Monday, 10 March 2014
Travel Insurance and Oxygen
I have spent many hours researching travel insurance and travel oxygen. I just spoke to Insurance Choice and it feels like a breakthrough.
They are an arranger not an underwriter. She said the best underwriter by far for CF is "Fit for Travel". They are the only company who write their own medical questions and this makes them more flexible. She took my details and then went through their process with me. The questions were thorough but more sensible than normal. It seemed like they understand CF more than others!
They have a website but there's not much on it so I recommend just calling.
Tel: 0844 5577980 (ask for Sophie)
I have found in the past that the number of "unplanned" admissions I have had in the last year or two years has been a blocker. I usually go in 2 or 3 times a year. I go in when I am sick not a pre-planned basis. These guys ask about all admissions in the last two years (not just unplanned ones i.e. pre-emptive pre-planned ones count). In the last 2 years I have been in 5 times. This was not a blocker.
I also have CFRD and I need oxygen on the plane, with exercise and overnight. This was not a blocker.
I am thinking about going to Greece for 2 weeks in April. They quoted me £225. She said it would be similar anywhere in the EU.This includes £5,000 cancellation cover and £10m emergency including repatriation and legal.
After getting the quote, I had a decent chat with her. She said the question about admissions in the last two years has two answers "0-9" or "more than 9" i.e. if I had been in 9 times it would not make that much difference. If more than 9 admissions, they may still cover but it will cost more. She said she recently arranged cover for a lady with CF in a similar situation to me who is going to the US. The quote for her was £650.
I need to take oxygen abroad. I use 2 litres/min pulsed when I do exercise and I use 2 litres/min continous overnight. I will use 2 litres/min on the plan since the flight will be more than 2 hours. I tend not to need O2 for shorter flights. Air Liquide provide my O2 at home and they are pretty good about travel within the UK but they will not help abroad. If you have an EHIC you can arrange O2 locally within the EU but it can take a long time to organise, there is sometimes a cost and I'm told the equipment is not always as good as it is here. I called British Lung Foundation and they gave me a list of companies that will rent out portable O2 equipment to take abroad. This is going to cost me about about £400 for 2 weeks. I tried PureO2 (08707 120202), 10sMedical (0121 355 6555) and Intermedical (0800 0282194) and they are all similar but I would recommend PureO2 because they seem a little bit more professional and responsive. I can use this equipment on the plane too but if I go with an airline that provides it free I might use that facility.
The British Lung Foundation website is good for general information and the people on the helpline are very helpful:
There is also some good inforamtion and advice on the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website:
I hope it is useful for others with CF. Where there's a will there's a way!