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Medical Emergency Flights Coverage

When a medical emergency strikes while traveling, it can be a worrying and expensive experience. The last thing you want to consider is the price of returning home urgently. Fortunately, travel insurance can often cover medical emergency flights, giving you peace of mind and providing some monetary relief.

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of travel insurance, emergency medical coverage, and tips for traveling with a medical condition.

Understanding Travel Insurance Coverage

Regarding travel insurance, there are many options and it can be challenging to determine what coverage you need. However, understanding the pros and cons of different plans can help you decide what is right for you. Below are some common types of travel insurance plans and what coverage you can expect from them.

Comprehensive Travel Insurance Covering Medical Emergency Flights

A comprehensive travel insurance policy offers extensive coverage, including emergency medical flights and transport costs. This form of international travel insurance often covers some travel delays and limited cancellations. Such plans are typically the most expensive type of plan available due to the large amount of coverage offered.

Medical Travel Insurance

A medical travel insurance plan is designed specifically for travelers who may require emergency medical treatment on their trip. These plans generally cover the cost of emergency medical flight transportation and any medical expenses incurred while traveling.

Evacuation-Only Travel Insurance

Evacuation-only travel insurance plans are designed to cover only the cost of transportation. Therefore, it does not usually include additional coverage for any medical expenses. This type of plan is generally the least expensive option and can sometimes be more  cost-effective if you do not have any existing medical conditions.  Still, it should be noted that it will not cover any other medical costs in the case of a life-threatening emergency, making it a better choice for non-emergency medical flights.

Exclusions and Limitations for Medical Emergency Flights

You should carefully review your policy’s details since medical emergency flights may be subject to specific exclusions and limitations. Examples include:

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Some policies may not cover pre-existing medical conditions. Such exclusions are typically noted on the policy and should be reviewed carefully before purchasing a plan. Travel insurance for pre-existing conditions is included in some policies and can be added to some other plans for a fee, so be sure you know what your plan covers.

High-Risk Activities

Many travel insurance policies do not cover medical emergency flights related to high-risk activities like skydiving or scuba diving. Check the policy details for any exclusions related to specific activities.

Alcohol and Drug-Related Incidents

In some cases, travel insurance policies may exclude coverage for medical emergency flights due to alcohol or drug-related incidents. To ensure you are fully covered, review the policy details carefully.

Coverage for Medical Emergency Flights

A medical emergency flight is an air ambulance service that transports a patient needing immediate medical attention from their home or destination country to another for treatment. This type of transportation is reserved for urgent, life-threatening illnesses or injuries that require specialized care. In some cases, patients may also require medical repatriation, which is the transportation of a patient back to their home country after treatment.

When it comes to coverage for medical emergency flights, there are usually three options:

  • Medical evacuation
  • Medical repatriation
  • Return of mortal remains

Medical evacuation is typically available with comprehensive travel insurance plans, while some policies may include coverage for both medical evacuation and repatriation. In addition, specialized policies usually provide a return of mortal remains coverage. Without travel insurance, medical repatriation can cost anywhere from $10,000 upwards to $200,000 USD, depending on the country you are being transported from.

How to File a Claim for Medical Emergency Flights

Contact your insurance company immediately after the incident to receive the most up-to-date filing instructions. Most travel insurance policies require the insured to have the insurance company’s Emergency Assistance Team coordinate, arrange, and approve these types of arrangements and expenses.  Some companies will pay these costs upfront instead of putting clients through the claims process. It’s important to read your policy’s Description of Coverage document to ensure you don’t invalidate coverage by excluding the insurance company from this process.

Aegis Insurance works with reliable partners to offer our clients numerous insurance options that make it easy to file a claim. To learn more about health insurance options for travelers and our claims process, visit our claims page, where we’ve broken down what you can expect step-by-step.

Empty medical emergency form.

Real-Life Examples of Medical Emergency Flights Coverage

A real-life example of the importance of emergency medical flight insurance is the story of an Isle of Wight woman who was saved by an air ambulance after suffering a heart attack. 71-year-old Linda from Godshill was rescued by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which flew her to the mainland, where she underwent life-saving surgery.

Linda used her policy to cover the fees associated with the air ambulance. Without it, she would have needed to pay the complete out-of-pocket expense for the carrier. Her story is an important reminder that emergency medical evacuation insurance is necessary for any travel medical insurance policy.

Tips for Traveling with Medical Conditions

Traveling with a clinical condition can be overwhelming, so it is crucial to be prepared if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Pack any medications or other necessary items to help you manage your condition while away from home. Also, always carry a copy of your medical records and other essential documents in an emergency. Most of all, be sure to pick the sort of travel insurance necessary for your circumstance, as some policies might not provide the same level of insurance for pre-existing conditions.

Medical Emergency Flights FAQ

Does travel insurance cover COVID-19-related medical emergencies?

Yes, some travel insurance policies may provide coverage for medical emergencies related to COVID-19. However, carefully review the terms and conditions of your policy before you purchase it, as coverage can vary widely between providers.

Can I purchase travel insurance after a medical emergency has occurred?

Most policies require you to buy travel insurance before an incident occurs to be eligible for coverage. If you purchase a policy after the incident, you may no longer be able to claim coverage for medical emergency flights or other benefits related to your plan.

Can I cancel my trip due to a medical emergency and receive a refund?

It depends on the policy and the specific situation. For example, most travel insurance policies cover trip cancellations due to a medical emergency, but you should review your policy for details.

Can I use my regular health insurance for medical emergencies while traveling abroad?

It depends on your policy and the country you’re visiting. Many health insurance plans don’t cover medical services outside of the United States, so you should check with your health insurance provider before traveling to determine what type of coverage is available.

What happens if I require medical attention but do not have travel insurance?

In a medical emergency, you will be responsible for all associated costs if you are not insured by travel insurance and your U.S. health care plan does not cover this type of expense.

Medical Emergency Flights and Aegis General Insurance

Travel insurance is essential to cover unforeseen accidents and emergencies. Many policies cover medical emergencies, including medical emergency flights and evacuation services, if you require immediate medical attention abroad. It is essential to understand the limitations of specific policies so you can pick a policy that is right for you.

Aegis Insurance offers a variety of travel insurance plans to meet your needs, so you can be sure that you’re adequately covered while traveling. Our VIP Plan provides comprehensive coverage, including COVID-19 coverage, travel, accident and health, property coverage, ancillary coverage, and much more. 

If you’re planning a trip soon, consider purchasing our VIP plan to ensure your travel is safe and secure!

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