In general, people who test positive for COVID-19 are not allowed to board a flight to the US.
Some CDC interim guidance says: "However, there may be circumstances that warrant transportation by air of persons with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19. For example, persons with COVID-19 may need medical care that is not available at their location."
I am concerned specifically about the following scenario: I live in the US and I have health insurance. I am also planning to purchase travel medical insurance for an upcoming trip outside the US. If I get COVID-19 while outside the US, the care available at my destination will probably be adequate, but suppose the following were to happen:
- It takes several months for me to recover. (I am fully vaccinated, so this is unlikely, but not impossible.)
- I hit the coverage limit of my travel insurance plan, and continuing to stay in the hospital may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how long it takes me to recover.
- My travel medical insurance covers evacuation back to the US on an air ambulance.
- It's not medically necessary for me to return to the US while still sick, but it's financially necessary: in the US, my regular health insurance will cover me at an in-network hospital, and I will not be billed hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Is the US government likely to approve medical evacuation by air back to the US under such circumstances?