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Emergency Medical Evacuation Maximum Coverage


gagirl96

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I am comparing the plans and costs for travel insurance for our 9 day western Med cruise. I notice that there seems to be a huge difference in the maximum coverage for emergency evacuation--from $25,000 to $1,000,000. I have no idea what it would cost, but I am wondering if a policy with a $25,000 max be enough? Anyone know how much coverage we need?

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Could be 2 different things here.

 

Could be that the $25K coverage only evacs to the nearest hospital of their choce and the $1M coverage evacs to nearest hospital for stabilization then covers private medical jet back to hospital of your choice

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As klfrodo pointed out, there are two types of medevac coverage: to the nearest "appropriate" hospital. And to the hospital of your choice (i.e. one near your home.)

 

One thing to keep in mind is that evacuation directly from the deck of the ship is quite rare... (does it ever happen?) It's dangerous to you, the ship, and the chopper. (And it's only going to be done by a government... certainly no private medevac company ever does that.) I could imagine the US Coast Guard doing this (or other country with a large, well-equipped Navy), and they'd almost certainly do it for free. Because this kind of evac usually isn't available, the on-board doctor takes care of stabilizing you until the ship can dock and drop you off.

 

For the Western med, a huge policy to take you to the nearest suitable hospital is kind of pointless. Western Europe has sufficient perfectly good facilities near the ports; your "evacuation" will consist of, at most, an ambulance ride. Even the puniest medevac policy can pay for that.

 

But if you want to get all the way home? That's gonna cost you, and $25k is a tiny drop in the bucket... but most policies that promise to get you home have the higher limits.

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  • 3 weeks later...
As klfrodo pointed out, there are two types of medevac coverage: to the nearest "appropriate" hospital. And to the hospital of your choice (i.e. one near your home.)

 

One thing to keep in mind is that evacuation directly from the deck of the ship is quite rare... (does it ever happen?) It's dangerous to you, the ship, and the chopper. (And it's only going to be done by a government... certainly no private medevac company ever does that.) I could imagine the US Coast Guard doing this (or other country with a large, well-equipped Navy), and they'd almost certainly do it for free. Because this kind of evac usually isn't available, the on-board doctor takes care of stabilizing you until the ship can dock and drop you off.

 

For the Western med, a huge policy to take you to the nearest suitable hospital is kind of pointless. Western Europe has sufficient perfectly good facilities near the ports; your "evacuation" will consist of, at most, an ambulance ride. Even the puniest medevac policy can pay for that.

 

But if you want to get all the way home? That's gonna cost you, and $25k is a tiny drop in the bucket... but most policies that promise to get you home have the higher limits.

 

 

Absolutely the key is where the carrier gets you evac'd to. Nearest hospital in the Caribbean could be one in the Caribbean not back to the USA.

 

I recommend to my clients to get one allowing evac back to your home. I know if for instance I got sick or hurt while in Dubai I would want to come back home not get stuck at the nearest appropriate hospital which honestly over in Dubai would be in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Cost to get back to Houston, it would be in the six figures easily...jet rental alone without medical crew would be a huge expense.

 

So, watch what the coverage pays for, to nearest or back home...

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  • 3 weeks later...

So my policy has $5,000 in coverage for remote evacuation from sea.

 

And then it has $5,000,000 coverage to get me back to my home state.

 

Since an evacuation from the ship is so unlikely, this is much better than a policy that would cover $5,000,000 remote evacuation but then would not get me home correct?

 

Thanks,

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Dear friends:

 

Don't let the medical evacuation coverage fool you. Yes it is important to have very high limits and policy wording favorable to the consumer so that you can be evacuated back to your home if the case should arise.

 

But it is also extremely important to make sure you have the following two scenarios covered: 1) extensive medical coverage abroad in your travel insurance policy or your own medical insurance; 2) proper medical coverage in your home state or country.

 

Reasoning:

 

1) If you are evacuated off a ship in let's say, Barcelona, for something that is such a dire emergency that requires immediate, acute medical attention (stroke, heart attack, breathing problems, organ failure, aneurism, etc. just to name a few examples) nobody, especially the local police authority, is going to let you go from the ship's medical facility onto a medical jet to take you on a 10 hour flight back home to get treated. You are going to be taken to the nearest hospital in Barcelona where you will be evaluated by the proper medical team there depending upon what is wrong with you and, if you need emergency surgery or something similar of a life-saving nature, please don't expect that treatment to take place more than ten hours later after a ride home in a medical jet.

 

Once you are stabilized in Barcelona the insurance company in conjunction with your doctors will decide how they will get you home. If they have adequately treated you in Barcelona and come to the conclusion that you don't need continued care, that might just consist of getting you an airline ticket to take you home. However, if the emergency was so life-threatening I assume you will need continued care, so the insurance company will probably arrange to medically escort you to a hospital home.

 

Please beware that a medical jet is a very unlikely piece of equipment to take you all the way across the Atlantic, and it will be more likely that you will be taken on a scheduled flight accompanied by a nurse and/or doctor, with proper emergency equipment taken with you.

 

The image that many people have of being flown all the way across the world on a medical hospital jet just because they want to be treated in their own hometown is a myth -- in cases of dire emergency that is not possible. Even if not a dire emergency, most (and I do not say all -- there must indeed be exceptions) policies will still take you to the nearest adequate hospital, and then have a clause that says if treatment is not adequate or does not work at that nearest hospital, then they will take you to another hospital even if that means flying you all the way home.

 

In this day and age, no matter what the marketing glitz may say, I don't think an insurance company is going to fly you home from Western Europe in a medical jet just because you broke your leg and want to get the cast put on in the United States.

 

2) It is very important to make sure you have proper coverage in your home country. Most of the travel insurance policies will cease to pay medical expenses as soon as you are taken back to your home country on the basis that you will have proper medical coverage in your home country.

 

Insurance is a very tricky issue. Read all of the fine print of all of the policies, not just what the marketing brochures or websites say. And make sure you understand the practical nature of the coverage you are purchasing. It may sound good for an insurance company to say they will evacuate you back to the United States -- they say that because in reality in a vast majority of cases, this is not possible or practical.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

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Dear friends:

 

Don't let the medical evacuation coverage fool you. Yes it is important to have very high limits and policy wording favorable to the consumer so that you can be evacuated back to your home if the case should arise.

 

But it is also extremely important to make sure you have the following two scenarios covered: 1) extensive medical coverage abroad in your travel insurance policy or your own medical insurance; 2) proper medical coverage in your home state or country.

 

Reasoning:

 

1) If you are evacuated off a ship in let's say, Barcelona, for something that is such a dire emergency that requires immediate, acute medical attention (stroke, heart attack, breathing problems, organ failure, aneurism, etc. just to name a few examples) nobody, especially the local police authority, is going to let you go from the ship's medical facility onto a medical jet to take you on a 10 hour flight back home to get treated. You are going to be taken to the nearest hospital in Barcelona where you will be evaluated by the proper medical team there depending upon what is wrong with you and, if you need emergency surgery or something similar of a life-saving nature, please don't expect that treatment to take place more than ten hours later after a ride home in a medical jet.

 

Once you are stabilized in Barcelona the insurance company in conjunction with your doctors will decide how they will get you home. If they have adequately treated you in Barcelona and come to the conclusion that you don't need continued care, that might just consist of getting you an airline ticket to take you home. However, if the emergency was so life-threatening I assume you will need continued care, so the insurance company will probably arrange to medically escort you to a hospital home.

 

Please beware that a medical jet is a very unlikely piece of equipment to take you all the way across the Atlantic, and it will be more likely that you will be taken on a scheduled flight accompanied by a nurse and/or doctor, with proper emergency equipment taken with you.

 

The image that many people have of being flown all the way across the world on a medical hospital jet just because they want to be treated in their own hometown is a myth -- in cases of dire emergency that is not possible. Even if not a dire emergency, most (and I do not say all -- there must indeed be exceptions) policies will still take you to the nearest adequate hospital, and then have a clause that says if treatment is not adequate or does not work at that nearest hospital, then they will take you to another hospital even if that means flying you all the way home.

 

In this day and age, no matter what the marketing glitz may say, I don't think an insurance company is going to fly you home from Western Europe in a medical jet just because you broke your leg and want to get the cast put on in the United States.

 

2) It is very important to make sure you have proper coverage in your home country. Most of the travel insurance policies will cease to pay medical expenses as soon as you are taken back to your home country on the basis that you will have proper medical coverage in your home country.

 

Insurance is a very tricky issue. Read all of the fine print of all of the policies, not just what the marketing brochures or websites say. And make sure you understand the practical nature of the coverage you are purchasing. It may sound good for an insurance company to say they will evacuate you back to the United States -- they say that because in reality in a vast majority of cases, this is not possible or practical.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

 

While I'm not going to disagree with you completely, I do have to speak up to maybe help clarify.

 

I live in Seattle and am sitting in Juneau Alaska right now.

My airplane seat mate was on his way home from Seattle to Ketchikan, Alaska with his wife.

While at home in Ketchikan he had a heart attack. The local hospital stabilized him, then immediatly put him on a Lear medevac jet to Seattle for heart surgery. Ketchikan is not equiped for major heart surgery. Not a common commercial carrier, but a Lear.

 

Granted, he was at home, but he could have been on a cruise. The cruise season opens in May.

 

This could happen anywhere. $25K limit on insurance would cause a hardship in a similar situation while traveling.

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