Filling a Gap in Medical Evacuation Benefits

An air ambulance with a ground ambulance.

A medical transportation services provider is trying to organize its own travel health insurance gap-awareness campaign.

The company, MedjetAssist, wants agents, brokers and financial advisors to know that even a travel policy with what look like good medical evacuation benefits may pay for less than clients expect.

Many travel health insurance companies offer medevac benefits that will get a patient to a suitable hospital, but that hospital might be thousands of miles from the patient’s home, according to Sheri Howell, a vice president at Medjet.

That’s a problem, she said, because long-range medical air transportation can cost $25,000 to $100,000 for patients traveling within the United States and $200,000 for patients traveling internationally.

What it means: Even conscientious clients who buy travel health insurance and take the time to read the policies may have a big, unexpected coverage gap.

Standard medevac benefits: Travel health insurance policies often provide $25,000 to $100,000 in medical evacuation benefits.

Typical policies pay for the ground transportation services, helicopter services and expertise needed to get a patient from a remote patient to a modern hospital, but most focus on covering medically necessary transportation services, Howell said.

Alternatives: Medjet and competitors like Global Rescue provide more extensive help with medical transportation.

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