Should You Invest in a Medical Transport Plan?

An aerial view of the Yukon River, the site of the longest canoe and kayak race in the world. Photos by Sonja Stark.
An aerial view of the Yukon River, the site of the longest canoe and kayak race in the world. Photos by Sonja Stark.

Air Medical Transport Membership Programs vs. MedEvac and Travel Insurance

By Maggie Freleng

Medjet Air Medical Transfer Testimonials

Below are some of the scenarios that have played out in real life in which MedjetAssist has been able to provide lifesaving help to their members, in a wide variety of situations around the world.

Empty Nesters Opt For Travel, Protected By MedjetAssist

With children grown and out of the house, it may be time to relish your own newfound freedom. Just remember to exercise a little caution so that even unexpected setbacks can be taken in stride. Dr. Samuel J. Bracken, Jr., and his wife, Joyce, learned the value of precautionary measures after Mrs. Bracken was injured in Rome last November.

A Terrifying Ski Trip that Ended with a Leg Broken in 12 Places

MedjetAssist made arrangements to bring Dr. McLain home to Birmingham as soon as she was medically stable for travel. “As a doctor, you get used to all the red tape and delays of dealing with insurance companies,” Dr. McLain says.

How Much Does a Medical Evacuation Cost? Find out

“Dealing with MedjetAssist was a totally different experience. We called them at a time when our lives were disrupted and full of anxiety. They took total control of all arrangements to transport me home. All details were considered, and each and every contact was courteous, compassionate and helpful. MedjetAssist transported me promptly, safely and professionally. They surpassed even my highest expectations.”

Two Travel Agents Wind Up Taking Their Own Advice

Travel agents Pat and Bob Watson faithfully carry their MedjetAssist card on their many travels, and they have always encouraged MedjetAssist travel medical protection for their clients. The pair has a newfound appreciation for MedjetAssist since their own brush with a medical crisis on a return trip from Hong Kong. The husband and wife team run Watson and Watson, LTD, in Scarsdale, New York. They were on the first leg of their journey home from an overseas symposium for Virtuoso Travel Agents when something went terribly wrong.

Jungle Stalker

As Garfield Beckstead made his way through the jungles of Zimbabwe last summer, he was unaware that a silent stalker was with him, waiting for the kill. But his stalker had no fur or fangs; it was his own beating heart.

Geoffrey Weill Breaks Ankle on Andean Peak

Cessna Citation jet, one way to get medevaced out of a country.
Cessna Citation jet, one way to get medevac-ed out of a country.

Geoffrey Weill experienced every traveler’s worst nightmare. He not only lived to tell the tale but also experienced it in the most pampered and spectacular fashion possible. “Any traveler who doesn’t take advantage of this membership truly should stay at home,” said Geoffrey.

A Graduation Trip Ends in the Emergency Room

Eileen Shirk was heading down a highway in Acapulco, Mexico, with a Jeep full of friends when she saw the headlights of a tanker truck dead ahead. The next thing the 22-year-old remembers, she was waking up in the emergency room surrounded by people she couldn’t understand.

An ATV Accident in a Tropical Paradise

Sixty-year-old Norine Gettys proposed a special outing for her family during a fall trip to their favorite Hawaiian island, Kauai. Climbing aboard All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) the group followed a guide into a lush jungle, planning to picnic at a local waterfall. Just one hour into the excursion, things went drastically wrong.

Injured Missionary Jets Home From Russia

Minister Clifford Lyons of Oklahoma routinely travels to northern Russia to take humanitarian aid to hospitals, schools, and individuals, but it was he who needed help last December when a car ran a red light and hit him on a street in Murmansk, Russia.

Medical Evacuation

Regular insurance companies will usually leave you wherever you are if they determine the facility is “adequate” to provide care. They will usually only transport you when they decide it is necessary, and only to the “closest appropriate” hospital or location. You will rarely be transported back to the U.S.

“Some providers will only bring you to the closest ‘appropriate’ hospital. We don’t believe in the closest ‘appropriate’ hospital. If you want to go to Boston, we will take you to Boston,” said a Medjet staff member.

One thing to keep in mind is that Medjet and a few other medevac companies are not insurance companies. You will not get billed months down the road “We are going to take care of it from beginning to end and the phone calls a month later to see how you are,” said the official from Medjet.

Read the Fine Print

Be sure to read the fine print of your regular health insurance and your travel insurance. Many health insurance programs will cover you abroad, so there is no need to buy travel insurance. However, if you are not covered and are worried about the cost of replacing lost luggage or a canceled flight, then travel insurance is a good alternative.

But, if you’re primarily concerned with access to medical resources and air-medical transportation back home to the hospital of your choice in an emergency, there are better options than travel insurance, and Medjet is one of them.

Comparing Medical Flight & Medical Repatriation Services

MedjetAssist is a membership program, not a health insurance plan or travel insurance plan. As a membership program, it offers more and better services…and better value. Unlike the competition, MedjetAssist arranges a medical flight and medical repatriation services for its members, both worldwide and domestically.

Our members choose if they want to continue their hospital care at their home hospital, or any other hospital of their choice in their home country, through our network of authorized affiliates. And there are no additional costs to worry about and no limits on total air-medical transport expenses.

No Medical Necessity

MedjetAssist members are transferred without regard to medical necessity. This means members, as long as they are hospitalized as an inpatient, can choose to be transferred to another hospital in their home country, even if the facility they are in is considered adequate. The choice is theirs. It’s that simple!

In contrast, health and travel insurance plans and platinum card benefits require that a transfer is medically required. In other words, as long as the care at a hospital is deemed adequate, transferring to another hospital is not an option.

Home Hospital

MedjetAssist arranges medical transport and medical repatriation services to the member’s home hospital or hospital of their choice in their home country. The competition generally restricts transports to the nearest hospital that provides “appropriate care.” This means individuals are taken to a hospital the shortest distance away that has adequate care, but not necessarily the best care.

MedjetAssist members, if hospitalized, do not have to worry about being transferred to a nearby hospital in a foreign country that has only adequate medical care. Members choose if they want to fly home to their local hospital or hospital of their choice in their home country to receive the very best care and to be near their family.

No Cost Limits

MedjetAssist has no limit on the cost of a medical transfer. Many companies and insurance plans place caps, some as low as $25,000, on the total amount available for an air-ambulance. But a medical transfer between Europe and America can run more than $70,000. The Middle East and South American flights range from $60,000 to $100,000. Transfer from Asia often exceeds $130,000.

Domestic Transfers

Only MedjetAssist arranges medical flight services within the United States as well as abroad. Travel insurance plans and platinum card benefits only cover travel in other countries. If a MedjetAssist member becomes ill or injured and is hospitalized while traveling 150 miles or more from their primary residence as listed on their membership in the U.S. or abroad, MedjetAssist will arrange transfer to the member’s home hospital or the hospital of their choice in their home country.

Enroll in MedjetAssist Now

Annual memberships are available to residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico who travel domestically and internationally.

Enroll Now

Membership Options:

Annual Membership $270.00
Family Membership $395.00
Short-Term Membership
Starting At $99.00
Domestic Individual Membership $185.00
Domestic Family Membership $315.00

More Information on Membership Options

More about Medjet at

Maggie Freleng

Maggie Freleng is a former editorial assistant at GoNOMAD. She is now a radio and podcast producer in New York City. 


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