Patients who, for health reasons, are unable to travel under their own steam need medical repatriation. Depending on the length of the route, the patient's state of health, the urgency of the situation, various means of transport can be used. We are often asked in such cases who will pay the medical repatriation costs, what those costs are and how high they are. We would like to answer these questions as clearly and comprehensively as possible here.
Will my health insurance cover the medical repatriation costs?
When it comes to medical repatriation, the first hurdle is the question of whether the insurance company will take over the costs. Unfortunately, even a travel insurance policy that includes medical repatriation does not necessarily cover these specific costs.
Usually, only medically necessary patient transports are covered. If medical treatment is possible locally, the medical repatriation costs will often not be covered. This also applies if you prefer to be treated in the UK.
In our experience, the definition of 'medically necessary' can be very flexible. The Medical Air Service will carry out medical repatriation even if the insurance company refuses to take over the costs. We will be happy to prepare an individual quotation for you – quickly and with the minimum of red tape.
Medical repatriation costs: what you need to factor in
The price of a medical repatriation depends on many factors. Therefore, we cannot give any blanket figures here. We calculate each quotation individually, taking into account the following factors, among others:
- flight distance to be covered
- lead time for the flight
- number of accompanying persons
- the patient's state of health
- need for ground transport
In addition, the medical repatriation costs depend significantly on which means of transport is used to transfer the patient.
Time-critical emergency transport on short routes
For a time-critical emergency where the patient only needs to be transported a few hundred kilometres, an ambulance helicopter can be used. This can usually arrive on site within an hour and can land directly at the hospital. The ambulance helicopter flight is then individually tailored to the patient's needs.
Ambulance flight planned well in advance
Medical repatriation by ambulance jet is another individual option. This is suitable for medium and long-haul flights and for almost any health condition. In most cases it is possible for a friend or family member to accompany the patient in the air ambulance, free of charge.
Medical repatriation on board a scheduled airliner
If the patient's state of health allows it, in some cases an accompanied medical repatriation on board a scheduled aircraft is possible. Compared to a medical repatriation by ambulance jet this option is associated with significantly lower costs. However, it requires a longer lead time and is not usually possible for patients who are in a critical condition.
Tailor-made quotation for your medical repatriation
The Medical Air Service is your first point of contact if you need a medical repatriation for yourself or a relative. We are available to assist you 24 hours a day, even at weekends and on public holidays. We will gladly take the time to explain all the options and to inform you about the associated costs. With us, this advice is always free of charge.
You will receive a quotation that clearly sets out all the costs involved. If you accept this quotation we will begin the preparation of the ambulance flight immediately. Naturally, this includes obtaining all the necessary permits. We will then send you all the required information, including the flight plan and the pick-up times.
Which services are included in the medical repatriation quotation?
We will discuss with you in advance which services you will need in connection with your medical repatriation. You can book the entire service through our Medical Air Service central office. This includes, but is not limited to, the following elements:
- 24-hour care by experienced specialist staff
- Bed-to-bed transport
- Ground transport by ambulance vehicle
- International service (interpreter, etc.)
- Obtaining the necessary documents
Contact us now
Our highly experienced team is available 24 hours a day and will gladly advise you about your options. Upon request, we will calculate the medical repatriation costs for you individually and without obligation. Please contact us: