Since the costs to medically transport someone can increase the further away they are from home, understanding how much medical evacuation is necessary could alleviate many potential financial burdens. Getting someone home from a resort within in the U.S. may only cost $20,000. At the other end of the scale, evacuating someone from a cruise ship in Antarctica to a hospital in Argentina, then to the United States, could total hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Squaremouth recommends choosing the amount of medical evacuation insurance based on the destination and type of trip. For example, $100,000 in evacuation coverage should be enough protection for a cruise to the Carribbean, however, travelers visiting Asia or Africa may want to consider a travel insurance policy with at least $250,000 in evacuation coverage.
Myth #2: The Insurance Provider Will Come Rescue Me From the Cruise
“Most people mistakenly believe medical evacuation coverage is a form of search and rescue, plucking injured hikers off of mountainsides or heart attack victims off cruise ships at sea,” says Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth.
In most cases, local emergency services and the coast guard of the country where the person is injured are in charge of first response. In an emergency, it’s important to first dial the local equivalent of 9-1-1, then the travel insurance provider. However, if the travel insurance provider is the first to be called, they will coordinate local emergency services to make sure help is on the way.
Myth #3: Medical Evacuation Insurance Will Cover My Medical Treatment
Although medical evacuation insurance pays for everything from transportation to the nearest medical facility, to moving a victim to a different hospital for specialized care, to the return trip home, it doesn’t cover the cost of any medical treatment along the way.
“Evacuation providers, such as Medjet Assist and Air Ambulance don’t reimburse for things like an ambulance or medical treatment, so Emergency Medical coverage is still recommended,” advises Byrne.
Myth #4: I Can Choose Where I Want to Be Evacuated
Only to a degree. Victims or their family should call the travel insurance provider’s emergency assistance number as soon as reasonably possible. The emergency assistance team will be expected to be involved in all major medical and logistical decisions, including where treatment occurs. If specialized care or transport to another facility is needed, there are three parties involved in the decision: the insurance company, the treating physician and the policy holder.
If someone wants the option to choose where they will be treated, some travel insurance policies offer a Hospital of Choice upgrade. The Hospital of Choice benefit gives travelers the option to choose where they would like to be evacuated in the event of medical emergency. Travel Guard, Medjet Assist, Air Ambulance and Global Rescue all offer policies with the benefit.
Myth #5: The Travel Insurance Will Pay Up Front For My Medical Treatment
It’s not guaranteed. Many travelers are not aware that travel insurance policies are meant to be reimbursement policies
“Many travel insurance providers have the ability to arrange payment with medical providers overseas, but it is the treating facility’s decision as to whether or not they wish to work with you,” explains Suzanne Munson, Marketing Manager at Seven Corners, a travel insurance provider. “Be prepared to pay for your medical care upfront, and file a claim for reimbursement.”
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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Squaremouth offers products from the following travel insurance carriers:
Air Ambulance Card, CSA Travel Protection, Global Alert Admin, HCC, HTH Worldwide, IMG, ITravelInsured, Medjet Assist, MH Ross, Seven Corners, Travel Guard, Travel Insurance Services, Travel Insured, Travelex, TravelSafe and USA Assist.
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