Let’s face it: getting critically ill or injured while away from home is probably not at the top of your list of worries. But knowing that unexpected emergencies requiring medical evacuation can quickly rack up thousands of your hard-earned dollars, the risk evaluation tends to fall in favor of a relatively inexpensive medevac membership. Why should you be talking about medevac memberships? Here are 17 reasons why getting a full-service medical evacuation plan should be part of your conversation:
1. You’re a smart traveler. That means you prepare for the unexpected. You wouldn’t drive your car without car insurance, why risk leaving home without a plan to get you back home in case of an accident?
2. You live in a rural area with limited medical services. A medevac membership can cover you close to home, for example, paying for speedy helicopter transportation that can save your life.
3. Ditto if you’re taking a cruise vacation. Medical facilities onboard ships are limited, and though the ship might get you to port, it’s probably not where you need to be.
4. You or a family member traveling with you has a pre-existing condition. Chronic illness does not have to preclude travel, but traveling with a chronic illness brings with it certain risks you will want to prepare for.
5. You take family vacations. Top-notch plans such as SkyMed TAKES YOU HOME cover spouses, significant others living with you, children and even grandchildren!
6. You live the RV lifestyle. Roaming the highways and byways of the great United States of America in an RV gives you a freedom unlike any other, and having peace of mind where your health is concerned can make it even more carefree.
7. You live the RV lifestyle—and you’ll need someone to take your rig home in case of an emergency. The aforementioned peace of mind can include the return of operable vehicles (and even boats, motorcycles and pets!)
8. Your current health plan does not cover you abroad or has high out-of-network costs. This is pretty much standard, so it’s not something you can depend on to get you home in case of a critical injury or illness.
9. Medicare does not include medical repatriation in case of an emergency. It also doesn’t cover medical costs abroad, so if you’re on Medicare, being flown home for your care can save you big money.
10. Your credit card covers medical evacuation costs—to a point. Some have much better coverage than others—it depends which one you hold. Also, check the terms and conditions: many times they will only take you to the nearest adequate medical facility.
11. Medical expenses top the list of reasons people go bankrupt. The statistics on medical bankruptcies are hair-raising. According to an article on SpendMeNot.com,
- Americans spend an average of $5,000 a year on out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
- Almost 60% of US adults have had medical debt at some point in their life.
- 70% of Americans with medical bills had to cut their food expenses to avoid bankruptcy.
- Two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills.
- And that’s just for starters!
12. Coverage is affordable. Protection for individual short-term trips can be as low as $9/day.
13. You’re an expat. Expats in some countries such as Mexico can count on local care for day-to-day issues, but as sophisticated as medical care can sometimes be abroad (key word: sometimes), the cost for specialty care can still be prohibitive (and why pay when you have healthcare insurance at home?)
14. You’re already hospitalized but want to recover close to home. Plans that include a “not medically necessary” benefit for transport take you to the hospital of your choice, near your family and in your network. Not all plans include this benefit, so make sure you read the fine print before signing up.
15. You’re already hospitalized and you need a family member or companion to care for you. Full-service plans such as SkyMed can cover the cost of this type of transportation, ensuring you won’t be alone when you need someone the most.
16. There are an estimated 400,000 helicopter transports annually, with another 150,000 patients flown by fixed wing aircraft yearly in the United States (according to the Association of Air Medical Services). You don’t want to be part of that statistic and paying out of pocket.
17. It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. As with most types of coverage it’s all about evaluating your risk. What side of the coin would you rather be on? (See reason number 1.)