A UK cancer charity has been raising awareness about what it calls the ‘scandal’ of cancer patients being quoted travel insurance premiums so high they cannot afford to go on holiday.
Hampshire-based PLANETS, which supports people with neuroendocrine, pancreatic, liver, colorectal, abdominal, and pancreatic cancer, has accused travel insurance providers of applying a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy to cancer patients which often penalizes people even when they are in remission and have been in good health for a number of years.
As well as pointing out that many insurers simply refuse to cover anyone with a history of cancer, making their search for cover more difficult, PLANETS also highlights some of the exorbitant prices cancer patients are sometimes quoted – as if to purposefully put them off.
There Are Alternatives For Cancer Patients
It points to two cases it came across of patients it worked with, both of whom had neuroendocrine tumors. One was quoted for a two-week trip to Canada requiring £7,000. The other was told to enjoy a week in Spain, it would cost £1,000 for them.
PLANETS co-founder Jo Green also has neuroendocrine cancer. The condition is incurable, but with treatment can be managed successfully for many years. She has been living with it for 11 years, has no symptoms, and is in good health. But she too faces obstructive practices whenever she tries to get insurance to go abroad.
The reason why PLANETS has taken up the cause of travel insurance for cancer patients is that, as Jo puts it, going on holiday is an “essential” coping mechanism for many people living with the realities of a long-term medical condition.
“You’ve already been dealt a pretty bad card if you’ve had cancer,” she says. “It is a shame insurance companies can’t be more helpful and realistic in order to allow patients to seek respite through holidays which are important to health and wellbeing.”
Her thoughts are echoed by her fellow co-founder Neil Pearce, a specialist in pancreas, liver, and neuroendocrine tumor surgery.
“For many people, the respite and morale boost a holiday away with family or friends brings is invaluable to their life, yet we are in the perverse situation where very little effort [by travel insurers] is even put in to establish the condition a person is in.”
Fair Prices And Bespoke Policies
After cancer travel insurance reviews, most mainstream travel insurance providers simply aren’t set up to deal with the nuances of people’s health on a case-by-case basis. To them, someone with a pre-existing medical condition represents heightened risk – the risk of falling ill while they are abroad and claiming medical expenses, the risk of requiring more expensive specialist interventions.
Those risks are simply categorized by the condition. Whatever the condition, that’s the additional charge (if they even agree to offer cover for it at all). And everyone with that condition has to pay that same price.
It’s also the case that certain medical conditions attract much higher premiums than others. Cancer is right at the top of that list.
This is all commonplace in the travel insurance sector, but it’s by no means universal. There are providers who specialize in medical travel insurance, i.e. policies specifically geared for people with long-term medical conditions.
The Difference Between The Travel Insurance And Medical Insurance
The big difference in how these niche providers operate is that they do take the health of the individual into consideration. This is usually done by means of a simple medical questionnaire.
Prospective customers will be asked about their medical history, what condition (or conditions) they are currently living with, how it is managed, what medication they are on, their current state of health, etc.
From this information, medical travel insurance providers are the best insurance for cancer patients and are able to do two things. One, they can make a fairer evaluation of the risk an individual actually poses.
So for cancer patients, if they are in remission or if their symptoms are well managed and they are in good health, they can be offered a policy at a fair price.
The insurer understands it isn’t simply cancer that poses the risk – it’s the individual circumstances of the patient. Second, knowing something about the medical background of the individual means specialist insurers can offer policies tailored to their needs.
Although all travel insurance includes cover for medical costs, this is generally only for generic emergency treatments, not interventions specific to a particular condition.
What If You’re Diagnosed With Cancer After You Purchase Travel Insurance?
Imagine you and your spouse decide to take a Paris trip to commemorate your 25th wedding anniversary. To safeguard the vacation, you also buy travel insurance.
Six months later, a regular mammogram finds a lump in your breast, and stage 2 breast cancer is the result of this discovery. You have to have radiation and surgery, so your eagerly anticipated cruise will have to wait.
When you’re dealing with a cancer diagnosis, travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits might be really helpful. Travel insurance after breast cancer cancellation benefits can pay you back for your paid, non-refundable trip expenses if your symptoms (or the side effects of treatment) are incapacitating enough to force you to cancel your trip and if your doctor recommends it. In this matter, you can reschedule your Paris trip after your wife has recovered.
As a cancer patient or anyone else with a long-term medical condition, you want the reassurance that if you do fall ill on your holidays, you will get the care and attention that you need – and that the cost of it will be covered by your insurance.
Please remember that travel insurance can’t pay for planned medical expenses. Plus, travel insurance will not pay for elective care, non-emergency care, experimental treatment, and long-term care in your insurance policy.
Apart from this, if you have any more questions, you can ask by commenting below. Please share your opinions, if I missed any points to mention here.