The no. 1 reason to buy quality travel insurance.
Healthcare in Europe
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is free from the NHS. It replaces the E111 and entitles you to state healthcare in all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland at reduced cost, sometimes free.
The Government strongly advises travellers not to rely on it alone. The EU medical card isn't the same as travel insurance which covers additional risks such as repatriation home, cancellation, sports, lost or stolen property.
According to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Mediterranean countries just 2 days in a general ward could sting you £1,600.
For 2 days in intensive care £5,000 is nearer the mark.
That may bring tears to your eyes.
But if you fall ill in the USA a busted leg or wrist could cost £20,000-£30,000.
Even something as simple as a stomach bug or sunburn can sting - around £35 for a visit to the doctor in Mediterranean countries and £200 - £400 in the States (USA).
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical health condition such as a heart problem, hypertension (raised blood pressure), stroke etc. your insurer may cover the condition against further problems for an extra premium.
Insurers use a medical screening service to assess your conditions.
Declare all existing medical problems to the insurer otherwise you won't be covered.
Over 75 to USA Video
On buying comprehensive holiday medical insurance for traveller aged over 75 with heart probems to visit family in Miami.
If you need a stretcher as opposed to an ordinary seat on a normal flight, take a deep breath.
Costs according the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are:-
- £30-35,000 Air ambulance (Jet) - East coast of USA
- £16,000 Air ambulance (Jet) - Canaries
- £8,000 Air ambulance (turbo-prop) - Balearics
- £2,000 Air taxi (propeller driven light aircraft) - Northern France
- £8,500 Scheduled flight, stretcher and doctor escort - Australia
- £4,000 Scheduled flight, seated club, with a nurse escort - West coast of USA
- £1,300 Scheduled flight, seated economy with a Doctor escort - Mediterranean
- £300-£500 Scheduled flight, seated economy without an escort - Mediterranean
- £3,000-£4,500 Scheduled flight, stretcher and doctor escort - Mediterranean
The figures were originally supplied by the Commonwealth Office's partners, FirstAssist, way back in 2005. And yes, prices have gone up since then!
Accepted medical conditions
Many insurers cover common health problems free of charge. They're not excluded, don't have to be declared and won't increase the cost of travel insurance.
These include conditions such as benign breast lump/cyst; gout; hernia (not hiatus); HRT and broken bones (other than head or spine).