quoted the $2,736 price through our special underwriting division because she wished to travel during her recuperation period. Six months following her operation, the premium will be $1,126 with the applicable 90-day pre-existing stability clause, and that is for 100% full coverage for her heart condition. I have not seen any other insurer that is willing to match that and most are not even close. We would be pleased to review the policies and prices of the other two travel insurers for you, to help avoid any pitfalls. I am very happy for you and your wife, as it is obvious that the repair of the heart blockage and the pacemaker implant have had very positive results. More medical miracles.

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