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COVID19 Tests

COVID19 tests now available to buy in pharmacies in Spain without prescription

Covid19 tests 20th July 20201 - Before today, if you wanted to buy a self-diagnostic test, it was mandatory to present a prescription at the time of purchase. Now, with the modification of Royal Decree 1662/2000, the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, will replace this provision allowing self-tests to be purchased without a prescription.

Although these tests will be available to everyone in all pharmacies in Spain, these self-diagnostic tests DO NOT have official validity, therefore, they can not be used as proof that you have had the virus, nor will their results be valid for going on holiday, they are for personal monitoring of the virus and nothing else.

Types of tests available

Antigen test, this type of self-test allows the user “to carry out the tests without the intervention of a healthcare professional", which will reduce to a certain extent the pressure in healthcare centres andl allow the rapid identification of positive cases ”, according to the decree. They are intended to be used within seven days of the suspected infection, with the first symptoms.

The test is similar to the well-known PCR, and is responsible for detecting at the time the sample is taken, if the person is infected. The protocol of each one will be independent depending on the brand, but they all share the same guideline: a swab of about 3 centimetres that must be inserted to the bottom of a nostril. place this in a small measuring device. In less than 15 minutes, the diagnosis will be ready: if the result is positive, the test (T) and control (C) lines will be marked; if negative, only the control (C). If none appears, the test is faulty.

Where to get tests suitable for Travel in Benidorm

Antibody tests, these are carried out to detect if a person has been infected and has developed antibodies or immunity against it.

These are useful for monitoring infected people and can also help make a first diagnosis of whether the virus is active or not, but the answer will not be as definitive as in the case of antigens.

This antibody self-test, also known as a serological test, works by drawing a small amount of blood from the finger. The results are quite fast and take no more than five minutes to tell if the person has passed the Covid and developed their immunity, so it is NOT useful to detect if they have the virus at the time of taking the sample.

Prices

From the General Council of Pharmaceutical Associations they explain that, as it is an over-the-counter health product, the tests do not have an intervened price and it is the manufacturer that establishes at what value each product will be marketed, so it is impossible to have a fixed price, There will be around eight tests manufactured by different laboratories: three antibodies and five antigen tests, most indicate that the final costs of sale to the public of the antigens will be between 3 - 12 euros depending upon the test used

Information provided by elespanol.com

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WHAT YOUR GHIC CARD COVERS YOU FOR IN SPAIN

What your GHIC card covers you for in Spain - The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU).  UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU.

Beware of unofficial websites. These cards are always FREE only use official websites to apply for your card. 

Information updated 5th February 2021

APPLY FOR YOUR CARD NOW

The GHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts or being flown back to the UK.

Make sure you have both a GHIC and a travel insurance policy that includes healthcare in place before you travel.

Some insurers now insist you hold a GHIC.

You may not be able to use your GHIC in parts of the EU where state-provided healthcare is not available.

Be cautious if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative claiming that you’ll get back anything you pay for. Costs may not be recoverable under the GHIC scheme, particularly if treatment is not from a state provider.

Check your individual travel insurance covers your healthcare needs

And incidentally the current daily rate for 24 hours in the intensive care department at Villajoiosa hospital…..  was just under 1500€, (and we’ve never heard of anybody getting away with just a one day stay in intensive care!)

What your GHIC card covers you for in Span

When to Apply

Once your EHIC has expired, you will be able to replace it with the new GHIC.

You can get a provisional replacement certificate (PRC) if you need treatment abroad and do not have a card.

Most people can apply for a GHIC online, but some people need to apply by post. See the section below about Who can get a GHIC.

Your card will normally arrive within 10 days.

If you are applying from Northern Ireland, from March 2021 you’ll have the choice of a standard GHIC with a union flag or one with a plain background.

APPLY FOR YOUR CARD NOW

GHIC CARD

Who can Apply for the GHIC card?

Some people may be able to apply for a new UK-issued EHIC if they are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. This gives you the same cover as a GHIC in EU countries.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, a new UK-issued EHIC also covers you for necessary healthcare from state services in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

GHICs and old UK EHICs do not work in these 4 countries.

You can apply for a new UK EHIC if you're:

  • an EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic or Liechtenstein citizen, and you've been living in the UK since before 1 January 2021
  • a UK State Pensioner or receiving some other exportable benefits, and you have a registered S1 form or E121
  • a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another) and you've been one since before 1 January 2021, for as long as you continue to be a frontier worker in the host state, and you’re eligible for an S1 form or E106
  • a worker posted to work in another EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland by your UK employer, and you've been there since before 1 January 2021, where the country has agreed to let the posting continue
  • an eligible family member or dependant of one of the above
  • a UK student studying in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, and you've been there since before 1 January 2021

UK Residents

Entitlement to a UK GHIC is not based on your nationality.

The UK operates a residency-based healthcare system (the NHS), which means access is generally determined by residency and not by the past or present payment of National Insurance contributions or UK taxes.

If you are ordinarily resident in the UK and not insured by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you're likely to be considered insured by the UK and will be entitled to a GHIC.

You'll need to provide the necessary evidence when applying.

There are certain circumstances where you may be entitled to a GHIC or UK-issued EHIC despite living in an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

You are not entitled to a GHIC if you're insured by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland but live in the UK. You should contact the relevant authority in the country you're insured by and request an EHIC.

If your circumstances change, you may lose your entitlement to a GHIC. If you then use your GHIC abroad, you may be liable for the full cost of treatment received.

You may lose your entitlement to a GHIC when you move abroad, take up work abroad or change your residency status. In which case you should either have private medical insurance or apply for your SIP card here in Spain.

Families

Every individual family member requires a GHIC. You can make an application for yourself and on behalf of your partner and any dependent children under the age of 16.

If you already have a GHIC, you must enter your own details first and apply for any additional cards when prompted.

If you're under the age of 16, a parent or guardian will need to apply for you. Boarding school teaching staff can apply on behalf of any children in their care.

UK students going to the EU

If you're planning to study in an EU country, you need to apply for a GHIC that’s time limited to the length of your course. You cannot apply for this online.

You’ll also need a letter from your university or college confirming:

  • name and address of the UK educational institution (if you’re going as part of a UK course)
  • address of where you're studying in the EU
  • details of the qualification you're studying for
  • dates your course started and is due to finish

Complete a GHIC application form (PDF, 678kb) and post it along with your university/college letter to:

Overseas Healthcare Services
NHS Business Services Authority
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6SN

Non-British and non-Irish nationals

If you or a family member are not a British or Irish national, you'll have to provide further evidence that you're eligible.

You will need to complete a GHIC application form (PDF, 678kb), attach a copy of your visa or UK residence permit, and post it to:

Overseas Healthcare Services
NHS Business Services Authority
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 6SN

Dual nationals

If you're a dual UK/EU national, you're eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC provided you meet all the following requirements:

  • you acquired British citizenship through naturalisation
  • you were a citizen of an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein before also becoming a British citizen
  • you have retained your nationality of one of those countries

What your GHIC card covers you for in Span

Irish citizens and people who live in Ireland

Irish citizens who were born in the UK, including people of Northern Ireland who are Irish citizens, will not usually be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC. If you’re resident in the UK, you should apply for a GHIC.

You may be able to get a new UK-issued EHIC if you’re:

  • a UK State Pensioner or receiving some other exportable benefits and you’ve been living in the Republic of Ireland since before 1 January 2021
  • a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another) and you've been one since before 1 January 2021, for as long as you continue to be a frontier worker in the host state
  • an eligible family member or dependant of one of the above

You cannot currently apply online for your EHIC, you should call the Overseas Healthcare Services. This is part of the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA).

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Phone +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

You should only apply for an EHIC if you intend to travel to the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

What your GHIC card covers you for in Span

What the GHIC covers

You can use a GHIC to get "necessary healthcare" from state services when you’re visiting an EU country.

Necessary healthcare means healthcare which becomes medically necessary during your stay, and you cannot reasonably wait until you’re back in the UK to get it.

This includes things like:

  • emergency treatment and visits to A&E
  • treatment for a long-term or pre-existing medical condition
  • routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
  • routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth
  • oxygen and kidney dialysis

You’ll need to pre-arrange some treatments with the relevant healthcare provider in the country you are visiting, for example kidney dialysis or chemotherapy.

Check that you're not booked with a private healthcare provider, as these are not covered by GHIC.

If you fall ill on a ship or plane, your GHIC also covers you for necessary treatment when you arrive in an EU country.

Not all state healthcare is free in the EU and you may have to pay for services that you’d get for free on the NHS.

What the GHIC does not cover

GHICs and old UK EHICs only cover you in EU countries. They do not cover you in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

However, if you were already on a visit to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland before 1 January 2021, your UK EHIC entitlements will continue until you leave that country. You can also use a UK passport to get medically necessary treatment in Norway.

Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you might expect to get free of charge from the NHS.

In some countries, you have to pay a percentage towards the cost of any state-provided treatment, known as a patient co-payment.

You'll have to pay the same as a patient from that country. 

What your GHIC card covers you for in Spain

An EHIC or GHIC covers state healthcare, not private treatment.

With an EHIC or GHIC you can get medically necessary treatment in Spain on the same basis as a Spanish citizen. This means that you’ll get healthcare services for free or at a reduced cost.

An EHIC or GHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance – it does not cover everything, such as mountain rescue or being flown back to the UK (medical repatriation). Make sure you have both before you travel to Spain.

You may need to pay in full for treatment if you do not have an EHIC, GHIC or provisional replacement certificate (PRC).

How to use your cards

Show your EHIC or GHIC when you visit any state hospital or doctor. You cannot use either card for private healthcare.

If you do not have your EHIC or GHIC with you

You’ll need to apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) if you need treatment and do not have your EHIC or GHIC, or your card is lost or stolen abroad.

Call the Overseas Healthcare Services. This is part of the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA).

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Claiming a refund

In some countries you may be expected to pay your bill upfront and then claim a refund afterwards.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary). You or your insurance company may need them if you're applying for a refund.

Some countries ask patients to pay a contribution towards the cost of their care, such as for prescription costs. This is known as a co-payment or patient share.

You can claim back the difference between the total bill and the patient share, but the actual patient share is not refundable.

It's the responsibility of the authority of the country of treatment to decide the amount of the patient share and therefore how much is refundable from the total bill.

For further advice, contact the Overseas Healthcare Service on 0191 218 1999, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

Travelling with a health condition

Buy travel insurance with healthcare cover for your condition. Your EHIC or GHIC will cover medically necessary treatment.

Bring any documents about your health condition or what medication you’re taking.

If you need to have treatment while you’re in Spain, you may need to pre-arrange it. For example, if you need oxygen treatment or dialysis.

Speak to your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel.

If you need oxygen therapy during your visit

You can get oxygen therapy with an EHIC or a GHIC, but you need to arrange this before you travel.

You must send a written request to the Spanish health authority in the area you plan to visit at least one month before you travel.

Find out how to request oxygen therapy in Spain. This guide includes:

  • a letter template in Spanish that you can download and complete
  • a list of contact details for Spanish health authorities

Dialysis

You should speak to the co-ordinator in your UK dialysis unit before you travel. They will contact the dialysis unit in Spain nearest to where you will be staying. The provision of dialysis will be subject to availability in Spain. The Renal Association website has a list of renal units in the UK.

Ensure you make your arrangements according to your UK schedule. Also, there may be different guidance depending on what type of dialysis you receive. Make sure you speak to your doctor before you travel. In addition, visit the National Kidney Federation website, which offers general  advice about travelling with a kidney disease, as well as specific guidance for haemodialysis patients, peritoneal dialysis patients and guidelines for transplant patients.

Getting prescriptions

A UK prescription may not be recognised in Spain. If this is the case you’ll need to get a prescription from a Spanish GP.

Prescription medicines are not free in Spain. With an EHIC you get a reduced rate, but you’ll still pay:

  • 50% of the prescription price
  • 10% of the prescription price if you have a UK State Pension ‒ you may need to show proof that you’re a pensioner to pay this rate

These prescription charges are non-refundable.

Bringing medicine with you

You need a letter to prove your medicine is prescribed to you if it contains a ‘controlled drug’. You may need to show this at the border when you’re entering or leaving the UK and Spain.

You may also need a licence for controlled drugs if:

  • your trip is longer than 3 months
  • you’re travelling with more than 3 months’ supply

Read more about travelling with controlled medicines.

You should also contact your nearest Spanish consulate before you travel to find out if you need to apply for a Spanish licence.

WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IN BENIDORM

If you find yourself in a serious, life-threatening emergency, you should call 112. This number is free of charge and valid in all Spanish territories. The Spanish word for A&E department is "urgencias". Other important phone numbers to note down:

•112 or 061 – ambulance (ambulancia)

•091 – national police (policía nacional)

•092 – local police (policía municipal)

•062 – civil guard (guardia civil)

•080 – fire brigade (bomberos)

•900 202 202 – sea rescue (salvamento y seguridad marítima)

If you feel you need medical treatment the best place to go to your nearest Centro de Salud.  You must have with you your EHIC/GHIC card and your passport and any travel insurance documents you have, you will not be seen without these.  We have seen people in the ambulance ready to be taken to the relevant hospital but the drivers will not go anywhere unless they have seen this paperwork. Once you have been seen by the duty doctor they will decide on your treatment, your insurance or lack of will determine which hospital you go to, if you only have your EHIC/GHIC card you will be taken to the general hospital which is closer to Villa Joyosa, if you have full travel insurance you will be taken to Levante Hospital (in Benidorm) There are lots of other private clinics in Benidorm some of these will treat you themselves or you will be directed to either Clinica Benidorm or Levante hospital you need insurance because you will be charged.

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Travel insurance existing medical conditions

Recommended Insurance Companies for Pre existing medical conditions

This is one of our most frequently asked questions on the Facebook Group, so below are our members recommendations for Insurance companies that will cover pre-existing medical conditions. Travel Insurance existing conditions.

Brexit and insurance 

For people visiting the EU, we recommend buying travel insurance to ensure you can travel safely. You should make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy, and that the policy is sufficient to cover possible disruption. The FCO has guidance on what your travel insurance policy should cover.

If you already have travel insurance to cover your trip, your insurer should let you know if there will be any changes to the way your policy is serviced that will affect you after the UK leaves the EU. If you have questions about what your travel insurance policy covers, or whether the policy is sufficient to cover possible disruption, you may wish to contact your insurer.

You may need extra travel cover if you’re over 65 or if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Please note all the companies below also do "normal" travel insurance policies.

What is a ‘pre-existing medical condition’?

Travel insurance existing conditions

This term covers a lot – from allergies to broken bones.

Different insurance companies have different definitions, but your insurer is likely to consider any of the following as a pre-existing medical condition:

  • Any condition you are waiting for an operation on
  • Any condition that you’re currently awaiting test results for
  • Any condition, even a minor one, that you’ve seen a doctor about in the last year
  • Any serious condition – cancer, heart trouble, respiratory problems – you have ever had

They will also want to know if you’re currently taking any medication.

You might also be asked whether any of your relatives or close business colleagues have medical conditions – even if they are not travelling.

(If they do and you have to cancel your trip because of their condition, you will probably not be covered.)

You’ll need to declare all pre-existing medical conditions when buying travel insurance.

If you’re not sure whether to declare, don’t assume it’s covered, always ask your insurance company.

Otherwise you risk having your claim rejected.

Some policies will not cover your medical condition.

Others will give you cover but charge extra for it.

 

All Clear Travel Insurance

Avanti

Aviva

AXA

Covered to Go

Cover Wise 

ESure

EuorTunnel

Free Spirit

Get Going

Insure and go

Insure With

Just Travel 

LV Insurance

NOW travel

Payingtomuch 

Penguin Insurance

Puffin Insurance

SAGA

StaySure

Top Dog Insurance

WorldWideInsure

And for EXPATS in Spain - Polifani 

CM Seguros

What to watch out for when buying travel insurance covering your medical condition

If you’re buying online, most insurers will ask you to call a number or fill out a form giving your medical history.

Always call if you are unsure about anything.

  • Check whether any medical equipment you’re taking with you is covered.
  • Make sure you get a 24-hour helpline to call in case of a medical emergency abroad.

How to get the best deal on travel insurance for over 65s

  • Depending on how often you travel you might want to consider a multi-trip ‘annual’ travel policy as these policies could work out cheaper in the long run.
  • If you’re taking a cruise, a cruise policy might work out cheaper than a single trip policy – and can have higher age limits than standard insurance.
  • If you’re having trouble finding a policy you might get cover if you have a premium bank account that offers free travel insurance. Check the age limit and that it covers pre-existing medical conditions. Just make sure the annual charges on the bank account don’t add up to more than the cost of a travel insurance policy.
  • Do some thorough research online – don’t just head to comparison sites as many travel insurers don’t use them and you might not be able to get quotes if you have existing medical conditions.

For more information on taking out the right type of insurance also read this page "Choosing the right travel insurance"

Many people think just having an EHIC card is enough cover, this is far from the case, find out exactly what the EHIC card covers you for HERE 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES AND INSURANCE

Many travel insurers have now suspended the sale of new policies entirely.

Only a limited number of insurers are offering policies that cover COVID-19 check out:-

Rush Insurance Underwritten by Travel Insurance Facilities Group 

Staysure (no travel disruption extension for new customers, but emergency medical treatment for coronavirus is covered) 

Trailfinders (cover for some coronavirus-related cancellation and medical expenses)

Santander (cover for some coronavirus-related cancellation and medical expenses)

Battleface Insurance ( new policy will give travellers the peace of mind they have been looking for. including to countries currently advised against traveling to by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) for travellers up to and including age 59, includes cover for medical expenses caused by or resulting from COVID-19)

SAGA (emergency medical cover) are among providers who do.

Nationwide -  cover if your destination restricts its borders before you travel for reasons relating to the pandemic

AllClear - If the FCO changes its advice before you travel

Allianz Assistance - worth checking out

Hays Travel - The new cover, which will be offered as standard to customers through Rush Insurance Services and Allianz Insurance, will include provisions for cancellation or curtailment of holidays, emergency medical expenses and repatriation due to Covid-19 or other epidemics and pandemics. The insurance will also cover cruise holidays when clients are confined to their cabins or if they miss port calls and pre-paid excursions.

If you have a trip booked for later in the year but do not have insurance, you might consider looking for a policy to provide cancellation cover for a reason other than a coronavirus-related issue, such as bereavement or divorce.

However, you would need to scrutinise the policy wording to check what cover was provided and confirm your understanding with the insurer before buying. You would also have to consider the fact that you might not be able to undertake the trip anyway because of the pandemic restrictions, in which case you would not be able to claim.

If you’re diagnosed with coronavirus before you are able to get home to the UK, you will need to seek medical treatment first. If you fall ill, tell your insurer immediately and they will advise you of your options.

As far as travel insurance is concerned, your situation will depend on where you are, what treatment you receive and your medical prognosis.

Insurers are responding differently to the situation as it develops, so you’ll need to ask them for advice and support.

What if I contract Coronavirus whilst abroad?

If you fall ill in Europe, your European Health Insurance Card/GHIC will entitle you to treatment on the same terms as a local citizen (this will remain the case at least until the end of the Brexit transition period, which runs until 31 December 2020).

If you are further afield, your travel insurance should meet any medical expenses you incur, provided you did not ignore government travel advice. You may also be able to claim for additional expenses incurred because of your prolonged stay overseas, such as bed and board for other members of your party.

If you are placed into quarantine abroad, you may also be able to claim for out-of-pocket expenses, but as ever, you’ll need to check with your insurer.

Travel insurance existing conditions

Travel insurance guide

GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT TRAVEL INSURANCE

Guide to choosing the right Travel insurance and coronavirus. page updated 15th December

Entry requirements into Spain from the UK (British Passport Holders).

If you do not have appropriate insurance before you travel, you could be liable for emergency costs including medical treatment. We recommend you buy your travel insurance as soon as possible after booking your trip.

Many travel insurers have now suspended the sale of new policies entirely. Only a limited number of insurers are offering policies that cover COVID-19 check out:-

Holiday Extra - In conjunction with Battleface Insurance 

Our Covid bubble protection provides all the protection to you need when travelling today in the new normal. 

.  Emergency Covid medical expenses while abroad

. Repatriation if you catch Covid-19 and its medically required for you to get home.

. Cancelling your trip if you or anybody covered on your policy catch Covid before travelling 

Rush Insurance -  Underwritten by Travel Insurance Facilities Group 

Staysure (no travel disruption extension for new customers, but emergency medical treatment for coronavirus is covered) 

Trailfinders (cover for some coronavirus-related cancellation and medical expenses)

Santander (cover for some coronavirus-related cancellation and medical expenses)

Battleface Insurance ( new policy will give travellers the peace of mind they have been looking for. including to countries currently advised against traveling to by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) for travellers up to and including age 59, includes cover for medical expenses caused by or resulting from COVID-19)

SAGA (emergency medical cover) are among providers who do.

Nationwide -  cover if your destination restricts its borders before you travel for reasons relating to the pandemic

AllClear - If the FCO changes its advice before you travel

Allianz Assistance - worth checking out

Hays Travel - The new cover, which will be offered as standard to customers through Rush Insurance Services and Allianz Insurance, will include provisions for cancellation or curtailment of holidays, emergency medical expenses and repatriation due to Covid-19 or other epidemics and pandemics. The insurance will also cover cruise holidays when clients are confined to their cabins or if they miss port calls and pre-paid excursions.

Jet2

Jet2insurance are one of the only UK insurance providers that offer cancellation and medical cover for COVID-19. So, if you or your party become ill with COVID-19 before you travel or while you’re abroad, rest assured that our insurance has you covered.

Plus, we now include cover for travel where FCDO advises against all but essential travel as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) for European Single Trip policies.

Guide to Choosing the RIGHT Travel Insurance

If you have a trip booked for later in the year but do not have insurance, you might consider looking for a policy to provide cancellation cover for a reason other than a coronavirus-related issue, such as bereavement or divorce.

However, you would need to scrutinise the policy wording to check what cover was provided and confirm your understanding with the insurer before buying. You would also have to consider the fact that you might not be able to undertake the trip anyway because of the pandemic restrictions, in which case you would not be able to claim.

If you’re diagnosed with coronavirus before you are able to get home to the UK, you will need to seek medical treatment first. If you fall ill, tell your insurer immediately and they will advise you of your options.

As far as travel insurance is concerned, your situation will depend on where you are, what treatment you receive and your medical prognosis.

Insurers are responding differently to the situation as it develops, so you’ll need to ask them for advice and support.

What if I contract Coronavirus whilst abroad?

If you fall ill in Europe, your European Health Insurance Card will entitle you to treatment on the same terms as a local citizen (this will remain the case at least until the end of the Brexit transition period, which runs until 31 December 2020).

If you are further afield, your travel insurance should meet any medical expenses you incur, provided you did not ignore government travel advice. You may also be able to claim for additional expenses incurred because of your prolonged stay overseas, such as bed and board for other members of your party.

If you are placed into quarantine abroad, you may also be able to claim for out-of-pocket expenses, but as ever, you’ll need to check with your insurer.

Guide to choosing the right Travel insurance

Travel to the EU EHIC/GHIC Card

 

Check for the latest information on EHIC/GHIC online, or by phone on 0300 330 1350.

Remember that the EHIC/GHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. It is not valid on cruises.

You should make sure your travel insurance covers your healthcare needs.

When taking out travel insurance you should also check:  the level of healthcare cover it includes, the travel disruption cover it includes,  the terms and conditions

Contact your insurer if you have any questions about your travel cover.

Travel insurance guide

You have booked your next holiday and now it is time to start thinking about getting some travel insurance. By having the right level of cover when you travel means that you can relax and enjoy your time away, without those niggling ‘what ifs’.

But choosing the right cover can be tough, especially with so many different policies available. Are you going with family or friends? Are you going to Europe or travelling further afield? Will you be taking part in any sporting activities? These are the type of questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on an insurance policy. All insurance policies differ in terms of cover and cost depending on what you’ll be doing and where you’re going. So before you buy your travel insurance read our guide for help finding the best cover for you.

Guide to choosing the right Travel insurance - Why do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is intended to protect you in case something goes wrong. It can cover you for a range of problems such as medical costs if you are taken ill or injured abroad and holiday horrors such as lost luggage or stolen possessions.

Some policies can even provide cover for unexpected issues such as redundancy and extra costs for pet care in cases of longer delays.

The average cost if you fall ill on holiday and need hospital treatment is approximately 1,200€ per night at a private hospital here in Spain : a fall in Spain, resulting in a broken hip could cost £15,000 for hospital treatment and flights. Without travel insurance many travellers would have to borrow from family and friends if things didn’t go to plan, a stress most of us could do without. 

The different types of holiday insurance

Single trip – If you are planning one holiday a year a single trip policy may be suitable.

Annual insurance – If you are a frequent traveller then an annual multi trip policy may be suitable, this can be cheaper than buying multiple single trip policies. This can also cover you for short UK breaks but you would need to check your policy.

European or worldwide cover – European cover is often cheaper than worldwide insurance. Many of the popular holiday destinations such as Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia are not always covered by a European policy. You will need to check that your intended holiday destination is covered under the correct cover.

Single, couple or family policy – If you travel with a partner or your family look into getting a joint policy as this can bring costs down. The definition of ‘family’ can differ from various insurers so check the small print and find out who is covered before you buy.

Active – If you will be taking part in any sporting activities or going on excursions let your insurance companies know so that you can check that you have the appropriate level of cover. Some insurance companies include certain activities but charge extras for others. If you plan to be active whilst on your holiday it is essential you check that the activities you want to do is included in the policy you have bought. If it is not included you may have the option to pay extra to have this included but this depends on the insurance policy. It is important to always book trips abroad with a reputable supplier, and, if in doubt, check with the insurance company.

Older travellers – Policies that cover older travellers can prove costly. You may want to try a specialist insurance firm to compare costs and what is covered as these policies often include a number of common pre-existing medical conditions.

The level of cover you need

You need to ensure you choose the right type of cover for your individual needs. The cheapest policy might not always be best for you. Travel insurance can vary a great deal and extras can be added on to them, but it is important that your policy should have the following basic level of cover:

Your travel insurance should cover:

emergency treatment and hospital bills, which can be expensive. Check whether your policy covers treatment in public or private hospitals.

emergency transport, such as ambulance fees or emergency repatriation on medical grounds

getting home after treatment if you cannot use your original ticket

reasonable costs for a family member or friend to stay with you or travel out to accompany you home if required

temporary emergency dental treatment for the relief of immediate pain

24-hour assistance helplines to offer support and advice about appropriate treatment

repatriation costs in the event of death abroad

Before you travel, make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer and answer questions about your medical history in full. 

Personal liability – In case you need to pay for any damage or accidents you cause.

Cancellation or curtailment – In case you need to cut short or cancel your holiday or your hotel or flights are cancelled. This could be used if you lose your job, a close relative falls ill while you are away or need to come home earlier than planned. 

Medical emergency – To cover the cost of treatment due to sudden illness or through an accident you have whilst on holiday. Your cover should also include repatriation in case you need to be flown back to the UK.

Pre-existing medical conditions – You need to declare any health issues you have when applying for travel insurance, failure to do this may make your policy invalid or may mean you are not protected by your policy in the event of a claim.  You will find a list of Insurance companies that cover pre-existing medical conditions HERE

Delays – This coverage is designed to cover you for long delays.  You may need to get the airline to confirm this in writing and also keep any receipts for items you’ve bought due to the delays.

Loss or theft – This can cover the cost of replacing money, personal items or replacing luggage should anything be lost stolen or damaged.

Emergency assistance – Most insurance companies offer a 24 hours emergency helpline. This can be a real life saver when you are in a different time zone.

Every year we see in the newspapers cases where holiday makers have been refused hospital treatment or been given huge medical bills due to travelling uninsured or not disclosing pre-existing medical conditions. Can you really afford not to take out travel insurance?

What ever policy you choose make sure it also covers your personal belongings and baggage during your trip in case they are lost, stolen or damaged.  This can be purchased as an extra add-on with many policies.  Sometimes you may be covered under your home insurance if you have cover for items away from home (usually called personal belongings) however you would need to contact your home insurance provider.

IMPORTANT

All policies differ greatly and what is covered by one policy, isn’t guaranteed to be covered by others. It is vital that you are thorough when reading documentation and if in doubt, ask. This guide is intended to help you chose the right policy for you but it important to do your research when choosing a policy and ensure you understand exactly the level of cover you are buying.

Guide to choosing the right Travel insurance

Visiting Europe from 1st January 2021

Compensation if your travel is disrupted

Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.

Your consumer rights will not change from 1 January 2021. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation. Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more.

If your travel company goes out of business

You’re protected if you buy a package holiday and the company goes out of business. You get this cover even if it’s an EU company, as long as the company targets UK customers.

Otherwise, you can claim compensation if you used your credit card. You’ll continue to be able to claim for payments between £100 and £30,000.

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traveling by plane with your mobility scooter or wheelchair

Traveling by plane with your mobility scooter or wheelchair

Useful tips when Flying with a mobility scooter or wheelchair.

The first thing you should know is that the airline is required to check in free of charge your wheelchair or electric mobility scooter. The assistance service at the airport is also free of charge.

It is important to communicate to the airline your limited mobility with a minimum of 48h. both to check-in your device and to assist you at the airport. If you booked your flight through a travel agent or tour operator, they should report their disabilities directly to the airline.

Once in the airport, try to arrive at least 2 hours prior to flight departure. If you bring a wheelchair or electric mobility scooter, you can use before checking in. The airport will provide a wheelchair to take you to the plane. It is very important that before checking-in you check your wheelchair or scooter is ready for the trip. This means that the individual parts like batteries, must be removed. For your information, they can only be loaded upright wheelchairs (electric) and electric scooters for the disabled (86 cm high maximum). If the height of your wheelchair exceeds 86 cm, it will be loaded in a horizontal position. After the flight you will get your wheelchair or scooter on the belt at the arrivals hall.

Flying with a mobility scooter or wheelchair

Useful information when transporting your wheelchair or scooter:
a) wheelchair without battery - You can leave your folding wheelchair in the check-in. It will be transported in the cargo hold.
b) electric wheelchairs battery - Airlines will take electric wheelchairs with wet or dry batteries. You can indicate this when reporting to your airline. If your wheelchair does not exceed 86 cm high, can be loaded vertically. It is important that you check the conditions for batteries check-in. It is recommended that your electric wheelchair or scooter is equipped with "gel cell" or "dry batteries". "Wet" batteries, such as those used in automobiles must be avoided.
c) Single-mobility electric scooters can carry just one electric scooter for disabled people per flight. Try to communicate this during the reservation. Only if your electric scooter does not exceed 86 cm. high, it can be loaded vertically. It is important that you check the conditions for batteries check-in. It is recommended that your electric wheelchair or scooter is equipped with "gel cell" or "dry batteries". "Wet" batteries, such as those used in automobiles must be avoided.

Mobility scooter check-in:
Travelers who check-in their mobility scooters should assume that any member of the airline staff will be appointed to take your scooter to the aircraft hold. To protect your scooter from damage, we recommend that before giving the scooter to airline staff, put some masking tape on top of the throttle control to ensure the throttle control in the lowest position. This tape should say "Do not remove." Make sure your key is secure the scooter. Using a cable (such as those used in fishing tackle), for fixing the key. Do not use rubber band or elastic strap to secure the scooter key. Do not wear removable baskets and cushions that are likely to be lost.

Power Wheelchairs:
Travelers checking-in electric wheelchairs should assume that any member of the airline staff will take the chair to the aircraft hold. We suggest that you indicate the staff to avoid any porter drive your precious and expensive wheelchair through the airport. Shift the transmission to "neutral" so that it can be easily pushed. Disconnect the battery connection between your chair and battery and place a small piece of electrical tape on both ends of the connector. Better yet, if the power cord is removed easily carry with you in your hand luggage.
If the "joystick" can be easily removed, the better. Take it with you on the plane. In any case, this is to prevent damage to the joystick. A joystick without protection is very likely to be damaged.
We recommend you make your reservation, where possible, with seven days notice and in any event at least 48 hours before starting your trip. This way you can ensure that the assistance you require is available, as well as your seat on the plane, since aviation regulations limit the number of disabled people who can travel on a plane for security reasons and depending on the type of aircraft. The request for assistance as well as notification of their needs should be made through the following channels:

1. Necessarily through booking channels available from your airline or your travel agent at time of booking or purchasing a ticket. Once the reservation is made, it is important that you check that your support request has been reflected in it. If only communicates through this channel at the airport should address some of the points and announce your arrival.
2. Additionally and optionally, can be performed on the request for assistance via telephone Information Service and Call Centre (902 404 704) Aena airport. If you so require, in processing the application through the channels provided by Aena, you will receive confirmation of your request. This notice is only valid for assistance at Spanish airports in the Aena network. Upon a request for assistance through the channels provided by Aena, you must choose a meeting to be addressed to your arrival at the airport.

Both airports Aena as in other European airports there will be meeting points clearly marked both inside and outside terminal buildings (car park, sidewalk arrival, check-in area), in which people with disabilities or mobility Guests can, with ease, announce their arrival at the airport and request assistance.

If you told your airline needs when traveling, you need not do anything more. The airline will inform airports Aena network, so that they can have the human and material resources to assist You through the airport until you board the aircraft. At the airport, you should contact the nearest meeting point and warn of their arrival. A service person will come to seek support and assist you from invoicing until you are sitting in your airplane seat.

In addition to its communication to the airline so you can ask the help desk at the airport over the phone Aena 902 404 704. In this case, at the time of your arrival at the airport, you should go and introduce yourself in the point concerted meeting when arranged in your application and notify your arrival.

The scope of the service of assistance referred to in Regulation 1107 to 1106 ranges from the meeting point of the departure airport to your seat on board the plane your seat plane to the meeting point of the arrival airport. Therefore, the staff assisting people with reduced mobility is not required to help you get on your mode of transportation (taxi, bus, private car, etc.). However, such personnel may leave you very close to it, because in all airports there is a meeting point near to all means of transport.

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Accommodation search, hotels with disabled facilities

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