Travel and AIH
We all enjoy a good holiday and some people need to travel abroad as part of their job. So a common question is ‘will AIH impact on my travel plans?’
With some exceptions there should be few problems with travelling if you have AIH. But do check with your doctor before finalising arrangements as advice needs to be personalised. Some specific topics are:
Vaccinations – allow plenty of time to get travel vaccinations and liaise with your GP’s surgery/travel clinic well in advance of your proposed travel. Make sure they are aware of the medication you are taking. Sometimes they may ask for advice from the consultant treating you. In general people taking immunosuppressant medication should not receive live vaccines. This includes the vaccination for yellow fever.
Anti Malarial medication – seek advice from your medical team. Experience from the forum is that usually people are told they can take anti malarial medication – but do check.
Packing – it is sensible to pack your medications in your hand baggage and consider taking a copy of your prescription with you.
Travel Insurance – getting travel insurance at a reasonable price can be an issue – see the next section for some ideas!
Travel insurance companies do not automatically cover pre existing conditions so make sure you declare your AIH. Do not be put off if some companies refuse to cover you (some companies will only cover conditions on their ‘list’ and refuse to cover all others). Chances are that others will. If you have cover through your bank account that is often a good place to start. And shop around for a good price.
You will generally be asked some follow up questions such as the frequency of your check ups, whether you have been hospitalised in the last 12 months and so on. People with AIH have found cover with the following companies – but the list is by no means exhaustive and inclusion should not is not a recommendation of any company:
Axa Travel Insurance
MIA Travel Insurance
Insure & Go
Civil Service Insurance Society – not just for civil servants – they provide cover for anyone who works or has worked in the UK public sector and also provide cover for travel within Europe for pre existing conditions so long as certain criteria (stated on their website) are met.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – if you live in UK you can get an EHIC card which gives you a certain level of cover in European countries. It is not a replacement for travel insurance but many companies insist you have one when travelling in Europe.