Whether it’s a business trip or a family holiday to the sun, travel is a big part of many people’s lives these days. It’s a good idea for everyone to take out travel insurance, and when you have a bleeding disorder, it’s essential to make sure you’re covered. Without travel insurance, you or your family will have to pay for any treatment received, so read our guide to travel insurance.

In addition, here’s some travel information and top tips to consider when you are planning a trip.

Obtaining a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) 

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is a card that allows UK residents to access medically necessary healthcare at a reduced cost, or even for free, in certain European countries. It works similarly to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which was used before the UK left the European Union.

Here’s a summary of the GHIC:

  • Benefit: Grants access to state-provided healthcare in participating European countries on the same terms as a resident of that country. This might mean free treatment or paying the same rate as a resident.
  • Validity: Up to 5 years
  • Eligibility: UK residents and UK state pensioners living in an EU member state
  • Cost: Free to apply
  • Where to apply: Online through the NHS website

Important things to remember:

  • GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. Getting travel insurance in addition to the GHIC for more comprehensive coverage during your trip is recommended.
  • You can still use a valid EHIC until its expiry date. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC.

Check for a Reciprocal Health Agreement

The UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with some non-EU countries. Within these countries, you’ll often be treated as if you were a resident of the country you’re visiting – UK reciprocal healthcare agreements with non-EU countries.

Isle of Man – Residents visiting the UK will continue to receive free healthcare, should the need arise, and vice versa, for UK residents visiting the Isle of Man, apart from statutory charges which Isle of Man residents have to pay, such as prescription charges.

Jersey – Jersey and the UK have a Reciprocal Health Agreement, which means that if you qualify for free healthcare in Jersey and require emergency treatment when visiting the UK, or vice versa, you won’t have to pay certain healthcare charges. The reciprocal health agreements only cover you if your visit was intended to last for less than three months and you don’t intend to move countries permanently.

The agreement doesn’t cover all costs, e.g. certain types of follow-up treatment or travel costs. Patient travel and related charges policy

Guernsey does not currently have a reciprocal health agreement with the UK or Europe, as it is independent of both the NHS and those holding European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC). Currently, there is no reciprocal health agreement with the UK. If you require medical or hospital treatment while you are in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales) and do not have private medical insurance, you will be responsible for paying the full cost for the care you have received from the NHS Trust that has provided this treatment.

Locate centres around the world.

Having a bleeding disorder should never stop you from travelling around the world and experiencing new cultures; however, you should always be prepared.

As well as making sure you have the right visas, bug repellent, enough treatment and of course, the right travel insurance to cover all your medical needs, it’s also essential to make sure you know:

  • where the nearest haemophilia centre is to where you will be travelling to, and
  • the organisation in that area that may be able to help you if you do need any extra support.

Global Treatment Centre Directory

The World Federation of Hemophilia has a dedicated search engine to enable you to find this information and take it with you while you are away. It is a useful resource for people travelling to other countries and as a directory of haemophilia treaters worldwide. Check out the World Federation of Hemophilia’s Global Treatment Centre Directory for a list of all the centres worldwide – find an address or a person.

European Haemophilia Network (EUHANET) also lists 84 centres from 26 countries. Click the link to find your nearest 5 European Haemophilia Centres.

And remember to take the information with you just in case you need it!

General tips for safe travel with a bleeding disorder

  • Before you leave for a trip – Talk to your haemophilia centre about your travel plans to make sure you are in a healthy condition to travel. Find out if there are any recommended vaccinations based on your travel plans. Request travel sharps bins from your haemophilia centre to take with you. Take out travel insurance, which covers your pre-existing medical condition. There are occasions when travel insurance becomes invalid – for instance, if a pre-existing condition is not declared. In these cases, you or your family must pay for any treatment.
  • Travel letter – Ask your haemophilia centre for a travel letter that describes your bleeding disorder and the medicine you take. Your travel letter will allow transportation security officials to make sure your medicine and medical supplies are allowed while travelling. Give your centre plenty of time to produce this letter for you.
  • Medicine and medical supplies – Medicine and medical supplies are exempt from airline baggage restrictions. Clearly label all medicine and medical supplies and pack them separately in a carry-on bag. If items are safely stored in your carry-on, you will be able to use your items at any time, and you will have your items with you in case your checked luggage is delayed or lost. If any items should not be exposed to X-rays, request your items to be physically inspected by the transportation security official. Unexpected travel delays can happen. Pack extra amounts of medicine and supplies in the event that your return home is delayed.
  • Medical and contact information – Keep a copy of your important medical and contact information with you. Consider wearing a medical ID emblem if travelling alone to help inform medical personnel if you become unconscious or unable to communicate during an emergency.

Taking the time to be well-prepared means that you are on top of things and free to safely enjoy your journey.

Check foreign travel advice.

Refer to government advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.

Be prepared, and have a great trip!

Disclaimer: The content of this page has been provided by GOV.UK and is for general information only and subject to change without notice.

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