Warnings to UK travellers not to rely solely on the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) for emergency treatment while they are on holiday should be heeded especially by people with pre-exiting medical conditions. www.MedicalTravelCompared.com, the first stand-alone comparison site for people with current or past medical conditions is urging those heading to Spain in particular, to ensure they have travel insurance to cover their medical condition. While the EHIC does cover flare-ups of pre-existing conditions and procedures such as kidney dialysis, there’s confusion about what treatment the EHIC will cover and not all countries are abiding by the agreement.
Lauren Stovell, Business Development Manager for MedicalTravelCompared said: “The EHIC should entitle travellers to emergency treatment for new and pre-existing conditions in countries that are part of the reciprocal Health Agreement. However, in July the European Commission issued legal proceedings against the Spanish government in response to 100s of cases of UK travellers in possession of an EHIC being asked to pay in cash, claim on their insurance or being turned away from public hospitals. ABTA has also reported of isolated incidents in other parts of the Mediterranean.
“The other major issue is that in some holiday areas, there’s limited presence of public hospitals. As the EHIC is not accepted in private hospitals, the patient has the choice of a long journey at their own cost to get emergency treatment or a big bill to be treated privately.
“We don’t want the EHIC to give travellers with pre-existing conditions a false sense of security that if they need emergency treatment, it will always be available at no cost. They also need to consider the costs for rescheduled flights and accommodation not covered by the card.
“Comprehensive travel insurance specifically covering any pre-existing medical conditions will offer cover in all of the above eventualities subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.”
The EHIC will NOT cover:
- Private hospitals
- Any additional costs incurred to travel to and from a state/public hospital (this could be miles away from the resort)
- Replacement flights if the individual is advised not to fly on their return date/cannot fly on their return date due to being ill
- Additional hotel and accommodation costs for the individual or the travelling companions
MedicalTravelCompared.com is a travel insurance comparison site specifically for over 65s and those with a pre-existing medical condition. The MedicalTravelCompared insurance panel currently comprises over 18 insurance products. Travellers complete a simple question set and a list of insurers, covers and premiums are returned.
MedicalTravelCompared.com is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA Number is 592298.
0844 887 2102
Blog article written by MedicalTravelCompared.com