If you happen to get injured or fall ill while on vacation, it can completely spoil your trip. The situation becomes even more challenging if you are in an unfamiliar location. In such cases, having a travel insurance policy that includes emergency medical evacuation coverage can provide you with peace of mind. This type of comprehensive plan will take care of the expenses associated with transporting you to a medical facility for immediate treatment during your trip.
Understanding the Concept of Insurance for Urgent Medical Evacuations
Emergency medical evacuation insurance is a form of insurance that aids in covering the cost of transporting individuals from underdeveloped medical facilities or isolated areas to more well-equipped medical centres, typically through the means of airlift or ambulance. This insurance ensures that necessary medical assistance can be provided promptly, even in challenging locations.
In many cases, a comprehensive travel insurance plan encompasses medical evacuation travel insurance. At times, this type of insurance is referred to as medical evacuation and repatriation insurance, which provides coverage for emergency medical evacuation.
When considering insurance plans, it’s essential to keep in mind that the maximum coverage amount may differ depending on the specific plan. If having a high coverage amount is significant to you, it is advisable to explore your options and compare plans accordingly.
The most optimal travel insurance policies offer coverage of up to $1 million per individual for medical evacuation. Although this might appear to be a substantial amount, the expenses associated with evacuation can accumulate rapidly.
According to a spokesperson for Allianz Global Assistance, the expenses for emergency medical transportation can amount to tens of thousands of dollars or even more, particularly when it involves reaching a distant location.
The cost of emergency evacuation varies based on factors such as your medical condition, the level of care needed, and where you are located. The following are some estimated costs for emergency medical transportation to the U.S. from different countries:
- For destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico, the cost ranges from $15,000
- In South America, the salary range typically falls between $40,
- Prices in certain European regions range from $65,000 to $90,000.
- Asia, Australia, and the Middle East are regions where the salary ranges from $165,000 to $225,000.
Understanding the Scope of Coverage in Medical Evacuation Insurance
Medical evacuation travel insurance provides coverage for expenses related to evacuation and ground ambulance services, including the cost of medical escorts. It also covers the expenses of having family or friends fly to be by your side, as well as the transportation of your children back home if there is no one available to take care of you. This insurance offers various benefits to ensure your well-being during unforeseen medical emergencies.
Medical evacuation insurance provides coverage for the expenses associated with urgent transportation to the nearest suitable medical facility in the event of a severe illness or injury while travelling, ensuring prompt and necessary care. Additionally, it offers the option of repatriation back to the United States if deemed medically required.
If you have already received medical treatment but need to return to the United States for additional treatment or recovery, this can cover the cost of your return flight.
Safely Assisted on Your Journey Back Home
Medical evacuation insurance covers the expenses related to medical escort services if you need specialized care during your journey back home, such as the administration of intravenous antibiotics or oxygen by a medical professional on the flight.
The Expenses Involved in Having Loved Ones Visit You
If you happen to be hospitalized while on your trip due to a covered illness or injury, your medical evacuation travel insurance can cover the cost of a return flight for a loved one or friend to come and stay with you. However, please note that this benefit may have a minimum requirement for the duration of your hospital stay. For instance, if you are informed that your hospitalization will last for at least seven days, then you may be eligible for this benefit.
Expenses Associated with a Companion at Your Bedside
Certain advantages of medical evacuation encompass reimbursement for accommodation expenses, meals, and other reasonable costs incurred by your accompanying traveller while staying in proximity to you.
The Expense of Your Kids’ Return Journey
If you happen to be hospitalized while on your trip and you are accompanied by your children, your travel insurance provider can arrange for the transportation of your children back home or to a different location within the United States. Your insurance coverage will cover the expenses, except for any refunds you may receive for unused flight tickets. It’s worth noting that to make a claim, there is typically a minimum duration of hospitalization that you must meet.
Repatriation of Remains
If you or someone you’re travelling with passes away while on your trip, the expenses associated with repatriating the remains back home can be taken care of through the repatriation benefits provided in your evacuation insurance.
Understanding the Occasions That Call for Medical Evacuation Insurance
Medi Evac benefits can be of great assistance in case you experience a serious illness or sustain a severe injury while travelling and if the local hospitals lack the necessary resources to provide the required treatment for your specific condition.
If, for instance, you encounter a severe injury in a car accident while travelling in China, your travel insurance provider can coordinate medevac services, ensuring that you are transported to the nearest medical facility that can provide the necessary care. This facility could be located within China, in another country, or even back in the United States.
Your insurance provider will serve as a mediator to coordinate your transportation, which can be beneficial in the event of a medical emergency abroad.
Travel insurance plans often include travel medical insurance, which covers various medical expenses such as doctor and hospital bills, X-rays, lab work, medications, and other related costs. The coverage is limited to the specified medical coverage limit. It’s important to note that evacuation insurance and travel medical insurance have different coverage limits. For instance, a comprehensive travel insurance plan might offer a maximum coverage of $500,000 for medical expenses and up to $1 million for evacuation.
If you are deemed fit to undertake a journey, your travel insurance provider can cover the expenses for your return flight.
Should You Consider Getting Both Medical Evacuation and Travel Medical Insurance?
When embarking on international travel, it is advisable to possess both medical evacuation travel insurance and travel medical insurance.
Allianz emphasizes the importance of purchasing travel insurance with emergency medical coverage and transportation benefits if you are unable to cover your medical expenses yourself. This is a significant consideration to keep in mind.
When embarking on international travel, it is crucial to possess travel medical expense insurance. This precaution becomes necessary as your domestic health insurance might offer limited or no coverage beyond the borders of your home country.
Make sure to contact your health insurance provider to determine if your health plan in the United States includes coverage worldwide and if it falls under the category of “out-of-network.” Additionally, elderly travellers need to be aware that Medicare is not valid outside of the country.
Securing Authorization for the Utilization of Medical Evacuation Insurance
In the event of a medical emergency while travelling, it is crucial to contact the local emergency services as the top priority. Following that, it is important for either you, your travel companion, or your tour guide to reach out to the emergency hotline or customer service number provided by your travel insurance company. This prompt action ensures that appropriate assistance and support can be obtained promptly.
The support group, composed of ER doctors and travel specialists, thoroughly assesses the situation and communicates with your doctor to deliberate on your treatment, guide you in managing your healthcare, and make a decision regarding the need for emergency medical transportation.
In order to utilize medical evacuation insurance, it is typically necessary to have a case of emergency evacuation authorised by the attending physician at the location. The physician must certify that the seriousness of your accidental injury or illness justifies the need for evacuation.
Ideally, it would be optimal if your travel insurance provider could assist in arranging the medical evacuation and relocation, obtaining approval beforehand. If this is not feasible, it is essential to inform your travel insurance company promptly.
If you find yourself in need of urgent medical transportation, you have the choice between an air ambulance or a commercial airline.
What Method of Transportation Will You Use?
When it comes to transportation options during medical emergencies, many people assume that an air ambulance is the only solution. However, it is often more beneficial for the patient and their companions to work with a commercial carrier. This alternative offers several advantages, making it a preferable choice in most cases.
- Air ambulances are typically small aircraft that have a limited flight duration of around four to six hours before requiring refuelling. Due to their compact size, these aircraft have limited space and can usually accommodate only the patient, a nurse, and a single guest. However, the tight quarters may lack bathroom facilities and provide minimal storage space for luggage.
- When it comes to commercial carriers, they provide a wider range of choices such as direct flights, an improved flight experience, and ample space for multiple medical staff members and travel companions.
- Patients have the choice to travel in either first class or business class, providing them with the option to lie flat if it is medically required.
Round-the-Clock Support: Tap into Your Travel Insurance Provider’s Helpline
Travel insurance providers typically employ a team of medical professionals, language interpreters, and travel specialists who are accessible round the clock to assist you. If you need assistance, you can get in touch with your travel insurance company by calling their dedicated 24/7 travel assistance hotline or through their available app to reach their customer care team.
Apart from organizing urgent medical transportation, these teams typically assist in the treatment process.
Is Evacuation Insurance Necessary for Domestic Travel?
It is suggested that there may be certain circumstances where it is wise to consider obtaining medical evacuation travel insurance, even when travelling within the United States.
If you happen to be participating in a dude ranch excursion or embarking on an adventure-filled journey in a secluded location, it is prudent to consider obtaining evacuation coverage. While your health insurance plan may cover the cost of transporting you to a hospital and providing medical treatment after you arrive, it is unlikely to cover expenses for a medical flight home that necessitates specialized equipment and a medical escort. Moreover, you will also be accountable for any copayments and deductibles associated with your health insurance coverage.
If, for instance, you are going to Chicago to visit a friend who attends college there to explore the city by shopping and visiting museums, it is unlikely that you will require emergency evacuation coverage in such a scenario.
Determining the Adequate Coverage for Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
The coverage Limits for emergency medical evacuation insurance can differ depending on the insurance company and the specific plan. Some travel insurance plans offer a significant amount of coverage, such as $1 million per person, for medical evacuation. For instance, AXA Assistance USA’s Platinum plan and Allianz’s OneTripPremier plan both include up to $1 million in medical evacuation coverage.
When searching for insurance plans, it is possible to come across options that offer lower coverage. For example, AXA Assistance USA’s Silver plan provides $100,000 for emergency evacuation, while Allianz’s OneTrip Basic Plan offers $50,000 in benefits for emergency medical transportation.
Many travel insurance policies provide a grace period of 14 or 15 days, allowing you to carefully review the terms and conditions. If, within this period, you determine that the policy does not suit your requirements, you have the option to either purchase a different plan with more or less coverage or cancel the policy and receive a full refund.
What’s the Process of Purchasing Travel Insurance for Medical Evacuation?
Medical evacuation travel insurance can be acquired either as a component of an all-inclusive travel insurance package or as a separate travel medical plan.
Travellers often opt for a comprehensive travel insurance plan that incorporates travel medical insurance, emergency medical transportation insurance, trip cancellation insurance, travel delay insurance, trip interruption insurance, and baggage insurance. This package ensures coverage for a range of potential issues during their travels.
If trip cancellation is not a concern, there are options available that specifically cover medical-related issues during a trip.
Don’t Miss Out on These Important Details
These benefits are typically provided for longer hospital stays, including options for your children’s return journey and arranging for someone to visit you. Usually, these benefits come into effect after a hospitalization period of seven days or more. However, it’s important to note that if your hospital stay is only four days, these benefits may not be applicable.
Hospital of Choice
Most medical evacuation insurance policies typically require that you be transported to the closest suitable medical facility for initial treatment. However, certain plans offer additional coverage options that allow you to select the hospital where you would like to receive further care if needed.
It’s important to note that the benefits of choosing a hospital may not extend to nursing homes or rehabilitation centres. Therefore, it is advisable to inquire with your travel insurance provider regarding the availability and functionality of the “hospital of choice” option.
Extreme Sports Exclusions
Certain travel insurance policies may not provide coverage for injuries sustained during extreme sports or adventure activities, which includes medical expenses and evacuation. However, it is possible to enhance your insurance coverage by adding a rider or opting for a plan that specifically includes your chosen activities.