A trip might be ruined by illness or accident. It’s even harder when you’re away from home. If you need airlift transportation for emergency medical care while traveling, a comprehensive travel insurance plan with emergency medical evacuation features can help cover the expense.
- 1 What Is Emergency Medical Evacuation Travel Insurance?
- 2 What Does Medical Evacuation Travel Insurance Cover?
- 3 When Do You Need Medical Evacuation Travel Insurance?
What Is Emergency Medical Evacuation Travel Insurance?
A complete travel insurance plan will usually include emergency medical evacuation insurance. It is sometimes referred to as medical evacuation insurance and repatriation insurance. The maximum coverage amount varies every plan, so if this is important to you, check around for a large coverage level.
The best travel insurance plans provide up to $1 million per person for medical evacuation. That might seem high, but evacuation costs can add up quickly.
“The cost of emergency medical transportation can run into tens of thousands of dollars or more, especially if you’re in a remote destination,” says Daniel Durazo, a spokesperson for Allianz Global Assistance.
The cost of an emergency evacuation would be determined by your medical condition, the level of care necessary, and your location. According to Durazo, emergency medical transportation to the United States from the following nations can cost as much as:
- Caribbean and Mexico: $15,000 to $25,000
- South America: $40,000 to $75,000
- Parts of Europe: $65,000 to $90,000
- Asia, Australia and the Middle East: $165,000 to $225,000
What Does Medical Evacuation Travel Insurance Cover?
Here’s what medical evacuation insurance typically encompasses.
If you become extremely ill or injured while traveling and require rapid care, medical evacuation insurance can cover the expense of emergency transportation to the nearest adequate treatment center. It may also pay for your return to the United States if medically necessary.
Alternatively, if you’ve been treated but need to return to the United States for more treatment or to recover, it may pay for your return airfare.
A medical escort on your return home
If you need specialized care during your flight home, such as a medical expert who can administer intravenous antibiotics or oxygen, medical evacuation insurance can cover the price of medical escort services.
The cost for a friend or family member to travel to you
If you are hospitalized while on vacation as a result of a sickness or accident covered by your policy, your medical evacuation travel insurance may pay the cost of round-trip airfare for a friend or family member to accompany you. Normally, a minimum hospital stay is necessary for this benefit. If you’re told you’ll be in the hospital for seven days or longer, your benefits may kick in.
Costs for a bedside companion
Some medical evacuation benefits include compensation for hotel stays, meals and other reasonable costs your traveling companion has while staying near you.
The cost for your children to fly home
If you’re hospitalized during your trip and traveling with your children, your travel insurance company can arrange for your children to fly home or to another U.S.-based location. Your benefits may be sufficient to cover the cost, less any refunds for unused plane tickets. This benefit may also have a minimum number of days of hospitalization that you must meet in order to file a claim.
Repatriation of remains
If you or a traveling companion die during your trip, the cost of transporting remains home can be covered by repatriation benefits included in your evacuation coverage.
When Do You Need Medical Evacuation Travel Insurance?
Medical evacuation benefits help if you become seriously ill or suffer a severe injury during your trip and there are no local hospitals with the resources to treat your condition.
If you are critically injured in a car accident in China, for example, your travel insurance provider can arrange for medevac services to the nearest hospital capable of caring for you, which could be in another country, China, or even the United States.
In the event of a medical emergency in a foreign country, your travel insurance company will serve as a liaison to organize transportation on your behalf.
A travel insurance plan’s travel medical insurance can pay for doctor and hospital bills, X-rays, lab work, drugs, and other related charges, up to your medical coverage maximum. There are distinct coverage restrictions for evacuation insurance and travel medical insurance. A generous travel insurance package, for example, might cover up to $500,000 in medical bills and up to $1 million in evacuation.
When you’re well enough to fly, your travel insurance company will cover the cost of your return flight.