For anyone who will be traveling out of the country – regardless of where you are a resident – medical evacuation insurance, sometimes referred to as medical evacuation and repatriation insurance, in our opinion is a must. Even if you are one of those people who believes travel insurance is just another expense to be minimized or avoided altogether, don’t bypass this coverage. It would be a mistake that could cost you big bucks!
What is Medical Evacuation Insurance
Medical evacuation coverage will provide reimbursement of covered charges if you or a traveling companion is seriously injured or becomes ill to the extent that you need to be evacuated to a facility where you can receive the necessary treatment for your injury or illness.
This can include medical air evacuation which can be extremely expensive depending on the location and circumstance. Few people are prepared to payout an extra $50,000 or more on the spot if medical evacuation becomes necessary. International medical evacuation can be even more expensive.
What to Look for in the Best Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
Most good travel policies will include travel insurance with medical evacuation. They will vary in terms of the exact coverages, exclusions and limits so you need to read the policies descriptions carefully to understand what you are buying. With the cost of medical evacuation so high, you will want to be comfortable with the policy limits.
You want good coverage that includes the following:
- Coverage of charges for necessary transportation, related medical services and medical supplies incurred in connection with the emergency evacuation of the insured. Most policies will state that evacuation must be by the most direct route subject to coverage limits in the policy. Usually a physician’s order is required and the insurer will generally require pre-authorization of the evacuation.
- Look for coverage for the expenses of an escort if a physician recommends that an escort accompany you during the evacuation.
- Have coverage for the expenses necessary to return to your home if you have been evacuated to a medical facility and hospitalized for a specified period of time.
- Look for the ability to bring one person chosen by you or a family member to and from the medical facility where you are confined if you are alone and hospitalized for more than a specified number of days following an emergency evacuation.
- If you are traveling with children make sure you have coverage for the return of the children to their home if you are medically evacuated due to illness or injury. That coverage should also cover the cost of an attendant to go with them if necessary.
- Finally make sure that your evacuation insurance covers the repatriation of remains in case of an unfortunate death to illness or accident.
Is Medical Evacuation Coverage Worth It?
If you still not convinced that this coverage is important to have, think about this. What if your injuries or sickness were such that you need special air evacuation or needed to buy extra seats on a commercial carrier to accommodate special equipment or an accompanying nurse or physician? What if you were traveling with your children? What would happen to them? Who would take care of them? How would they get home?
Everyone hopes they will never need medical evacuation services. But if the unfortunate circumstances arise where it is needed, don’t come up short. This coverage is well worth the peace of mind that it gives.
Compare Quotes for the Best Value in Travel Insurance
The easiest and best way to make sure you get the most value for your travel insurance dollar is to compare quotes from the leading travel insurance carriers. A medical evacuation insurance comparison is easy, quick and can save you money. Try it here.