What Is Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance?

Alex Newth

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is insurance meant for travelers, whether they are traveling inside or outside their home country or region. This insurance covers many types of medical evacuation, from helicopter or ambulance evacuation to hospital workers coming aboard a plane and evacuating an ailing passenger. Unlike most other insurance types, which force holders to pay for several months or a year before coverage kicks in, emergency medical evacuation insurance is short-term and can be purchased for as little as a day’s worth of use. While this insurance mostly covers evacuation expenses, it also may cover other emergency medical expenses.

In some instances, it may be wise to purchase travel insurance that will cover major medical emergencies.
In some instances, it may be wise to purchase travel insurance that will cover major medical emergencies.

When someone buys emergency medical evacuation insurance, it can be used in his or her local area, but it is often meant for a traveler who is going to another country or region. If the traveler is leaving the local area but is still in the same country or region, this insurance also may be useful. A traveler with a chronic disorder or disease that requires medical attention from a specific hospital or simply frequent medical attention that any hospital can provide will commonly buy this insurance. This insurance also is used for people who are simply being cautious or want the insurance just in case something happens.

Emergency medical evacuation insurance may cover the cost of an ambulance evacuation.
Emergency medical evacuation insurance may cover the cost of an ambulance evacuation.

Medical evacuation or accompaniment can be expensive, and emergency medical evacuation insurance will either cover the entire cost or most of it. The two most common evacuation methods are by ambulance and by helicopter. If someone needs accompaniment on an airplane, such as requiring medical personnel and equipment, this insurance also will cover these expenses. In the case of a fatality, this insurance will cover the cost of bringing the body back to family members or the holder’s home area.

Emergency medical evacuation insurance can ease the typically prohibitive cost of a medical evacuation.
Emergency medical evacuation insurance can ease the typically prohibitive cost of a medical evacuation.

Many types of insurance must be held for a period of six to 12 months before a claim can be made, but emergency medical evacuation insurance is typically held for only a short time. Common terms are one or two days, a week or a month, though some are longer. This drives down the cost of medical evacuation insurance and only provides insurance when the holder needs it. Some companies may require longer terms, but this is uncommon.

The main purpose of emergency medical evacuation insurance is to cover medical evacuation costs, but this also covers some medical expenses, as well, including medical assistance during the evacuation. This insurance also may cover hospital expenses, depending on the institution and policy. An insurance holder may be able to pay extra for more medical insurance, while some just pay up to a certain threshold and no more.

Helicopter evacuation is a common medical evacuation method.
Helicopter evacuation is a common medical evacuation method.

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