Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as a Pre-Existing Condition among Visitors Traveling to the US

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. Progressive means the disease gets worse over time.

COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of a slimy substance called mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.

If you have COPD, you need to see a doctor on a regular basis which can be very expensive when you travel to the US or Canada. That’s why you should consider going to this page to learn more about travel insurance cover for pre existing conditions before your trip.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. However, up to 25 percent of people with COPD never smoked. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dusts—also may contribute to COPD. A rare genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency can also cause the disease.

Normal Lungs and Lungs With COPD

Figure A shows the location of the lungs and airways in the body. The inset image shows a detailed cross section of the bronchioles and alveoli.  Figure B shows lung damaged by COPD. The inset image shows a detail cross-section of the damaged bronchioles and alveolar walls.

In chronic bronchitis, the lining of the airways stays constantly irritated and inflamed, and this causes the lining to swell. Lots of thick mucus forms in the airways, making it hard to breathe.

Most people who have COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but the severity of each condition varies from person to person. Thus, the general term COPD is more accurate.


COPD is a major cause of disability, and it is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Currently, 16 million people are diagnosed with COPD. Many more people may have the disease and not even know it.

COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit your ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent you from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of yourself.

Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older adults. The disease is not contagious, meaning it cannot be passed from person to person.

COPD has no cure yet, and doctors do not know how to reverse the damage to the lungs. However, treatments and lifestyle changes can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease.

You can read more about COPD here.

What visitors traveling to USA, Canada, and Mexico should consider:

Most people have different pre-existing conditions that they might not be aware of when traveling. Due to these statistics, it is important for visitors to get visitor health insurance with pre-existing coverage in order to stay safe while visiting USA. India Network Health Insurance provides reliable insurance coverage for visiting parents, temporary workers, international students, and more. The Plans are underwritten by American Insurance Companies.

Recommended Visitor Health Insurance Plans:

CHUBB Network: This is a comprehensive plan that treats both new and pre-existing illnesses the same. ACE Network plan covers for 80 percent of medical expense, and the insured is responsible for the remaining 20 percent up to the policy maximum. This is a great plan for older people (50+ years), and people with pre-existing conditions. ACE Network plan uses a very broad definition of pre-existing conditions– pre-existing conditions are covered in the same way like new problems and accidents except they are subject to different deductible and different policy max.

CHUBB Premier is another option for people who are looking for pre-existing coverage and willing to take some risk. This is a fixed benefit plan and is more affordable to fit different budgets. This plan uses a very broad definition like network plan and pays for both pre-existing conditions and new problems using schedule of benefits (Fixed benefits).

Axis Plan is another plan that provides pre-existing coverage. This is a fixed benefit with very limited coverage of up to $1000 for pre-existing conditions based on a very restrictive definition .. acute onset, a common definition used by industry in travel insurance market. Not recommended for any one with serious pre-ex conditions.

India Network Services is a US based company that administers visitor health insurance to tourists, students, temporary workers and their families. Visitor medical plans are offered for all age groups (0-99 years old) with both fixed coverage, comprehensive coverage and with pre-existing condition coverage.

For more information about Pre-existing Condition Visitor Travel Insurance please visit our website.

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