Not everyone needs medical evacuation protection, but if you’re a physician who travels, it may be a good idea. Tracey Hass, D.O., and husband, Tim Gueramy, M.D., of Austin, Texas are regular "pond-jumpers". Tracey is the volunteer medical director of the Miracle Foundation, an Austin-based non-profit. The job regularly sends her to India to provide patient care and to many emerging nations to assist with humanitarian efforts following natural disasters. Making the world a better place involves risk, so Tim and Tracy have learned to take precautions.
One thing the couple has learned is the value of medical evacuation protection. As physicians, they place a high value on the ability to choose their own health care providers. But traveling as much as they do means that at any one moment their chosen provider may be thousands of miles away.
Knowing that your preferred care is within reach wherever you may find yourself makes the world feel smaller and safer. And it is exactly what medical evacuation protection delivers to physicians who travel around the country or across the world.
Medical Evacuations & Traveling Physicians
Where treatment begins often sets the tone for the entire recovery process. And when it begins far from one’s trusted medical providers, treatment may become more difficult, outcomes less certain.
A medical evacuation, simply put, is the medical transfer of a patient to the hospital of their choice. Sometimes this is necessary as not all local medical care facilities are equipped to handle all patient care situations. Other times, it may be a matter of preference: Patients with illnesses or injuries far from home may find themselves stuck for days – perhaps weeks – in another place and desire to be transported to their preferred health care providers.
As it turns out, preference isn’t always the penultimate consideration. Out of pocket costs are also a primary factor, with medical evacuations costing anywhere from $10,000-$100,000, depending on the circumstances. What many physicians are realizing is that choosing a low-cost medical evacuation protection plan before traveling protects their health, their peace of mind, and their wallets.
Physicians tend to get around. Those who join foreign aid programs such as Doctors without Borders may find themselves in parts of developing nations with scant access to modern medical technologies. Those whose agendas are more domestic – medical conferences, clinical trials and speaking engagements abound, after all – may find that even in the U.S. there is no substitute for having the medical care you want exactly when you need to have it.
What to Look for in a Medevac Plan
Medical evacuation protection may vary by carrier and plan type. Here are some common features:
Medical evacuations will take you to the nearest, most qualified hospital or your hospital of choice once you have stabilized so that you can continue your treatment and care at a preferred facility.
Emergency reunions transport a family member or friend to come to you, to be by your side wherever you are. Airfare, lodging and transportation are generally included.
Return or repatriation of remains offsets the financial burden of returning the deceased’s remains to their home country, should they pass away in a foreign land.
- Travel assistance will handle the nuts and bolts of care, such as prescription filling and documentation assistance. While these benefits are not directly financial, patients may require such assistance when next of kin or emergency contacts reside far away.
Single Versus Periodic Coverage
Medical evacuation protection can be purchased for a single trip or cover a longer period. For those who travel infrequently or are planning a one-time excursion of less than one year, the single coverage option may make the most sense. Those who travel and return home frequently may want to look more closely at annual coverage plans.
Health Care Choice When It Matters Most
Medical evacuation protection can be the difference between spending days or weeks in a hospital far from home and being treated at the hospital of your choice. If evacuation becomes necessary, it can reduce the high fees associated with emergency costs.
Physicians are intimately familiar with health care. Those who travel the world risk more than most when having access to the best care is paramount. For them, especially, medical evacuate