As an expat who travels for a living and has a host of medical problems, comprehensive medical care is something I need. I’m incredibly lucky that I have global expatriate health insurance that covers treatment worldwide, as I’ve found myself at hospitals in four different countries so far. But how would I get myself home if I were admitted to the hospital?
One of the best decisions you can make is purchasing additional protection from MedjetAssist before your long-awaited vacation or round-the-world adventure. Think you’re covered by standard travel protection or your platinum card? Here are three scenarios where you might get left out in the cold.
Medical Evacuation and Transport
Some travel protection policies offer evacuation coverage, but you’ll need to inquire about the specifics. In many cases, neither standard travel plans nor platinum cards will cover the expenses of getting you from where you were injured back to your home country for surgery and ongoing medical care.
One of the biggest perks of a medical protection membership is the ability to choose the facility you want to be transported to should you find yourself hospitalized more than 150 miles from home. This benefit alone is worth it, as you won’t believe the cost of medical evacuations. Air ambulance service can easily top $20,000 locally, so imagine the cost of getting back to your home country.
Another perk to certain MedjetAssist membership levels is a cash advance in a medical emergency. Some countries will require you to pay hospital fees up front, even if you have global health insurance. This offers invaluable peace of mind.
This is obviously something you hope doesn’t become a necessity. Unfortunately, things do happen, and sadly people die while traveling, even from natural causes. I’ve seen distraught family members try to figure out how to afford to bring their loved one’s remains home from abroad. While this is more of a specialty benefit, it’s worth looking into if you know you’re going to be abroad for an extended period of time. This covers any government fees, provides a container for transportation, and gets the remains to the family of the deceased.
Political upheaval and Natural Disasters
While we hope we don’t find ourselves in the middle of a terrorist event, the unexpected can happen. Your travel insurance may cover some of the costs of your vacation, but what about access to help or ensuring you get home safely should something arise?
If you’re going to be traveling in a volatile area, consider a membership that includes travel security and crisis response. It will cover things like violent crime, wrongful detention, hijacking, kidnaping, and terrorism. I wish I had a service like this years ago when my travel companion and I found ourselves in the middle of political riots with no way to afford to get out and back to the U.S.
You may think you’re healthy and don’t need real medical protection while traveling, But what about when a major natural disaster strikes? I’ve lived in countries where typhoons and large earthquakes were the norm. Now I live in one where hurricanes make landfall each season. You can be injured during a storm, earthquake, or some other unforeseen event that has no relation to how healthy you are.
Even if you think you’re completely covered, it’s worth taking a closer look at your existing policies and comparing options before your trip. Extra medical protection is a small expense that could end up saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars.