Living with a stoma should not put a damper on your love for travel and adventure. You can travel and enjoy yourself just as a much as your family and friends. All it takes is some forward planning and preparation to ensure your own comfort while traveling to your destination and for the duration of your stay.
An important element in all your plans and preparations will be your travel insurance. Ostomates need special care and attention when they travel abroad. This piece will be used to highlight some of the things ostomates should be aware of when seeking out travel insurance.
High Premium Rates
The risk associated with the pre-existing conditions that caused the stoma in the first place is the driving factor behind the higher premiums that ostomates are asked to pay in order to access insurance. This is set to change as mainstream insurance companies are offering better rates to people living with a stoma. The presence of specialist medical insurers makes the offering even more attractive and competitive. The premiums are still relatively high, but it is best to be adequately covered.
A new stoma patient may find that their premium is higher than that of someone who has had the condition for a number of years and does not require medical attention. The more recent your surgery, the longer your stay in the hospital and the more post-surgery medical attention you require, the more loaded your premium will be. If you had your surgery one year ago and did not require treatment within that time, your premium will be lesser. If you are within the 11th-month post-surgery, treatment free and want to travel you may benefit from waiting the full year (12 months) before traveling. Insurance companies view the one-year treatment-free status of an ostomate as a good milestone.
Specialist Medical Insurers Versus Mainstream Insurance Companies
You may reap major benefits from checking out specialist insurance companies as they have a far better understanding of the medical conditions. Even though they will more than likely load the premium as well, it may end up being significantly less than what a mainstream insurance company would charge. Mainstream insurance companies have been known to load the premiums of cancer patients so that the charge was ten times that of a normal premium. Collect quotes from both insurers and do your comparison before making a final decision.
An insurance company may choose not to insure your per-existing medical condition or stoma. You can opt to go along with this, but be aware that in the event you get sick on your trip, and it is found that the pre-existing condition is the cause of it, you will have to stand your own medical expenses including repatriation.
Other Facts You Should Know
It is best to have insurance even for your regular travels around the EU. Read the fine print. While reciprocal health service agreements are good, the full cost of treatment is not always covered. Use both your European Health Insurance Card and your travel insurance to balance each other. The requirements for travel insurance may differ, but ostomates should ensure they get adequate insurance coverage. That is your protection against any undesirable eventuality that may see you being hospitalized, in need of medical attention or be being flown back home for treatment. Without adequate insurance to cover all that expense, you will be left with a huge bill.