Travel Insurance FAQ

What’s the difference between Medical Evacuation and Emergency Medical Benefits?

What’s the difference between Medical Evacuation and Emergency Medical Benefits?

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Medical Evacuation and Emergency Medical benefits are some of the most common benefits travelers are looking for when buying travel insurance. However, when choosing a travel insurance policy with medical benefits and understanding how much coverage you are actually getting, it is important to know what each benefit will cover.

The Medical Evacuation and Repatriation benefit covers the transportation of a patient to a nearby and appropriate medical facility. If it is deemed necessary by the treating physician for the patient to return home for care, this benefit can also cover the cost to return home.

Many travelers are worried a medical evacuation will cost them millions, however it is uncommon for medical evacuation costs to exceed $100,000, so travelers should not feel like they have to pay more for unnecessary coverage. Squaremouth recommends $100,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage for international travel, and $250,000 for cruises or travel to a remote location.

Repatriation of remains would provide coverage to transport the remains of a deceased person to their home country. It is also important to note that transportation arrangements would need to be arranged with the travel insurance provider through their 24-hour assistance number.

Emergency Medical coverage accounts for the cost of medical expenses incurred during a trip in the event of an unexpected  medical emergency. However, if an emergency results from a Pre-Existing Condition and your policy does not have Pre-Existing Condition coverage included, you may not receive reimbursement for the treatment, or your trip costs if you’re forced to cancel. Routine check-ups or physicals are also not covered under Emergency Medical.  Squaremouth recommends a minimum of $50,000 in Emergency Medical coverage for international travel, and $100,000 for cruises or travel to a remote location.

When purchasing a travel insurance policy, always pay close attention to the policy certificate in order to understand what specific benefits are included. Each policy’s certificate will have a list of covered events and exclusions.