What is blood thinning medication?
Blood thinning medication is a type of medication that slows down your body's process of making clots by preventing blood cells call platelets from clumping together. There are different degrees of blood thinning medication that range from anticoagulants such as Heparin or Warfarin, to other milder ones like aspirin, which are antiplatelet drugs. The type of blood thinning medication taken varies from patient to patient and depends on their particular situation*.
Why do people take blood thinners?
Blood thinning medication is used for but not limited to the following medical conditions:
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Post Stroke medication
- For heart attacks and Ischaemic Heart Disease
- Atrial Fibrillation (or irregular heartbeat)
- Artificial Heart Valves
- For the prevention of blood clots for patients suffering from clotting problems
How does taking blood thinners affect my travel insurance policy?
The type of travel insurance cover you are able to purchase may be affected if you are taking a blood thinning medication, so make sure you check with your travel insurer about the type of medical cover that is available to you.
Travel insurers will most likely take into consideration the pre-existing medical condition for which you are taking the blood thinners, in addition to the potential for any complications that may arise from you taking the blood thinners.
What do I do if I am travelling and have been prescribed a blood thinner?
If you have been prescribed a blood thinner and you will still be travelling, there are a few things to consider:
- Check with your doctor that you are fit to travel, especially if you will be travelling in areas of high altitudes or if you are pregnant;
- Check to see if there is a travel insurer who is able to cover you;
- Make sure you have an ample supply of your medication, as travel insurers do not usually cover you for the cost of medication that you were taking at the time you purchased your policy or for maintaining a course of treatment.
- Make sure you are well aware of the side effects of taking blood-thinning medication.
Does travel insurance cover claims for blood-thinning related medical expenses?
Travel insurance covers for unexpected and unforeseen events. If you are prescribed blood thinning medication due to an unexpected medical condition while you are overseas, you would have provision to put in a claim for those additional expenses.
If you are sick or injured while overseas, and you have further complications due to the taking of the blood thinners, whether or not you have cover will depend on the type of travel insurance policy that you have taken out.
Furthermore, if you were already taking blood thinning medication before you left for your trip, your travel insurance policy would most likely not cover you if you needed to purchase more of the medication while you were overseas.
When you submit a claim in to your travel insurer, your claim will be assessed on a case by case basis, and the outcome will depend on the particular circumstances of your situation.
Why won’t some insurers cover blood-thinning medication?
Some insurers won’t cover travellers who take blood thinning-medication due to the high risk of negative side effects. While blood thinning medication can assist in preventing or reducing blood clots, its drawback is that you run the risk of serious heavy bleeding. Even if you have a minor injury, your body may have trouble stopping the blood flow due to the medication, which can result in dangerous consequences.
Depending on what type of blood thinners you are on, the side effects will vary from person to person.
What if I go off the prescription blood thinner with my doctor’s approval? Am I covered?
It depends on your situation: if the medical condition for which you were taking the blood thinners is something that your travel insurer does not automatically cover as a part of their policies, then you would still have no cover for your pre-existing medical condition.
If the medical condition for which you were taking the blood thinners is something that your travel insurer automatically covers, they may be able to cover you for your pre-existing medical condition. However, your travel insurer may take into consideration the timing of when you actually went off the blood thinning medication. They may only be able to provide cover for your pre-existing medical condition if you stopped taking the blood thinning medication for a specified period of time prior to you taking out your travel insurance policy.
My doctor has recommended that I take aspirin, but I don’t have a prescription for it. What am I covered for?
The type of cover you have would depend on whether or not the aspirin is being used to treat a pre-existing medical condition.
If the aspirin is being taken to treat a pre-existing medical condition that your travel insurer is not able to cover you for, then you would still not have cover for the pre-existing medical condition. There may also not cover for any complications that may occur due to you taking the aspirin.
Should I still travel if I am taking blood thinning medication?
Being on blood thinners shouldn’t hinder you from taking a holiday! Remember, you would still be covered for new and unexpected medical conditions that may arise during your trip. However, always check with your insurer what they are able to cover you for should something go wrong, so you are aware of not only the benefits, but also the limits of your travel insurance policy.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for general information purposes only and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before acting on any information set out on this Site. Read the Product Disclosure Statement to ensure the product is right for you.
Blood thinning medication 1#
- Q. Am I still covered if I am only taking an aspirin as a preventative measure and not to treat a specific medical condition?
Even if you are not taking aspirin to treat a specific medical condition, due to the potential side effects of taking aspirin, some travel insurers may still not be able provide cover for any complications that could arise due to you taking the aspirin.
For example: You are taking aspirin as a preventative measure, and while overseas you trip over and break your leg. If there are complications from that accident (like excessive bleeding), and this complication is related to you taking the aspirin, your claim may be denied.
Blood thinning medication 2#
- Q. My doctor has advised me that I need to take aspirin to treat a medical condition. What am I covered for?
Your medical condition may be something that your travel insurer is able to cover you for. Check with them before you purchase your travel insurance policy to check if you will be covered for the medical condition that you are taking the aspirin for.
Due to the potential side-effects of taking the aspirin, there may not be cover for any complications that may occur due to you taking the aspirin.
You are taking aspirin for a heart attack, and while overseas you develop a mild rash. If there are complications from the rash and this complication is related to you taking the aspirin, your claim may be denied. However, you would have cover for unexpected medical conditions or injuries that may arise which have nothing to do with your pre-existing medical condition or the taking of the aspirin.