Heart patients and travel insurance

By insurancewide.com
December 16 2005
Shop around to get the cover you need and follow our ten tips for healthier, safer travel
Thousands of people with heart conditions are being denied a holiday abroad because of difficulties in obtaining travel insurance, according to recent research.
The British Heart Foundation claims that its helpline takes more calls on holiday insurance than any other subject.

The best tip is to shop around for an insurer and a policy that suits you.
The British heart foundation website has a list of companies that may be able to help
You’ll find them on its website (opens new browser)
Reduce your risks

People with heart disease should take precautions and discuss travel plans with their doctor before stepping on an aeroplane.
The risk of complications onboard can be reduced by following a few simple steps. Researchers recommend the following pre-travel checklist for people with heart disease:
1. Shop around for travel insurance to make sure you get the best premium suited to your needs.
2. Carry an ample supply of all medications, make sure they are labelled and placed in carry-on baggage.
3. Carry a copy of a normal electrocardiogram (ECG) if you have an irregular heartbeat or have a pacemaker.
4. Carry contact numbers and web site addresses for pacemaker and ICD manufacturers and local representatives in the destination country if travelling abroad.
5. Travellers over 50 years old or those under 50 with one or more risk factors for deep venous thrombosis (such as obesity, large varicose veins, congestive heart failure, pregnancy, recent major surgery, use of hormone replacement therapy, or oral contraceptives) should wear below-the-knee compression stockings (20 Hg-30 Hg) when travelling on a plane for more than eight hours or 3,100 miles. 6. Confirm aisle seating if at risk for deep vein thrombosis. This will allow you to get in and out of your seat, walk around, and stretch your legs without disrupting other passengers.
7. Avoid alcoholic drinks onboard and remain well hydrated by drinking water regularly.
8. Address any new symptoms with your doctor before travelling.
9. Check the CDC’s website for up-to-date immunization and antimalarial recommendations. This is a useful US government site.
10. Consider buying medical evacuation insurance if your health insurance doesn’t cover medical evacuation.
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