Emergency evacuation coverage for medical emergencies

What is the significance of emergency medical evacuation insurance for expatriates and why is it important? Possessing an international health insurance policy that includes emergency medical evacuation coverage can provide additional reassurance for individuals residing or employed abroad.

Understanding Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you should unfortunately experience severe illness or sustain an injury while in another country, it is possible that the local hospital may not be equipped to provide the necessary treatment. This is when emergency medical evacuation coverage, also referred to as medevac insurance or repatriation insurance, can be of assistance. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the essential information regarding emergency medical evacuation insurance for individuals residing or working overseas.

The significance of medical evacuation insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance guarantees secure and effective transportation to the closest appropriate medical facility in the event of a severe medical condition or injury that jeopardises your life or limbs.

Who requires medical evacuation coverage?

Medical evacuation insurance may be necessary for expats, digital nomads, and individuals working abroad, particularly if they are in a country with subpar healthcare infrastructure.

Medical evacuation insurance can play a crucial role for individuals residing or working in remote areas with scarce healthcare resources and transportation infrastructure. Allow me to share a personal account of how emergency medical evacuation proved invaluable in assisting a child in Mauritius.

What is covered by emergency medical evacuation insurance?

Numerous global health insurance policies incorporate insurance for emergency medical evacuation. With some insurers, medical evacuation coverage is included as a component of every international health insurance plan, although the extent of coverage may differ. 

  • This provides coverage for secure transportation to the closest medical facility.
  • Provides you and your family with a sense of tranquillity and assurance.
  • The expense of transporting a companion or family member is covered, but it is important to note that accompanying dependents or friends cannot accompany you during emergency medical transportation.
  • The return airfare to your home country will be covered following your medical evacuation.

Is medical evacuation coverage included in travel insurance?

International travel insurance often includes medevac, but if you are living abroad, you may require additional coverage. In addition to protecting against sickness or injury while overseas, our international health insurance also grants you round-the-clock access to our team of specialists. They are available to assist you in navigating unfamiliar hospital environments and overcoming language barriers.

Understanding domestic evacuation

In the realm of health insurance, a domestic evacuation refers to the provision of urgent transportation to a suitable hospital or medical facility within the same country. This may involve utilising road, sea, or air transport, equipped with life-saving medical devices within the means of transportation. For instance, if one were to encounter a severe illness or injury while stationed on a secluded island, they could be airlifted by an air ambulance or private aircraft to a hospital located in the nearest city in the main part of the country. 

Understanding International Evacuation

International evacuation functions similarly to domestic insurance, but it allows you to seek medical treatment at the most superior hospitals located across national boundaries. It is important to note that domestic health insurance plans usually do not cover international evacuation.

How Expensive is Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance?

Many global health insurance policies, including ours, provide medical evacuation as part of their standard coverage. The cost of your international insurance plan will vary based on your specific situation and the level of coverage you opt for. However, neglecting to have medical evacuation coverage can lead to significant expenses. If you find yourself in a critical medical condition or involved in a severe accident without insurance, arranging for a medical evacuation could be extremely challenging, if not impossible.

Understanding Repatriation Insurance

Repat Insurance, also known as repatriation insurance, provides coverage for the transportation of individuals back to their home country in the event of ongoing or emergency medical treatment. This type of coverage is commonly offered as an add-on option to international health insurance plans.

Medical repatriation costs can vary depending on your ability to board a commercial flight, but without insurance coverage, the average expense can amount to approximately US$25,000.

Distinguishing between emergency evacuation insurance and repatriation insurance

Repatriation insurance differs in that it provides coverage for your transportation back to your home country. This applies regardless of whether you have completed your treatment at the location where you were evacuated or if you still require further medical care.

There are various factors that may require repatriation, but the primary cause is the need for specialised medical treatment that is unavailable in the country where one fell ill.

If you are someone who prefers to receive care at a hospital you are familiar with, surrounded by friends and family, you might consider opting for repatriation. In such cases, it is crucial to select an international health insurance policy that includes repatriation coverage.

Essential inquiries concerning medevac insurance

It could be beneficial to consider obtaining medical evacuation insurance in situations where you meet the following criteria:

  • Travelling to isolated regions that are distant from healthcare facilities
  • Participating in adrenaline-filled activities abroad
  • A foreign resident living in a nation lacking reliable healthcare services or modern medical facilities.

If you are a knowledgeable traveler embarking on a short-term journey, it is advisable to obtain a travel insurance plan that includes coverage for medical evacuation.

If you are considering living or working abroad for a period exceeding six months, it would be beneficial to have an international health insurance policy that includes coverage for medical evacuation.

The determination of who has the authority to make an evacuation decision rests with either your travel insurance company or your international health insurance provider, depending on your specific policy. Typically, the insurance company will consider the medical information provided by you and assess your individual situation to decide whether evacuation is necessary. While a licensed doctor can recommend an evacuation, it is ultimately up to your insurer to make the final decision.

The evaluation of your specific medical condition is typically conducted by the medical team employed by your insurance company. Their primary task is to identify the most suitable medical facility that can be easily accessed by air or ground transportation. Prior to your arrival, they will also coordinate with the chosen medical facility to ensure that your medical requirements are addressed. This proactive approach, underpinned by emergency evacuation insurance, guarantees that a specialized medical team will be prepared to assist you upon your arrival.

The specifics of your insurance policy, including its coverage and exclusions, will determine the outcome in each case.

When searching for travel or international health insurance policies, it is important to ensure that they provide comprehensive coverage for transportation expenses to the nearest medical facility. This applies even to the most basic policies.

Additional coverage may encompass:

A hotline that operates around the clock for emergencies.

  • An expert healthcare group
  • Repatriation costs
  • Provision for the inclusion of a family member or companion to accompany you
  • Coverage for natural disasters or catastrophic events
  • The expense of transporting deceased individuals back to their home country
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