Medical evacuation insurance provides financial coverage in case you’re seriously injured or fall ill while traveling far from home and need emergency transportation to a reputable medical facility for treatment. This can mean an evacuation back to your home country or transportation to a suitable facility in another location closer to the destination you’re traveling in at the time the incident occurs.
Do I need medical evacuation insurance?
Like most insurance, travel insurance and medical evacuation coverage are designed to protect you when the unexpected happens. Accidents, serious injuries, and illnesses are unpredictable by nature, so it’s important for every traveler to be financially protected. After all, medical evacuations can easily cost between $25,000 and $250,000, depending on how far from home you are when you get injured and how remote the destination is. Additionally, your everyday health insurance coverage may not foot the entire bill.
Just as importantly, they may not have the expertise or global provider network necessary to make arrangements to ensure you get the care you need. Your US health insurer also may not have the knowledge or ability needed to coordinate a complex international medical evacuation, which could include transport to the nearest hospital qualified to treat your condition, a specialized nurse or doctor escort, plus an air ambulance to return home.
It’s also worth noting that a base travel insurance policy may not cover medical evacuation. The medical coverage included with your travel insurance may cover the costs of treatment at a local hospital, but depending on where you’re traveling, a local facility may not have the level of care your injury or illness requires.
What does medical evacuation insurance cover?
Medical evacuation insurance provides primary coverage for expenses related to safely transporting you to a reputable medical facility when you are injured or fall seriously ill while traveling away from home. Typically, your policy will pay up to a specific dollar amount and is available for both domestic and international trips.
Medical evacuation insurance protects you from serious financial liability in all kinds of emergency situations, whether you’re in a car accident while traveling, are injured during an unexpected natural disaster, or contract a serious illness abroad, such as COVID-19.
One key advantage of medical evacuation insurance is that it’s a primary benefit, which means that your travel insurance provider may reimburse you directly, instead of having to go through your regular health insurance first. Plus, medical evacuation insurance may cover expenses that are excluded under your everyday health insurance plan.
Also, extremely important is the fact that medical evacuation coverage will generally pay for the expenses up front — you don’t need to pay the costs and then seek reimbursement later.
In addition to covering the costs of evacuation, travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage will pay for the costs to transport your remains back home if you pass away while traveling abroad during a covered trip.
What is excluded from medical evacuation coverage?
Most travel insurance providers exclude specific countries from coverage. For example, as of October 2021, battleface specifically excludes Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Niger, North Korea, Mauritania, Somalia, Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Additionally, some events aren’t covered, such as normal childbirth, acts of war, your commission of a felony, self-inflicted injury, and others. Be sure to read your policy from start to finish.
What if I need help coordinating an evacuation while traveling?
If you’re seriously injured or sick and need emergency medical evacuation, you probably aren’t able to arrange all the details and logistics. Luckily, when you have travel insurance through battleface, our 24/7 assistance team can make all the arrangements for you, so you can just focus on treatment and recovery.
How else can travel insurance help me if I require a medical evacuation?
When a serious illness or injury interrupts your vacation, your expenses can add up quickly. A comprehensive travel insurance plan will help you recoup costs related to the interruption or early cancellation of your trip, plus reimburse you for lost, damaged, or stolen luggage.