One you have decided where you are going it’s time to get organised.
It is very important that you get the right Travel Insurance. You need to make sure that the insurance company are aware of your bleeding disorder so that the policy is still valid if you have a problem. For example, if you have, or have had an inhibitor and don’t mention it there is a chance you could invalidate your insurance policy.
To work out how much cover you need, think about what you’d like to happen if you had a problem and make sure that the policy you are considering would pay for that. For example, will it bring you hope if you have a bleed? We know if can be difficult to find the right insurance so we maintain a list of insurers that we know have insured other members of Haemophilia Scotland. Remember, even with a higher premium most common healthcare problems are much more expensive than good travel insurance.
Most travel insurance policies ask you to take reasonable precautions to protect yourself. Some policies can be invalidated if you have yourself immunized before you go for example.
Sometime travel insurance is bundled in with other financial products such as a bank account. This can be a good way of getting cover. However, once you have joined the scheme it is important to check that you are fully covered by telling them about your bleeding disorder.
We can’t offer advice on financial products like insurance. However, we have asked our members which companies have worked for them. Find out what they said.
If you treat regularly you may be able to take your normal treatment with you. If you collect your treatment from your Haemophilia Centre it is important to talk to them well in advance so that they can make sure they have enough stock when you need it. Similarly, if you have your treatment delivered to your house you need to make sure your have enough treatment to take with you and will still have enough left at home for when you return.
If you don’t treat regularly then your Haemophilia Centre will probably only be able to give you enough treatment to get you to your nearest treatment Centre. That will be two or three doses for many people. After that you would either need to be treated in the country with the products which are locally available or use your travel insurance to get you home. Scottish Haemophilia Centres can’t send clotting factor products to you in other countries.
Talk to your own Haemophilia Centre so that they can make contact in advance with the Haemophilia Centre nearest to where you will be going. They can help you to enquire about the availability of treatment products and medical expenses that may be incurred for treatment. In some cases it can be a good idea to carry a letter from your Centre in the language of the country being visited.
Download the Apps
The Irish Haemophilia Society have developed and excellent app for smartphones and tablets. It not only contains the contact details for Haemophilia Centres all over the world but it lets you put your own details. If can store some basic information about you and your insurance so that if something happens you have all the information you need at your fingertips.
Another app you may find useful is Alisei. It offers people travelling with haemophilia the chance to get in touch with people with the condition who live locally to share information about local treatment, care, and support. There is a website and apps are available in Italian and English.
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