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Medical Travel Compared Highlights The Importance Of Declaring Mental Health Conditions On Travel Insurance

UK Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 10 – 16 May 2021.

Following a year like no other, the coronavirus pandemic has induced a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern for people of all ages and backgrounds. The psychological impact of extended lockdowns and restrictions has undoubtedly elevated the rates of stress and anxiety but has also increased the number of people with depression and other psychological conditions.

According to Chapter 2 of the ‘COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing surveillance report’ as published by Public Health England, it found that the proportion of adults who reported a clinically significant level of psychological distress increased from 20.7% in 2019 to 29.5% in April 2020, before returning to 21.4% in July 2020 and 21.5% in September 2020.

With the world beginning to re-open and many looking forward to brighter times ahead, for some, booking a holiday may be high up on the list of priorities. However, holidaymakers may need to declare a pre-existing health condition, including psychiatric or psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

While most conditions will only need to be declared if a person has been diagnosed or received treatment (including repeat prescriptions) for the condition within a certain timeframe (usually two years), there are some conditions that providers will need to know if a policyholder has ever suffered from.

Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director of Medical Travel Compared, said, “The strain of the last year has had an impact on the vast majority of people’s mental health, and sadly for some, to a much further extent. For those who have been diagnosed with a mental health illness or have received treatment or medication for a condition, they should declare this to their insurer when purchasing travel insurance to ensure they have the correct level of cover.

“There is often confusion in terms of what medical conditions people need to declare to ensure they are fully covered by their travel insurance policy.  At Medical Travel Compared, we aim to help travellers compare the cover offered by different providers, so they have a clear understanding on what they are buying and can choose the most comprehensive policy at the best price and can ensure they are covered should the worst happen.”

Dr Sarah Jarvis, general practitioner and television doctor commented, “If you’ve previously sought assistance from the doctor regarding your mental health, there are a number of things to consider if you are thinking about taking a holiday. Depending on what mental health illness you suffer from, you should consider whether your condition is stable and if your symptoms are under control. If you are taking medication, you should continue to take it regularly during your trip and make sure you have enough supplies for the whole trip while also taking any time zone changes into account.

You should also consider different eventualities that may occur on a trip, such as what you would do if your situation deteriorated while you were away and whether your mental health condition prevents you from recognising how unwell you if your state worsens. With all this in mind, I would advise anyone booking a future holiday to make sure they have adequate travel insurance to cover any medical care or cancellation costs if needed.”

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