Getting travel insurance
You should always get travel insurance if you’re travelling abroad, even if you have a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Make sure your insurance covers your lung condition and any other conditions you have. You need to tell the insurance company about all the conditions you have and any treatment or tests you’re due to have, or they may not pay out if you make a claim.
Look into insurance well in advance of your trip, and shop around for the best cover.
Consider whether the insurance covers:
- emergency transport, including ambulances and emergency travel home
- all the activities you want to do on your holiday
- reasonable costs for a family member or friend to stay with you, or travel out to accompany you home, if required
- excess on medical treatment if you have an EHIC or GHIC – some policies cover this and some do not.
When you’re travelling, keep your travel insurance documents inhand luggage in case your hold baggage gets lost. It’s a good idea to leave a copy of your policy details with someone back at home, in case they need to contact the insurance company on your behalf.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has guidance for getting travel insurance, including things to think about and policy exclusions to watch out for.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has a directory for travel insurance for people with medical conditions.
UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
If you’re travelling or going on holiday to an EU country, you can apply for a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This lets you get healthcare in EU countries, including:
- emergency treatment
- treatment for long-term medical conditions
- routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
- oxygen therapy.
The GHIC replaces the old European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You can still use your old EHIC if it’s in date. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for the GHIC instead. You’ll still need to get travel insurance even with a GHIC or EHIC as it does not cover everything.
You can find out more about the GHIC, what it covers, and how to apply on the NHS website.
Claiming a refund for treatment costs
If you paid for medically necessary treatment while visiting another country, you can claim a refund if the treatment is state-funded. For more information and to download a refund form, see the NHS Business Services Authority website.
You can use our helpful checklist to make sure you’re fully prepared for your trip.