If you are travelling within the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can benefit, free or at a reduced cost, from the same health care services as are available to residents of those countries, by obtaining a European Health Insurance Card. This is free of charge and can be obtained online. However, while this will cover your medical care costs, it will not cover the cost of returning you to your own country, so individual travel insurance is strongly recommended. Insurance for travel to countries outside Europe, especially in North America, can be very expensive.
Being treated for myeloma may mean that you need to take a significant amount of time off work or leave it permanently, which can give rise to financial worries. You may also need to spend an increasing amount of money on medications and travel to hospital appointments, which can make a difference as well.
In many countries you may be eligible for a number of benefits from the government, which will help to alleviate financial pressure. These vary according to the individual country, but in many cases provide for a living or personal independence allowance, support to pay for a carer to look after you, or a tax allowance. If you are working, you may be entitled to a statutory support allowance if you are not eligible for sick pay from your employer. A relative or friend looking after you may be able to claim a carer’s allowance.
Advice on the various benefits available to you can usually be obtained from nurses and social workers at your hospital, or from community / citizens’ advice bureaux or online.