Will Brexit affect my travel insurance?
I know everyone is fed up, but we need to talk about the B word. Due to the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, we cannot know what will happen to Medicare travel in the near future. Although most of the recent political headlines about health have been related to the privatization of the British NHS, the health of travel abroad is just as important.
Medical travel comparison
Most people think that as long as they are in Europe, any medical problems they encounter will be covered. However, as you will see below, this can be a costly mistake.
Personally, I wouldn’t dream of traveling outside the UK or even Europe without health insurance. For the deeper part of the word, I tell all patients that separate health insurance is absolutely necessary. I also always recommend that they check insurance to cover any past or existing medical conditions-assuming my Global Traveler patient asks me before traveling. They often don’t do this, and the first thing I heard was that when they received huge bills, they asked me to help them pick up the change.
The Medical Travel Comparison study, which looks at quotes from people who are more likely to claim a medical condition, shows how many Britons risk travel health claims being rejected because they didn’t provide the details needed. E.g:
No matter how long, seven out of ten people don’t know they need to declare depression.
Almost three-quarters don’t know they need to announce any cancer diagnosis even if it has been clear for 10 years or more.
Nearly seven out of ten people don’t realize they need to announce a mild heart attack that happened years ago.
Currently, if you have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you are entitled to the same state medical services as local residents of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland. However, Brexit is not over, and your right to health care overseas is uncertain. Based on events over the next few months:
If there is no transaction for Brexit, the EHIC card may be invalid.
If Brexit occurs under Boris Johnson’s exit agreement, the transition period will continue until the end of 2020, during which all EU laws, including those covering EHIC cards, will apply.
If you start traveling before Brexit but get sick after Brexit, you may experience problems.
Even if we do reach an agreement, coverage in these countries will depend on arrangements with individual countries. Even with EHIC, you may have to pay more for treatment than current regulations, or you may have to pay in full.
When EHIC covers existing medical conditions
The travel medical insurance you purchase does not include the cost of routine medical care that you need to perform due to conditions that exist while you are abroad. In this regard, EHIC is different. E.g:
If you are pregnant, EHIC will provide you with regular maternal care as long as you do not plan to send your baby abroad.
If you need it, EHIC will provide dialysis services for kidney failure. However, this requires prior organization by your NHS nephrologist.
If oxygen is needed due to severe lung disease, oxygen can be scheduled through EHIC. However, you need to use an authorized oxygen company in the country you are visiting. You can get more details about the people you need to contact from the British Lung Foundation Hotline. Your home oxygen supplier will usually not be able to provide you with oxygen during the trip, so you must make all necessary arrangements in advance.