November 2019 Volume LIV Number 6

 
 
 
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Member Benefit Spotlight

September 2019 Volume LIV Number 5

Medjet

HOW NOT TO GET STUCK IN A HOSPITAL FAR FROM HOME
As health professionals, you know how important it is to be treated by doctors you trust in a facility you choose.
 
Yet many people, when faced with an accident or illness while traveling, find themselves stuck in a hospital far from home —at the mercy of health or travel insurance companies in determining the "acceptability" of a facility, and the "medical necessity" of a transfer home.
 
Not being able to get to a home hospital of choice for treatment can present a myriad of issues:
 
Care that is unacceptable to you, and facilities that don’t meet your standards;
 
Language barriers, if your hospitaliza- tion occurs during foreign travel, making treatment decisions difficult;

Capping out on travel insurance medical benefits if hospitalized abroad (even the high end coverages can disappear quickly), and dealing with out-of-pocket pay- ments and claims with an unfamiliar insurer can pose a financial risk;
 
The cost of having family members fly to your side to serve as your patient advocate and moral support (airfare, hotels, missed work) can also add to your financial burden;
 
A $30,000 (domestic) to $180,000 (international) medical transport, to your facility of choice at home for treatment and recovery, which your health or insurance company may not cover, can also take a bite out of your savings.
 
This is where an air medical transport membership program like Medjet comes in – an AAPD member benefits partner.
 
If you travel frequently, alone for business or on vacations with your family, it is vital to under- stand the fine print of your health and travel insurance coverage when it comes to getting home.
 
Travel Insurance in its basic form usually provides trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost luggage, local hospital and treatment cost reimbursement, and limited medical evacuation benefits to the nearest acceptable facility—and what is deemed "acceptable" is determined by the insurance company, not the patient.  While medical evacuation is a lifesaving benefit, it may not get you all the way back home, to your hospital of choice and doctors you know. Insurance typically responds only when the insured recovers well enough to return home via commercial air and will typically rebook you home on a commercial airline.
 
Credit Card Travel Benefits only (sometimes) cover injury or illnesses that oc- cur while you are onboard the common carrier that you bought the ticket for. Once you  step off of that plane, your coverage typically ends. Far too many people mistakenly think they are covered for medical during their entire trip. Any air medical transfer cover is usually to the nearest appropriate hospital, with particular medical necessity require- ments and various exclusions.
 
Health Insurance, for domestic travel coverage outside of your local network, typi- cally covers Emergency Services and Hospital and Treatment Costs, but it doesn’t necessar- ily get you home.
 
People don’t think too much about getting "stuck" in a hospital in another city, but this can cause some of  the same financial and emotional stresses as getting stuck overseas. It can be especially hard for families with children in school, where a spouse may have to choose between being bedside or remain- ing at home with the kids.
 
MedjetAssist Air Medical Transport Membership is a (surprisingly affordable) program that you join prior to traveling, and if  you are hospitalized more than 150 miles from your home address, domestically or internationally, medical transportation back to a home-country hospital of your choice is arranged regardless of medical necessity. Yo u decide where you want to receive the remain- der of your care, not an insurance company. If you are transported, there are no claim forms or bills, no out-of-pocket expenses to seek reimbursements for, you pay only your initial membership fee and that’s it.
 
Medjet also has added security and crisis response protections you can add with its MedjetHorizon membership – an optional program in addition to the core MedjetAssist program.  Access to a 24/7 crisis response line for travel safety threats like violent crime, disappearance, natural disaster, terrorism and can provide extreme peace of mind, espe- cially if you travel alone a lot, or are sending children overseas to study.
 
I know it sounds like a lot of (very boring) reading, but understanding what coverage you have is vital. Over 10 million travelers are hospitalized abroad each year, millions more domestically. If the worst does happen, you will want to make sure you have the best options available to get yourself, or a loved one, back home.
 
AAPD Members have access to discount- ed MedjetAssist annual membership rates by visiting www.MEDJET.com/AAPD or by call- ing their membership services team at (800) 527-7478 (mention AAPD).

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