Travel Insurance

Top Travel Insurance FAQs for Past and Present Cancer Patients

Everyone from all walks of life deserves a holiday – and this could not be truer than those who have or are currently suffering from cancer. A holiday can offer much-needed reprieve after a round of chemotherapy treatments, provide patients with the time away to come to terms with his or her illness, or be a way to celebrate your cancer being in remission.

Travel insurance for cancer patients does not need to be difficult though it will require a bit more time and a few more pieces of information to successfully obtain. Below is a list of the most common FAQs current cancer patients and those in remission have:

I’ve heard It’s Difficult to Find Coverage – Is This True?

While it is true that travel insurance companies are more reluctant to cover cancer patients (or anyone with any pre-existing medical condition), this does not mean that you will not be able to obtain coverage. A travel insurance agency may offer one of two policies:

  1. Some insurance agencies will insure your trip, but they will not insure any claims that you may make that will be related to cancer. This means that if you seek treatment for cancer while travelling abroad or if you must cancel the trip due to a cancer-related issue, you would not be covered.
  2. Many insurance agencies will offer a range of comprehensive cancer travel insurance policies.

Will I Pay More for My Coverage?

Yes. Travel insurance that covers individuals who have or have had a cancer diagnosis should expect to pay a higher premium. This is because the travel insurance company will consider you to be a higher risk than someone who does not have a pre-existing condition. Also, if you are travelling to the United States, you can expect your travel insurance to cost more than if you were travel within Europe.

What Information Will They Need to Know?

There will be a few pieces of information your travel insurance agent will need to know prior to approving your travel insurance policy. This includes:

  • The stage of your illness
  • The grade of your illness
  • Your prognosis
  • A letter from your doctor deeming you as being fit to travel

My Cancer Is In Remission. Must I Still Disclose That I Have Had Cancer?

If you have even been diagnosed with cancer in the past, this information must be disclosed to the travel agency even if you are remission. Travel insurance for cancer patients in remission will be more difficult to obtainthan regular travel insurance, even if you have a clean bill of health. Make sure that when you shop around for travel insurance that you have a letter from your doctor stating that you no longer are suffering from the disease and that you are healthy enough to travel.

Will I Need to Bring Documentation Detailing My Cancer Diagnosis?

It is always a good idea for those who have cancer or who are in remission to carry documents detailing your diagnosis, your treatment, and any medication, which you currently have. Be sure to also include the contact details of your doctor.

Travel Insurance

How to Determine Your Medical Travel Insurance Coverage if You Are Over 75 or a Senior

Chances are if you are over 75 years old, you also have a pre-existing medical condition. Fortunately, some of the insurance platforms that feature medical travel insurance make it easy for seniors to choose an insurance plan. Sites allow you to compare over-75 coverage for various insurers. In many instances, there are no age limits on the plans, and a variety of medical conditions are covered as well.

Policy Limitations Regarding Age

However, that being said, some insurers will not offer medical travel insurance to anyone over the age of 75 years old. These companies enforce this kind of policy in order to keep the cost of the coverage low. Some insurers feel that older travellers are much too high of risk to insure and will put a cap on the age of policyholders they insure.

Take a Careful Look at Your Options

Again, if you are 75 years old or older, you probably already have a pre-existing medical condition, which is another reason why older travellers often have to refer to specific platforms in order to obtain coverage. If you fall under this classification and have a pre-existing condition, you need to declare the condition to ensure that your policy stays in force and does not become invalid. Therefore, you have to compare your medical travel insurance for over 75 year-olds with due diligence.

Where Do You Plan to Travel?

The geographic destination also affects the cost of the premium. Some places in the world have a higher standard of health care—a privatised system that costs more to implement. Therefore, the insurance premiums are higher as well. Places like Malta, Greece, Cypress, and Spain operate under privatised systems, thereby costing the insured more money.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition and are 60+ years of age, it usually costs a substantial amount of money to obtain medical treatment in such countries as Canada, the USA, China, the Caribbean, and Hong Kong. Repatriation back to Europe can cost a significant amount as well, especially if you go back to Europe from these locations.

In the world of medical travel insurance, a pre-existing condition is a buzzword that gains a lot of notice from both the insurer and the insured. While you may be able to see many attractions and sites in Britain and Europe at a reduced rate, you simply cannot say the same, in some cases, for medical travel policies.

In some instances, the prices can take a leap for every five or ten years of age. Other companies will not increase premiums until the insured becomes 70 years old. A blanket explanation from insurers for premium increases is the potential for a claim. Older people, say insurers, fall sick more frequently and have a tendency to experience more accidents. Therefore, treatment is more expensive as well.

Many 80-year-olds who apply for medical travel insurance are just as healthy as people twenty years younger. However, the insurance industry does not make this distinction as it is calculating its premium costs on averages. Insurers want to ensure that they create a win-win situation for themselves. While they will charge you more on your premium for a pre-existing condition, they will not lower the premium if you are in excellent health for your age.

With that being said, it is best to look at policies that are not necessarily the lowest cost overall but one that will give you the coverage you need for the best price. Therefore, you need to have a careful look through a summary of coverage costs before you can arrive at the best premium price.

The Multi-Trip Plan

If you really like to travel or like to take excursions five times or more each year, your best choice just might be to choose an annual multi-trip plan—a policy that will cover your travel for the year. A coverage of this type is continuous and convenient. You do not have to keep purchasing a policy. Plus, the coverage takes effect as soon as a reservation is made.

However, typically, the upper age limits for this kind of coverage are usually lower than if you buy insurance for a single trip. So, if you do find a multi-trip plan that falls within your age range, make sure you carefully scrutinise the coverage for the benefits.

If you plan to take a cruise, some companies will offer special coverage for holidays of this type, which may, in the long run, be a better value. Usually, these policies feature a higher age limit than a standard type plan. Again, if you plan to travel outside European boundaries, your policy’s premium can be substantial, because of the high cost of health care outside of Europe, especially in North America.

The additional expense applies to the Caribbean too, since visitors are often repatriated to the U.S. for medical treatment for an injury suffered in this locale. Repatriation covers the medical evacuation of a patient,and therefore does not extend to medical treatment. The method of evacuation is determined by the traveller’s location and condition.

In less severe evacuations, a patient is typically transported by airplane before being transferred to a commercial airliner. Other more serious evacuations may include identification of the proper air transport as well as a medical escort. Repatriation may also include the use of special breathing equipment, such as an oxygen tank.

Considering a Waiver

In some conditions, if you are older, it is a good idea to add a pre-existing condition waiver to your policy. With the waiver, you are provided benefits should an illness related to your condition disrupt your holiday.

For instance, if you are traveling overseas and have to cut your trip short, because you don’t feel well as the result of your condition, your travel interruption coverage would apply. Or, if you had a relapse connected with your condition, and you had to seek medical help, your costs would be covered under the stipulations that were set by your insurance company. If you don’t request a waiver, you are not eligible for these kinds of benefits.