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Medical Evacuation Insuance

We have scheduled three RS tours to the EU this year and would like feedback on Medical Evac Ins. Anyone have experience using it? Is $100-150.000 sufficient? Or is the $500,000 a more realistic coverage? Not that concerned about trip cancelation coverage. Mostly just the medical assistances and evacuation portion. We are both in good health.
Would you buy an annual policy?

Posted by
3443 posts

You said you are not concerned with trip cancelation insurance. However, most travel / trip cancelation / medical policies do come with some medical evacuation coverage. As with all policies read the fine print about the med. evac. coverage. Some policies will only pay for evacuation to nearest appropriate medical facility. Others may return you to your home for further care. For just evacuation insurance there is a company called MedJet Assist that you should check out. Just google it. It us NOT medical or trip cancellation insurance, just evacuation back home if you are more than 150 miles away. They have many different plans -- annual, short term, longer term and etc. Prior to the covid mess we were doing a great deal of travel and did have the annual plan for each of us as it was less expensive that paying on a per trip basis. Haven't checked the last 12 months or so and their rate structure may have changed. Haven't ever tried to just have a medical policy and an evac. policy so we can't advise on that combination. Hope this helps.

Posted by
82 posts

Can you share which insurance company you have experience and what evacuation amount coverage you select?
On our last six RS tours we chose World Nomads but I am no longer eligible for their coverage.

Posted by
5728 posts

With multiple overseas trips in one year, yes I would buy an annual policy. I am looking at the aforementioned MedJet plans currently.

re: "good health". Note that its not just sudden illness that is the issue. Its accidents, like being hit by a car (crossing the street in the UK), food poisoning, falling down the stairs or off a boat, etc., that you need to consider.

Posted by
3652 posts

My health insurance includes medical evacuation insurance. Have you double checked your policy/discussed it with member services. I was surprised to find this out. As an aside, the insurance also has a worldwide phone number to call for assistance in getting medical care in an unfamiliar place. I had no idea that was available.

Posted by
82 posts

Good point Stan. A Medical accident is our major concern as opposed to health issues. Do you know anyone who had to use evacuation. Looks like most travel policies start at $100k but I have always upgraded to $300 or $500k.

Anyone out there with experience can PM me if willing to share their experience.

Posted by
3443 posts

Can you share which insurance company you have experience and what evacuation amount coverage you select?

We've always used Travel Guard for medical and trip cancelation and have been pleased with the handling of the few medical claims we've had. If I remember correctly, our MedJet Assist annual evac. policy did not have a set limit. They just brought you home regardless. That may have changed and there may now be coverage limits you can select. But it is not uncommon for med. evacs. from Europe to run close to $200, 000.

Posted by
82 posts

Jules M . Sorry to say we are Medicare coverage which is good (stateside) poor (otherwise). Our experience is RS Tours have great help in regard to where to get medical help while on tour.

Posted by
82 posts

TC thx so I found it odd that Travelgard is not eligible to Washington State residents.

Posted by
5728 posts

PS read the fine print very carefully. When they say it covers evacuation, it often means the ambulance service, and most commonly to the nearest capable hospital, wherever you are. What I think most people are wanting is covering your movement (once stabilized) to the hospital of your choice, that is, back home. If you look at Travel Guard policies for example, the lower level policies cover the initial evacuation to the nearest capable facility, but only higher policies (or optional packages) cover taking you all the way home. Consider the situation if you dont speak the local language.

Never had to use any of it, but glad its there.

Posted by
9316 posts

Prior to the pandemic, I had two policies: an annual travel health policy with Allianz and a medical evacuation policy with Medjet Assist.

The Allianz policy had medical evacuation but only to the nearest hosptial. The Medjet Assist coverage will transport me to any hospital I want. Even half way around the world if necessary. They also offer a separate policy to help get you home in case of war, terrorism of other strife.

If you are a member of AARP, you can get a discount with Medjet Assist.

Luckily, I've never had to use either so I can't help with experiences.

Posted by
82 posts

Frank II great help. Just did a Medjet quote. An annual family policy with less than 90 days intl travel with no upgrades such a motorcycle coverage was a $399 w/o AARP. Appears there is no upside limit on transport costs just the standard type coverage. I will probably use it in addition to a travel Ins.

Posted by
6313 posts

As far as a medical evacuation experience, an uninsured friend had to pay $70,000 out of pocket to be flown back home in a medical jet with MD and RNs to the US from Spain.
We always get medical evacuation coverage for international travel.

Posted by
2571 posts

Hi Don & Cindi,
There has been a lot of recent discussions about travel ins. on the forum. I too, live in WA. St. If you go to the RS search engine and type in “Major concerns and confusion about Travel Guard” you will find updated info. per the Webmaster.

I agree with Stan’s comment up thread about med evacuation not only for illness but for an accident as well. I have told this story before about a colleagues son who had a catastrophic accident in Central Europe. He was a student abroad and did not have Med. evac. coverage. He had to remain there for several months before being transported home. It cost his parents hundreds of thousands dollars out of pocket.

Posted by
3190 posts

I had Medjet before. Thankfully, I did not need to make a claim. It works in the US as well as long as you are more than 150 miles from home.

Posted by
636 posts

PS read the fine print very carefully. When they say it covers evacuation, it often means the ambulance service, and most commonly to the nearest capable hospital, wherever you are. What I think most people are wanting is covering your movement (once stabilized) to the hospital of your choice, that is, back home.

With Medjet you are definitely covered. I've purchased much less expensive policies with primary medical coverage and evacuation coverage for around $75 or less per trip. These are from squaremouth.com; I put down $0 for the trip coverage so I'm just paying for medical & evac. Note that unless you insure the full non-refundable value of your trip policies have a prior condition lookback.

Here are what policies can say (you need to check the one you are considering, some don't say they'll bring you back to the US)

Emergency Evacuation – means:

c) Transportation to the adequate licensed medical facility nearest Your home to obtain further medical treatment or to recover, after being treated at a local licensed medical facility, and the onsite attending Physician determines that the Insured is medically able to be transported; or If the Emergency Evacuation Upgrade is selected and the appropriate cost has been paid, the following will also apply:
d) Transportation from an adequate licensed medical facility to an adequate licensed medical facility of Your choice for further treatment if the onsite attending Physician certifies that the Insured is medically able to travel.

I'm not an insurance agent or lawyer, but clause (c) to me seems like it will get me home

Posted by
1641 posts

Coincidentally I just got a brochure from United pitching a company called Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) if that carries any weight with you. And when I recently bought tickets from Amex their final screen offered their own plan.

Posted by
82 posts

John & Phred thanks for info I’ll checkout EA+ didn’t know you can enter Zero reimbursement. That part doesn’t bother me. Just don’t want to bankrupt Cindy’s retirement plans. :)

Posted by
27 posts

Don & Cyndi I noticed you mentioned World Nomad. I usually use Travelex but on my last trip purchased a policy through World Nomads since it was mentioned on this forum. When covid hit RS and American Airlines were reachable on the phone and refunded my costs. After a week of trying I couldn't reach anyone on the phone with World Nomads and no one responded to my email. Luckily since everything else came though I didn't need them but not having any luck reaching anyone made me cross them off my future trip list.

Posted by
82 posts

Sorry to hear that I never had a claim or cancel so no experience to offer.
Safe travel to all
Don

Posted by
3449 posts

I used Med Jet for all of my foreign travel coverage with no complaints. The experiences we had (through their corporate coverage given us as part of our benefits package) worked well and everyone who received care were really treated well. This included several fractured legs hips and shoulders (independently, not concurrently!). Our coverage was at the $500K per accident level.

John,
A "adequate licensed medical facility nearest Your home " sounds like a great option. BUT, this could be a long way away from where you want to be (home), especially if no medical facility qualifies that is actually near your home! Co worker ended up in Dallas, which was the closest place available, for treatment due to injuries he received while traveling when his home was El Paso. He did receive stellar treatment and recovered quickly, but that was nowhere near home. Just something you have to watch for,

Posted by
5575 posts

Also, check your credit cards -- we always put some of our common-carrier trip costs on Chase Sapphire Reserve to get their included medical evacuation coverage.