Overseas travel

Hi ladies,

Just wondering if anyone has had any luck with getting travel insurance? I don't think we are eligible (what a burden we must be!!). I'm considering and hoping to plan a trip to Europe early next year for maybe a month, with my husband and little one year old girl. It's a bit tricky to plan and organise, as I see my oncologist every 6-8 weeks, and I feel like everything can fall apart at any of those appointments....

But everything is going really well for me at the moment! I'm "young" (38) and feel fit and healthy - always have actually. It's just the scans and doctors telling me I'm not. I was first diagnosed with brca in 2009, then metastatic nearly a year ago. I have been taking lynparza (an oral daily tablet) for nearly 3 months which so far is working (yay!) so I feel like this is my chance to do the trip.

I know my health wouldn't suddenly deteriorate while over there - it would just be if 1) I had to cancel flights because my tumor marker suddenly went up, or of more concern 2) I managed to have a fall somehow and broke a bone (the first in my life!). Then I would have medical expenses that wouldn't be covered. But I'm thinking it's worth it without insurance anyway... :)

Any thoughts or advice ladies? 


  • Rosie_BCNARosie_BCNA Moderator Posts: 61
    Hi scientist,
    My name is Rosie and I am a cancer nurse working with the helpline team at BCNA. How exciting to be thinking of an overseas trip even while having to consider the issue of travel insurance! Great to hear you are feeling young and healthy and responding well to your treatment. You may be aware of this information but I'm including the link to the information from the BCNA website as it is very comprehensive. 
    I'm looking forward to seeing what tips and advice you get from the other women. I hope you can enjoy the planning as that should be part of the joy and anticipation of travelling.  :)

  • PamelamaryPamelamary Member Posts: 206
    Hi Scientist,
    I have done a lot of travel with metastatic disease. The information on the website is pretty comprehensive, and I don't think it is possible to insure for anything MBC related. That said, Australia has reciprocal arrangements with a number of European countries so your medical treatment would be covered. I always self-insure to a degree, in that I like to know I could quickly be put on a plane home if necessary. I don't usually book too far ahead either. Just in case.
    Go for it - well worth it!
    Best wishes..... Pam
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 1,738
    hi @scientist
     try searching covermore on here quite a few ladies use them, and are happy with them. 

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,362
    Covermore is good but you have to be 6 months clear of active treatment/hospital for anything remotely connected to cancer. Can of course cover you for non related illnesses or injury (although I have never had to test this!).
  • Mum_of_OneMum_of_One Member Posts: 19

    Hi Scientist, I recently took my 6 year old son to New York and Orlando for 14 days.I had normal travel insurance through my credit card and tried to get travel insurance specifically for MBC from Covermore. I supplied a letter from my oncologist and all recent scans which showed I was responding to treatment but they still wouldn't cover me.

    I went ahead anyway and didn't have a moments trouble. Have a great trip if you decide to go!

  • mum2jjmum2jj Member Posts: 3,145
    Hi there, what you can do with covermore is get insurance, declare the MBC and they will cover you for anything)no not cancer related. For eg if you bro,e a leg skiing they would cover that as long as it want cancer related. 
    Paula :)
  • TeejayTeejay BrisbaneMember Posts: 18
    Agree with all the comments above.   I have just finished treatment but broke my ankle but as soon as that is repaired I will be travelling with bells on insurance or not.  During chemo I met a lady who had bc 16 years ago and mets 6 years ago.  Ever since she goes overseas every 3 to 6 months with insurance that does not cover the cancer.  Her view is live today don't worry about tomorrow.  She was so positive in her outlook and I now look up to her ie ahead and not backwards.   Go and have fun and make memories 
  • Qgirl42Qgirl42 Member Posts: 23
    I had covermore insurance. 24 hours before our trip to Europe I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. I had been 4 years cancer free. 
    Needless to say,  we were devastated. $17K gone. 
    Will be looking at the fine print in the future! 
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 536
    Just came back from an overseas holiday 2 months ago. It wasn't a cheap holiday. I took out covermore because I was  cancer free and it was more than 8 months from treatment. I did however take out extra cancellation cover offered by the tour companies we went with. It was about an extra $800 but it meant I could cancel anytime, for any reason no questions ask and not lose any more money. I thought it was worth it in case I had a recurrence before I left Australia
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,362
    I confess I take out cancellation cover every time. Have done so for years, pre cancer. A friend had to cancel a relatively expensive trip after her husband was diagnosed and while she got a fair amount back finally, it took months and a lot of hassle she did not need at that time. I work on the highly scientific theory that if I have it, I'll never need it!
  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 95
    I got covermore insurance as I have been cancer and treatment free for 6 months on the date we leave. Cost extra but still worth it. And they refunded me last year when I had to cancel my cruise due bc treatment.  Wouldn’t cover me for high risk sport though. I wonder if the rides in Disney count as high risk
  • bronmeg1bronmeg1 Member Posts: 13
    Hi.  Not sure if you have traveled yet or got insurance, but All Clear Travel will cover everything no questions, but it may add a substantial cost to your trip.  I traveled last year to Canada etc & was planning to be away for 2mths.  As I have lung mets, but only on oral hormone tabs, the insurance was going to cost around $6000.  I contacted just about every insurance company & learnt to read fine print.  Some will give you insurance but won't cover any medical costs, some will cover other medical costs.  Same goes for cancellation. I ended up travelling with a company that offered no question cancellation, & covered other medical so long not related to my cancer.  I know Flight Centre, who use covermore, will now offer 70% refund on cancellation regardless.
    I found all this frustrating as I met up with a relation who was 12mths since having had a heart attack, was relatively inactive, overweight, on a CPAP machine, but was given insurance with only a minimal addition cost.  Sucks!!!!
    In short, read the fine print & ask questions.  Mostly have a great holiday. 
  • makebelievegirlmakebelievegirl Member Posts: 20
    Hi. I have a single bone met and went to the USA in October 2017. We looked high and low for insurance, but only All Clear covered metastatic BC. The cost was ridiculous, so we took our "normal" travel insurance with RACV (for our luggage, flights, etc) and decided that if anything happened to do with my cancer, we would jump on a flight and return home. We also didn't finalise any of the accommodation until a few weeks before (through Booking.com you can cancel up to the day before for many hotels, but check the fine print). We are planning a trip to Italy in May... will follow the same formula. It's hard to make these decisions. All the best! Amanda
  • KeelyBKeelyB Member Posts: 10
    Since my MBC diagnosis, we've taken three month-long overseas trips - twice to Europe and once to the US.  I was feeling well, so we went without cover for anything MBC (medical, cancellation), but did have cover for everything else.  Haven't had any troubles, thus far, and plan to travel again.  In Europe, I try to stick close to countries with a reciprocal health care agreement.  Hope you have a fabulous trip!
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