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Many travel insurance plans include coverage for medical evacuation to privately transport you to your home country if you get seriously ill while abroad. What does this type of evacuation generally cost? Or, in other words, how much medical evacuation coverage on a travel insurance plan is enough?

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I would say thousands to tens of thousands easily, and quite possibly hundreds of thousands on occasion. I used to have a coworker who previously worked in this field. I wish I was still in touch to ask him. –  hippietrail Sep 12 '11 at 21:49
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Best case is probably that you need a private ambulance to the airport, business class seats for yourself and the nurse / nurses who are looking after you, and an ambulance at the other end, plus the cost of the nursing staff and equipment. Worst case is you need your own dedicated medical evac plan, with doctors and nurses and lots of equipment... –  Gagravarr Sep 13 '11 at 10:56
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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I found a statistic for you that lists the average medical evacuation cost for at least some countries:

http://blogs.squaremouth.com/travel-advice/medical-evacuation-statistics-from-travelex-and-on-call-international/

As you can see, you have to be prepared for some 10,000 USD.

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Europeans and their crazy decimal delimiter formatting. :P –  Ankur Banerjee Sep 16 '11 at 9:15
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Nevertheless this is an international forum and you shouldn't change it into some crazy USA (?) standard? –  RoflcoptrException Sep 16 '11 at 9:26
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Actually I agree about changing between independently valid styles but in this case the forum is in English and the crazy comma thousands separator standard is the same in all English speaking locales. –  hippietrail Sep 16 '11 at 9:32
    
Ok I edited my answer to use an international standard, but I can make a rollback to the previous edit. –  RoflcoptrException Sep 16 '11 at 9:36
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The single quote is not “European” and the comma is certainly not “international”. The single quote is strictly a Swiss thing as far as I know (whatever the language, French and German speakers use it in Switzerland but not in France or Germany). The comma, while common in English (but by no means a “standard”) has one big problem: it's the decimal separator in many countries/languages. That's why spaces are recommended by technical standards and international organizations. It might be a bit surprising at first but at least it does not introduce any risk of confusion whatsoever. –  Relaxed Oct 23 '13 at 10:01
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Cost of medical evaluation varies widely depending on what region you are travelling to, and what country you are from. Evacuation almost always involves bringing you back to your country of residence rather than 'closest' 'good' medical facility you need to confirm this when reading policy wording documents.

According to an insurance group, typical evacuation costs (it appears this is a 'within EU' figure) is £25,000. Another advisory published by the Australian government mentions $75,000-$90,000 (most probably this in Australian dollars).

Another thing to watch out for is the terminology used in policy wording. Some companies use 'repatriation' to cover both evacuation in medical emergencies when you're alive as well as bringing back of body remains in case of death, while others cover repatriation and medical expenses separately.

That said, most travel insurance policies I have taken or compared usually have reasonably high limits for medical evacuation / repatriation even for cheap policies. More than the amount covered, I have found the difference between good and bad policies is how restrictive their conditions are for these situations. Many of the 'bad' ones may not guarantee you an evacuation because they have clauses which say it depends on whether they determine you can be 'safely' transported for the duration of evacuation.

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My Family recently experienced a situation where a medical evacuation became necessary. The quote that I received from Casta Rica to Portland OR was $47,000.00. Fortuneately we are insured and the tour company had coverage also. My advice to the frequent traveler. get coverage! I also noted the many Med evac companies have subscription service.......if you travel....get it.

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