BRAIN TUMOUR PATIENTS AND COVERAGE OF THEIR BRAIN TUMOUR AS A PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE PURPOSES

 

It is quite unfair that people with certain cancers can automatically obtain coverage but that brain tumours are not included in this list (i.e. of acceptable pre-existing medical conditions), even with certain conditions. We are aware of the acceptance of those with either breast, prostate, kidney, bowel, colon cancers. We are fairly confident that claims relating to these cancers have not been unsustainable where they have been eligible for coverage.

 

In the case of brain tumours a requirement that the applicant not have received chemotherapy for their tumour within a designated time frame, is not particularly relevant. The chemotherapy which is often given to brain tumour patients is temozolomide which is taken orally and is usually quite benign. Nausea is often easily controlled by pre-emptive measures. Furthermore, patients can take this chemotherapy for extensive periods and its continued efficacy is verified by regular MRIs and therefore its continued prescription to a patient is actually a measure of their good situation.

 

Nor is the designation of a brain tumour patient as having a terminal condition very useful in an evaluation of their relevance for travel insurance coverage. As mentioned previously, this is usually a requirement for receipt of the Disability Support Pension and access to oneís superannuation and its designation might have been influenced by those factors.

 

Nor is the exclusion of patients who might have had brain surgery at some stage in their life particularly helpful. This unfairly penalises patients who might have had brain surgery twenty or thirty years previously and who now show no evidence of being affected by a brain tumour.

 

If a brain tumour patient experiences recurrence of their tumour while they are overseas they are more likely to return immediately to Australia for consultations with doctors familiar with their medical history as to their next course of action, rather than undertaking new medical treatments while overseas. This reaction is likely to avoid involvement with high-priced neurosurgery in the USA or other countries.

 

We believe that a letter from their treating specialist that the brain tumour patient is well enough to undertake a proposed overseas trip should be the major factor in determining a personís eligibility for travel insurance coverage for their brain tumour as a pre-existing medical condition.