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View of Panama Canal from cruise ship.

Late last year, a gangway collapsed while a Norwegian Cruise Line ship was stopped in Panama, injuring multiple guests. While this is, indeed, a rare occurrence, passengers were taken to a nearby medical facility for treatment—and there was very little detail afterward as to the extent of the injuries and whether anyone needed to be flown home. And therein lies the rub.

The ship was not on US land. Were the passengers from Wisconsin? Or Hawaii? Or South Dakota? The thing is: did any of them have medical coverage in Panama? Did any of them have a critical injury that necessitated them being medically evacuated back to their home state? We’ll let you sit and imagine the cost for just a few seconds. The numbers could very well run into the tens of thousands of dollars—and that’s not an exaggeration.

Truth is, the answer to all of those questions would be “no problem” if—and only if—the guest in question had in their wallet a membership number for an emergency medical travel membership such as SkyMed. We don’t know the extent of anyone’s injuries—but a badly broken bone is not beyond imagination. And, definitely, in case of a critical injury or illness, being in your home hospital within your home network sounds way better than, well, any other scenario we can think of. Especially a hospital in a foreign country where they don’t speak your native language.

Accidents like these are never planned, and it certainly would be the last thing on your mind when celebrating the first day of a fabulous cruise. But it happened to them, and you know what they say about SkyMed: it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!

Ready to put SkyMed in your wallet?

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