Travel

IBD Passport

Travel Insurance

European Health Insurance Card

 


IBD Passport

If you have IBD, or are immunosuppressed (eg post-transplant), take a look at the IBD Passport website well before you travel. It contains information on vaccines, what medication to pack, emergency care, insurance to name but a few. It has been put together by Nurse Kay Greveson, lead IBD Specialist Nurse at the Royal Free Hospital, London. It is an excellent resource.

Watch Sister Kay talk about IBD Passport at our 2015 London Meeting (from 11m17s)

 

 

Travel Insurance

Single Trip or Multi-Trip?

Shop around

Where else to look?

Medical Screening Questions

European Health Insurance Card

If you're going on holiday this year, then you’ll be thinking about travel insurance. This can be difficult when you have PSC or IBD, as many policies exclude ‘pre-existing illnesses’. Here are some tips on where to look for cover.

Single Trip or Multi-Trip?

You can buy travel insurance for single trips to specific countries, or buy annual or multi trip policies that might cover a range of countries for a longer period. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you might be refused an annual policy, but be accepted for a single trip policy, so don’t give up if you are refused at the first quote! Don’t forget about the insurance that comes with your bank account or credit card. Some policies might cover you. It is worth checking!

Shop around

Travel insurance premiums that include cover for pre-existing medical conditions vary hugely. For example, when we checked in April 2012, premiums for a policy for a 41 year old to France for 14 days with asymptomatic PSC and UC ranged from £42.55 to £119.88 so it is worth shopping around. MoneySupermarket.com and Comparethemarket are websites which search many insurers to find the best quotes for you, and have specific sections for pre-existing conditions (including PSC).

Money Saving Expert has lots of information and tips about travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions. It lists a number of specialist insurers (in addition to the ones included in the MoneySupermarket.com search). As stated previously, it is worth getting many quotes and phoning round, as the quotes vary considerably, often for similar, if not the same cover.

When you find a policy offering a good quote, check the policy schedule (limits and excesses) to ensure you are getting the cover you need. If in doubt, speak to the insurer. Declare everything, at the time of the quote and if things change. Honesty is the best policy as inaccurate information may invalidate your policy.

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Where else to look?

Liver4Life has teamed up with LG Guard to offer travel insurance quotations for people with liver conditions.

LIVErNORTH, the charity supporting people in the North East, includes information about travel insurance in their newsletters, and contains other useful information.

Some places to get insurance cover for pre-existing medical conditions mentioned on Money Saving Expert:
www.insurancewith.com (0845 2307 159) - also has a Q&A section all about travel insurance.
MIA Travel Insurance (01268 782745)
Orbis Insurance Services Limited (01424 215 315)
Travel Plan Insurance - part of Primary Insurance - only deals with quotations by email, not by phone.

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Medical Screening Questions

When you tick the “I’ve got a pre-existing medical condition” box, you will be asked a number of screening questions to ascertain the extent and severity of your disease. They are surprisingly basic questions and they too vary from insurer to insurer. Here are some examples of the types of questions you’ll be asked.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • How many times have you been treated in a hospital or taken to A & E due to this condition in the last x years?
  • Have you had any unplanned hospital admissions in the last x years?
  • How often do you have blood tests to monitor this condition?
  • Have you ever had ascites?
  • Have you ever suffered from oesophageal varices?
  • Do you suffer from jaundice? (Some quotes are more specific than others about this).
  • Are you on a waiting list for a liver transplant?  (Or have you been on a liver transplant waiting list?)
  • How many medications do you take for this condition?

Ulcerative Colitis

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • Do you get blood in your stools? Is this a current or frequent problem? (not all ask this; insurancewith does ask this)
  • How often do you suffer from acute flare-ups requiring medical intervention?
  • Have you ever been prescribed corticosteroids (tablets, suppositories or injections) for this condition?
  • How many medications do you take for this condition?
  • Have you ever suffered from bowel obstruction?

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European Health Insurance Card

Don’t forget about the European Health Insurance Card (or call 0845 605 0707) if you are staying in Europe. If you are a UK resident, you are entitled to medical treatment that becomes necessary, at reduced cost or sometimes free, when temporarily visiting a European Union (EU) country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. The EHIC covers treatment provided by the state healthcare scheme in the country you are visiting. It does not cover repatriation costs. If you need information that is more specific about what and how much is covered, how to use the card and how to get treatment abroad, visit the NHS wesbite.

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