Neglecting Medical Evacuation Insurance for International Travel Can Be Costly
Walnut Creek, CA, November 15, 2005 –- Planning for travel abroad is exciting – choosing accommodations, sites to visit and researching the culture – but many people overlook planning for the "what ifs" that may occur. This can be a costly mistake, as a prominent sportsman learned during a May 2005 trip to West Africa. He was seriously injured when he was knocked from a tree stand by a falling branch. He required back surgery and needed to get to an adequate medical facility, fast. Without travel insurance and medical evacuation coverage, he spent $122,822 of his own money to return home for treatment. (To read his story and others, visit Travel Insurance Services and click on Real Customer Examples.)
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His case may seem unusual, but even something as simple as a fall on a cruise ship or a traffic accident in a foreign country can be expensive and complex. Many people falsely assume that their current medical coverage will take care of such incidents when traveling abroad. But the reality is - many health plans offer limited or no coverage for medical evacuation - particularly Medicare plans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "...very few health insurance companies cover the cost of medical evacuation, which can vary widely, ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $100,000, depending on the circumstances." Often, this is more than a family's emergency cash fund can handle, yet the cost for evacuation services is due when services are rendered. And, without coverage in place, travelers may be forced to make their own transportation arrangements.
Travel Insurance Services (TIS) has developed affordable travel insurance plans to meet these needs. Plans like WorldMed InsuranceT and InterMedical InsuranceT include not only Emergency Medical Evacuation, but also coverage for Medical Expenses, Repatriation of Remains and Accidental Death & Dismemberment. Each plan also includes 24-hour, multilingual Worldwide Emergency Assistance, which organizes emergency medical transportation, provides medical care location service, monitors medical cases, communicates treatments to physicians back home, delivers emergency messages to family, friends, and business, plus other vital services.
And for adventure travelers who like to do more than "see the sites", WorldMed has an optional benefit for Hazardous Activities. This coverage, which is often not included in other plans, covers medical expenses resulting from motorcycling, scuba diving, sky diving, amateur racing, piloting an aircraft, bungee jumping, spelunking, whitewater rafting and more.
"Most of our customers assume nothing bad will happen while they're on vacation, but they tell us that traveling with medical evacuation coverage is comforting. And when emergencies occur, we hear great feedback about the assistance they receive," Heather Retzinger, TIS Customer Service Representative said. "When considering a trip abroad, travel insurance is a very affordable addition to the overall trip cost."
Travel Insurance Services is a USI Affinity Company, a division of USI Holdings Corporation. TIS is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been meeting the insurance needs of travelers for 32 years. It develops, markets and administers travel insurance and international medical policies for individuals, families, groups and businesses. For more information about the company and its products, visit http://www.travelinsure.com . USI Holdings is a leading distributor of insurance and financial products and services to businesses throughout the United States. USI is headquartered in Briarcliff Manor, NY, and operates out of 73 offices in 19 states.