Chronic conditions are defined as conditions that are only able to be managed and from which the patient will not recover. Examples of such conditions are hearth disease, diabetes, arthritis and asthma and whilst conditions can respond to treatment and medication it is likely that ongoing treatment will be necessary.
Since it is more likely that a chronic condition will affect an older person, younger expats often considers this cover unnecessary. However, if you are unfortunate enough to develop a chronic condition as a young person it is extremely difficult to obtain overseas medical insurance cover later as it will be seen as a pre-existing conditions.
Medical insurance plans with full coverage, including chronic conditions, are naturally more expensive but also provide the most useful cover.
Generally speaking Medical Insurance companies place limitations and restrictions on the treatment of chronic conditions and in some cases will not provide any cover for any chronic condition.
Typically the general limitations are:
Acute Phases only.
This is when a condition ‘flares up' or requires special treatment over a short period of time. The policy is structured to cover the acute phases of a condition
The insurer will agree to a lifetime limit on chronic conditions. Treatment may be covered in the early years of the condition, however if the condition requires ongoing treatment no further cover may be provided as the limit may be exceeded.
The insurer will apply a limit to expenses during the year. Annual limits are frequently applied to palliative treatment as these relate most directly to treatment required every year.