Medical evacuation coverage is available either as part of a comprehensive plan or travel medical plan, but it is also available as a stand-alone travel membership. Emergency medical evacuation coverage provides benefits so if you sustain a serious injury or illness while traveling, you would be able to be transported to an appropriate facility without incurring a hefty financial burden.
Basic evacuation plans will stipulate that you can be evacuated to the nearest “hospital of excellence.” This means that your transport provider would determine where you’d be taken, based on geography and the capabilities of any hospital in the area. While you would likely receive excellent care at these facilities, some travelers are more comfortable having the ability to choose their own care facilities.
If you are one of those travelers, you may want to look into a policy that would offer you “hospital of choice” coverage. With this benefit you would be evacuated to a hospital you had already selected, as long as it was deemed safe to get you there.
Making Transport Arrangements
With the majority of medical evacuation plans, the insurance company will make all of the arrangements for you, so you don’t have to worry about how the transport will happen while you’re in the midst of a crisis. However, it’s essential that you understand exactly how the company expects to communicate with you in order to make those arrangements. Generally, you must have the company approve any evacuation in advance in order to have it covered under your insurance plan.
What’s Covered, What’s Not
Emergency medical evacuation coverage is just that – coverage for the expenses of the evacuation and treatment received while being transported. It does not cover the cost of any medical services you receive once you’re at the new facility. Depending on the location of the medical facility, you may also need adequate travel medical insurance. Comprehensive plans and medical plans provide this coverage, but emergency medical evacuation plans do not.
However, there are some additional benefits included in many evacuation plans of which many travelers may not be aware. For instance, some plans offer coverage to transport family members to the hospital where you are receiving care. Also when you are well enough to travel, the transport company may arrange for your travel back home. In tragic circumstances, most emergency medical evacuation plans will also provide coverage for repatriation of remains – getting your remains transported home to your loved ones.