In general, pregnancy is specifically excluded from all travel insurance coverage – see the exclusion language (from Travel Guardâ€™s Gold plan description) below:
â€œpregnancy, childbirth, or elective abortion, other than Complications of Pregnancy;â€
So, if normal pregnancy is specifically excluded from coverage, will a travel insurance plan provide coverage for premature delivery?
As you might expect, the answer is: â€œIt depends.â€
It depends on the circumstances. First, the pregnancy must occur after the travel insurance policyâ€™s effective date; otherwise, itâ€™s considered a pre-existing condition. Thatâ€™s true of heart conditions, diabetes, migraines, and any other medical condition as well, so this isnâ€™t an unusual expectation.
Next, premature labor is considered a complication of pregnancy, which is often covered by travel insurance planâ€™s medical coverage provisions. A complication of pregnancy is defined as: â€œa condition whose diagnosis is distinct from pregnancy but is adversely affected or caused by pregnancyâ€ (according to the Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plan description).
Since premature labor is not part of a normal pregnancy and it is a diagnosis caused by the pregnancy, then it will be covered up to the plan limits as long as medical coverage is included in your travel insurance plan and complications of pregnancy are covered.
All that being said, there are a number of rules that apply and itâ€™s important for pregnant travelers to specifically check for these things in their travel insurance plan:
- If the traveler is already pregnant, check that the plan will provide coverage for pregnancy complications and ensure that it includes coverage for pre-existing medical conditions before you purchase it. This may be an optional upgrade that has to be added to the plan and there are timing restrictions to when you can purchase the policy. (Review the details of pre-existing medical condition coverage for more information.)
- If the traveler discovers she is pregnant and has an existing travel insurance policy in hand, check the planâ€™s rules for pregnancy and coverage for medical conditions. If the plan was recently purchased, you may be within your free look/review period and can make changes or cancel the policy for one that provides better coverage.
- If the traveler becomes pregnant after the policyâ€™s effective date, itâ€™s imperative to ensure there is enough medical coverage to protect themselves against high medical bills if something does happen. This can be tricky to determine. While medical care in the U.S. is notoriously high, expenses are climbing around the globe.
In addition, check your travel insurance plan for evacuation coverage (in case you have to be medically evacuated off a cruise ship, for example) and for trip interruption coverage (in case you have to abandon your trip and return home to receive medical care).