Why do you need proper medical travel insurance when travelling abroad?

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A leading news site recently reported that one in four people travelling to a foreign destination does not consider taking medical travel insurance. While no one wants to dwell on the idea of things going wrong or falling ill on a dream vacation, medical emergencies and accidents may happen anytime and to anyone. That only goes to explain why you must get travel insurance that can cover your medical repatriation cost if the need arises. In fact, it is widely known that just getting any travel insurance is not enough. You need to look into the fine details of your insurance company policies to see if exclusions apply.

Here are some things to consider about your safety before you pack your bags and head to a foreign destination.

Why do you need a proper medical travel insurance when traveling abroad

Does your insurance policy cover the cost of a medical flight?

Many people who have insurance offered by their employer or a private health insurance company do not think twice about whether or not the policy covers the cost of medical repatriation. They assume that their insurance policy covers it all. Here is a reality check. Most travel and health insurance policies (even those that claim to be all-inclusive) come with certain co-insurance and deductibles implying that you may have to pay a hefty bill in the case of medical repatriation even if coverage is provided.

Moreover, medical evacuation costs are not automatically covered and different insurance companies may have different limitations regarding medical air services. The cost of medical flights depends upon the air ambulance company used, services offered (including doctors and paramedics needed) and the distance to be covered during repatriation. Some companies may cover it only partially so it’s important to carefully read the clauses and make sure you get the maximum cover for medevac and medical repatriation services

Limitations and exclusions to watch out for

The insurance cover for emergency medical evacuation usually varies depending on the country you are from, the insurance type and company that provides it. Some insurance companies may choose to pay only for the air transport services they deem as essential. Furthermore, they may limit the type of aircraft (for instance ambulance planes or ambulance helicopters) covered under the medical air ambulance coverage.  You may contact the insurance commissioner's office to find out about the medical travel insurance that covers air ambulances in your area.

How to ensure Air Ambulance costs are covered by your insurance company?

Some insurance companies may add air ambulance cover in their health or travel policies. If you are unsure or the policy terms appear unclear, make sure you contact the employee benefits administrator in your company, insurance agent or the company directly to find out what is covered and what is not. In case you find your insurance does not provide sufficient cover, ask them if they can add extra coverage for the air ambulance. You may also check to find out if you can be insured under your spouse's health insurance plan or get any domestic partner benefits.

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What are the various factors that impact Air Ambulance coverage?

It goes without saying that medical air ambulance flights don’t come cheap. The cost of air ambulance flights may vary widely depending on various factors such as the distance covered, the type of aircraft required, the need for a medical team, onboard facilities, ground ambulance transportation cost and so on.

When looking for medical travel insurance that covers medevac services, make sure to double-check that the air ambulance company they collaborate with has a wide network range. The last thing you would want to know is that the insurance company does not offer services in the country you are stuck in with a critical condition. So, beware of the out-of-network air ambulance services.

At Medical Air Service, we have a fleet of well-equipped aircraft and an experienced medical team that comes together to offer high-quality yet affordable medical flights. We offer medevac services in different locations around the world and have tie-ups with major airports and smaller airfields to get you home safely!

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