What is International Health Insurance with Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage?

If you are overseas in a remote country and all of a sudden you break your leg, what do you do? You might go to a local hospital and discover that it doesn’t have the proper medical facilities to treat you in the same way that a first-world country would. You might go to a local hospital and discover that it doesn’t have the proper medical facilities to treat you in the same way as a first-world country. You realize that you need treatment somewhere else. Would medical evacuation be covered by your health insurance? Typically, international health insurance covers treatment and transportation overseas for emergency medical evacuation in addition to repatriation of remains.

Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance What is the Difference between Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation?

Medical evacuation and repatriation coverage, are usually both covered under international health insurance. If you are traveling to a remote area, where proper medical facilities are unavailable, emergency medical evacuation coverage would transport you to another facility that can better treat your needs. If the other facility is not local, then emergency medical evacuation coverage will pay for you to be airlifted to a better facility. Since emergency medical evacuation can be quite expensive, make sure you are covered for at least $50,000 under your international health insurance plan.

Repatriation of bodily remains covers air or ground transportation expenses arising from the death of the insured member. It returns mortal remains back to the home country. You should also double-check to make sure repatriation is covered under your international health insurance plan.

Where is Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Most Vital?

Anyone traveling to an area where serious illnesses are prevalent (such those traveling to West Africa or Asia where diseases such as Ebola, polio, cholera, and other epidemics are present) you should consider purchasing medical evacuation and repatriation insurance in case you become affected. This adds an extra layer of protection for expats visiting those areas, where medical facilities may not be able to provide adequate medical care. Travel Health Notices from the CDC disseminates information about recent epidemics and is useful for determining emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.  

Why is Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage Necessary?

There are several situations where medical evacuation and repatriation insurance is essential:

  • When a person is admitted to a hospital that doesn't have the necessary treatment available, he/she will be transferred to another hospital with a proper facility that will provide treatment  
  • When an person's medical condition requires immediate transportation to the closest medical facility for treatment
  • When a family member needs to be brought into the country to attend to the sick or injured, known as emergency reunion coverage, which covers flight, meal, room and board
  • When a person has passed away while abroad and remains need to be returned to their home country

Each of these scenarios has the potential of placing a remarkable financial and emotional burden on the individuals and families affected. Obtaining medical evacuation and repatriation insurance helps to alleviate these burdens.

Examples of Medical Evacuation for Ebola

In 2014, there were four cases of U.S. patients affected by Ebola. They contracted Ebola overseas in West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea) and were medically evacuated and then flown to the U.S., where they received proper medical treatment. Medical evacuation for Ebola and other illnesses are expensive with a high cost of $100,000 per person based on the availability of aircraft. They were flown on Gulfstream III business jets, which are very scarce as they are specially equipped to carry patients with little minimal risk to other passengers. The aircraft is specifically designed for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The equipment on the Ebola flights is put through a 24-hour decontamination process and then burned in a special incinerator. These arduous efforts and high costs are important for the safety of patients and mitigating the risks of permeating the epidemic to others.

How to Obtain International Health Insurance with Medical Evacuation & Repatriation Coverage

You should check if your international health insurance plan covers emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. Contact Clements today to learn more about  emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.  

Learn More on Medical Evacuation & Repatriation

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or e-mail request@clements.com to discuss your insurance needs.