Cancer patients are currently being denied valuable respite as they are unable to secure affordable travel insurance (or even any at all).
The travel insurance industry must review its procedures around access to affordable insurance and establish a new model.
While many cancer patients are denied insurance due to their current or previous illness, others are quoted exorbitant fees for short breaks – including one patient recently quoted £7,000 for a two-week trip to Canada and another £1,000 for a week in Spain.
Some patients live with stable disease while many other patients who have recovered from treatment for aggressive types of cancer and are in remission are categorised alongside patients with active cancer and ongoing treatment.
There is no effort made to understand this as it is currently a ‘one size fits all’ approach where any utterance of the word cancer means a person will either be turned down or charged an extortionate – and often unaffordable – fee.
For many people, the respite and morale boost a holiday away with family or friends brings is invaluable to their life, yet they are denied this opportunity based on unaffordable insurance or as they are unable to obtain any.
PLANETS Cancer Charity is now calling for the travel insurance industry to review its procedures around access to affordable insurance for cancer patients and establish a model in consultation with cancer bodies and charities.
Jo Green, a neuroendocrine cancer patient and one of the founding members of PLANETS, has been able to keep her disease under control for 11 years and has become increasingly frustrated at the situation and the stories of those who contact her.
Jo (pictured right with PLANETS co-founder and fellow patient Layla Stephen), now the operations director of PLANETS, said: “This is such a big issue for the patients we hear from and I am asked weekly for advice and recommendations, yet the outlook for those seeking positive responses is bleak.”