Saturday, July 12, 2008

Medical Travel Insurance

Everybody knows someone who has needed to claim on their medical travel insurance whilst on holiday. It is a fact of life that although we like to pretend we are invincible, sometimes injury and illness occur, often at the most inopportune times.
Health issues occur with shock randomness, perhaps involving pre-existing medical conditions, sometimes new complications, and even issues arising from travelling abroad, e.g. A car crash on the wrong side of the road.
Being liable for perhaps tens of thousands worth of medical costs, transportation fees, and medical care, in a country which operates its health services in a different format, would spoil anybody’s holiday. Medical travel insurance allows consumers to relax in the knowledge if the worst happens; they're covered.
In the UK, from 2006, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the E111 paper, entitling card holders to basic health care equivalent to local European residents. Note that having an EHIC card is helpful but not comprehensive.
The requirement for health insurance still remains, because not all eventualities are covered by the EHIC and in some countries the agreement is not free health care, but for a partial reduction in medical costs there. Repatriation on medical grounds is not included with the EHIC, and is a further reason to posses a valid insurance policy.

Specialist Medical Travel Insurance

Sufferers of existing medical conditions and pregnant women are particularly advised to double-check the detail in their medical travel insurance quote. These categories are higher risk groups for insurers, and so levels of cover vary significantly. Some insurers will even exclude cover in certain situations. (e.g. If more than 28 weeks pregnant).
The good news is that some insurance companies offer dedicated products specifically for people in these categories.

Insurance Providers:

For travel insurance for pre existing medical conditions visit - Free Spirit is a specialist insurer providing tailor-made travel insurance for people who have pre-existing medical conditions. - Eligible medical expenses will be waived for pre-existing conditions. - For people with pre-existing medical conditions. - Insurance for the disabled or people with pre-existing medical conditions. - Canadian Snowbird Association - Medipac Travel Insurance.

Compare Medical Cover

To compare the wider market in medical travel insurance try a comparison engine, some allow for quotes to be returned relating to preferences with or without pre-existing medical conditions:
Check a detailed quote from each insurer and ensure familiarity with the the level of insurance cover.

Policy Documentation

In the event of a medical emergency, the hospital needs to see the policy to assure themselves that the expenses of the medical treatment will be honoured. Therefore it is advisable to carry a copy, or at the very least have an email with those key policy details on, because ultimately when health incidents occur abroad, insurers will play a critical role.

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