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The Best Medevac Services

Which Medical Evacuation Service is the Best?

Medical evacuation services have gained significant popularity due to the critical role they play in ensuring timely and efficient transport of patients needing urgent medical care. This rise in popularity is due to a number of factors that emphasize the importance of accessibility, advanced medical care, and global reach in emergency situations.

Imagine you're trekking through a dense jungle in Southeast Asia when you slip and severely twist your ankle. Stranded in a remote location with no immediate medical aid, you activate your emergency beacon. Within hours, a specialized medical evacuation team arrives by helicopter, transporting you to the nearest advanced medical facility for treatment.

Tuesday, May 28th

2024 Medical Evacuation Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Medjet Review 5 Star Rating

Medjet

5 Star Rating
  • Two plans: MedjetAssist for medical evacuation, and MedjetHorizon for medevac + worldwide travel security coverage
  • Plans start at $99 for short-term coverage, $315 for annual membership
  • 50 dispatch locations worldwide
  • Over 250 private air ambulances
  • Transport to your hospital of choice when hospitalized at least 150 miles from home
  • No exclusions for pre-existing conditions
  • No deductibles or claim forms
  • Options for expats, students studying abroad, even motorcycle coverage
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau
  • In business since 1991
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

In today's world, where uncertainties abound, having peace of mind during your leisure or business trips is invaluable. That's where Medjet comes into play, offering unparalleled medical evacuation coverage that sets a new standard in the industry. Imagine being stranded in a foreign country due to a medical emergency, far from your trusted doctors and loved ones. It's a nightmare scenario for any traveler. However, with Medjet, you gain access to a vast network of resources designed to bring you back home safely, swiftly, and with the utmost care.

50 dispatch locations + 250 private air ambulances

Let's delve into what makes Medjet stand out among its competitors. First and foremost, Medjet boasts an extensive infrastructure, with over 50 dispatch locations worldwide and access to more than 250 private air ambulances. This means that regardless of where you are on the globe, help is never too far away. Their flight personnel are top-notch, ensuring that you receive the highest level of medical care during transport.

On call round-the-clock, all year long

Moreover, Medjet operates 24/7, 365 days a year. Medical emergencies don't adhere to regular business hours, and neither does Medjet. Whether it's the middle of the night or a holiday weekend, their staff is always on call, ready to assist you in your time of need.

Best Medical Evacuation Services

Transportation to the medical facility you choose

One of the key selling points of Medjet is its industry-leading approach to medical evacuation. Unlike traditional travel insurance or platinum card benefits programs that may only take you to the "nearest acceptable facility," Medjet goes above and beyond. If you're hospitalized 150 miles or more from home, regardless of medical necessity, Medjet arranges for your transfer all the way back to your hospital of choice in your home country. This means reuniting with your trusted doctors and receiving care in familiar surroundings, which can significantly impact your recovery process.

Hassle-free medevac coverage and extra benefits

What's more, Medjet eliminates the hassles commonly associated with medical evacuation. There are no pre-existing condition exclusions for members under 75, no health questions, deductibles, or claim forms. And, Medjet's commitment to its members extends beyond medical evacuation. They offer a range of additional services, including language translation assistance, medical consultation with physicians while traveling, and even assistance with the transfer of mortal remains in the unfortunate event of a loss.

Multiple plan types and terms

From annual memberships to short-term, collegiate, and expatriate memberships, there's a plan for every type of traveler. Families are also included, with coverage extending to the primary member, a domestic partner or spouse, and up to 5 dependent children up to age 19 (or up to 23 if they're full-time students). Premiums for short-term individual memberships start at just $99, and annual memberships begin at $315. Even motorcycle enthusiasts can benefit from Medjet's Motorcycle Protection add-on, ensuring that their wheels will be transferred to the member's home or preferred repair shop/dealership in case of a medical emergency while on the road (at $39/motorcycle/year).

Best Medical Evacuation Services

Check out Medjet Horizon if security is a concern

One unique upgrade offered by Medjet is its MedjetHorizon membership. This premium add-on provides enhanced medical transport benefits along with travel security and crisis response services powered by corporate security experts. From terrorism and natural disasters to medical cash advances and crisis response, MedjetHorizon offers comprehensive protection for the most safety-conscious travelers. To add this to your basic Medjet membership, expect it to cost $90 extra on a short-term individual policy or $159 for an annual plan, or $120 for short-term family policies and $189 for annual family plans.

Stellar reputation

Medjet has earned the Better Business Bureau's highest "A+" rating and accreditation, and we're happy to say that this medical evacuation service hasn't gotten a single complaint filed with the BBB in the last three years. Better than that, a few clients took the time to leave reviews for Medjet on the BBB site, all but one of which received a perfect 5 stars. The glowing praise came from those who had to use Medjet for international evacuations (sometimes for a person, but once for a motorcycle): every client said that Medjet was exceptionally attentive, and that they would "never travel without Medjet" coverage.

#1 medical evacuation service

Medjet stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to medical evacuation coverage. With its extensive network, round-the-clock assistance, and commitment to service excellence, it's the obvious choice. We give Medjet our highest possible rating of 5 stars.

Global Guardian Review 4.5 Star Rating

Global Guardian

4.5 Star Rating
  • Comprehensive global coverage in 130+ countries
  • Can use anywhere that's at least 150 miles from home
  • Can be flown to the medical facility of your choice
  • No claim forms, deductibles, or exclusions for preexisting conditions
  • $280/year for individuals under the age of 75 in the US/Canada
  • $405/year for families under the age of 75 in the US/Canada
  • Two separate transports per membership per year
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • Founded in 2012

As a traveler, the thrill of exploring new destinations often goes hand in hand with uncertainties. What if you face a medical emergency? Global Guardian is a name worth knowing, offering comprehensive medical evacuation coverage that ensures your safety and peace of mind wherever you roam. Founded in 2012, Global Guardian has cemented its reputation as a trusted travel assistance company, catering to both corporations and individuals worldwide. Their commitment to security transcends ordinary expectations, providing help not only in cases of illness but also in more extreme scenarios like natural disasters, hacking incidents, and even kidnapping situations.

You're covered as soon as you complete the online application

This company offers some of the most hassle-free medical evacuation coverage available today. Enrolling with Global Guardian is a seamless process, completed online with immediate membership activation. Once enrolled, you can embark on your travels with the assurance that help is just a call away. In the unfortunate event of illness or injury requiring hospitalization, their 24/7 Operations Center springs into action, orchestrating your safe return home.

50 aircraft and 100 base locations for coverage in 130+ countries

Global Guardian boasts a fleet of 50+ aircraft, each meticulously designed to handle any scenario with precision and efficiency. Their 100 base locations worldwide ensure swift dispatch within the hour, a crucial aspect in emergencies where every moment counts. Its extensive global response network spans over 130 countries. With certified teams rigorously trained to handle diverse situations, you and your loved ones are assured of expert care and support, no matter where you are in the world (as long as you're at least 150 miles from home).

Transportation to the facility of your choosing

Unlike standard travel insurance policies, which may transport you to the nearest appropriate facility, Global Guardian goes the extra mile by flying you to the hospital of your choice. This personalized approach lets you receive care on your terms, with no compromises.

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Telemed consultations available

Maybe you don't get sick enough to need medical evacuation, but you still wind up having a question if Montezuma's Revenge strikes or you think you might have gotten an ear infection while traveling. Global Guardian's telemedical consultation services put board-certified physicians at your fingertips throughout your journey, providing invaluable guidance and support when you need it most.

No paperwork hassles or pre-existing condition exclusions

Another area that sets Global Guardian apart is its commitment to transparency and simplicity. With no claim forms to hassle over and no deductibles to worry about, members enjoy world-class service without the burden of financial complexities. Moreover, there are no pre-existing condition exclusions, ensuring that all members, regardless of health history, are welcomed with open arms.

Affordable annual pricing

So, what does it cost? You'll pay $280/year for an individual policy in the US/Canada; just be aware that you have to be under the age of 75 to qualify. Families can also benefit from Global Guardian's coverage, with membership extending to spouses or domestic partners and up to five dependent children under the age of 26. In cases requiring medical transport, one additional companion/family member can accompany the patient, providing support and comfort during transit. This family tier costs $405/year. With either plan, you get up to two separate transports per membership per year.

Best Medical Evacuation Services

Compelling case studies

Real-life case studies highlight the effectiveness of Global Guardian's services. From evacuating a member with a broken hip from Bali to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to swiftly transporting a stroke patient from Arizona to Washington D.C., Global Guardian's response is nothing short of exemplary.

Not a lot of public feedback

Global Guardian is listed as an "A+" company with the Better Business Bureau, but to be fair, the BBB only opened its file on this medical evacuation service in 2023. There's not much else revealed by the BBB's listing for Global Guardian: no complaints, no reviews. That lack of feedback is one of the only things keeping this medical evaluation service from earning our top rating (but it could be related to the fact that Global Guardian's clientele prefers to fly under the radar rather than leaving public reviews).

Excellent coverage for medical evacuation and overall security

Global Guardian is an extraordinary choice for medical evacuation coverage. With its global reach, unwavering commitment to member safety, and seamless service, it offers travelers the ultimate safeguard against unforeseen emergencies. Don't embark on your next journey without the reassurance of Global Guardian by your side.

Global Rescue Review 4 Star Rating

Global Rescue

4 Star Rating
  • Choose between Travel (medical evacuation only) and Totalcare (also includes telehealth consults, urgent/specialty consults, prescriptions/labs/imaging)
  • Flexible membership options for short- and long-term travel
  • Offers field rescue and evacuation
  • Transportation to home hospital of choice
  • Has a partnership with Johns Hopkins
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business since 2004

Global Rescue, a pioneering force in the travel services industry since 2004, provides an array of integrated medical, security, and crisis management services. Backed by teams of critical care paramedics, physicians, nurses, and military special operations veterans, Global Rescue prides itself on being the chosen provider for government agencies, major corporations, universities, nonprofits, and tour operators worldwide.

Services include field rescue and consults with special ops providers

Fortunately, their medical evacuation services are also offered to individuals and families. Impressively, Global Rescue's offerings at the individual/family level extend far beyond traditional medical transport from one hospital to another. Their field rescue teams specialize in remote or hazardous environments, providing prompt evacuation in serious medical emergencies.

Security evacuation

For security concerns, their military special operations veterans provide advisory, consultation, and evacuation services in the face of natural disasters, civil unrest, and other threats. Additionally, their medical evacuation services transport members back to their home hospital of choice from anywhere in the world, including for COVID-19 cases. That hospital can include Johns Hopkins, Global Rescue's premier partner in their medevac services.

Best Medical Evacuation Services

Extra benefits with Totalcare tier of coverage

In addition to emergency response, Global Rescue offers essential travel assistance services included in some memberships ("Totalcare" ). Visa and passport services, translation services in 190 languages, legal assistance in 160 countries, and logistics management are just a few of the benefits on offer. Moreover, Global Rescue offers hospital referrals to international Centers of Excellence and facilitates mortal remains transport, alleviating logistical burdens during challenging times.

Affordably-priced for medevac-only plans

So, what does it cost? We thought it was interesting that in the price estimate process, we never even had to specify a destination. Using our example traveler profile (a woman in her 30s doing a 1-month safari in Kenya), we were given a premium price of just $264 for the evacuation-only service without any of the add-ons (like high-altitude evacuation or the security package for military extractions). To extend it to our traveler's entire family (which covers the primary member, spouse, and up to six dependent children under the age of 26), the premium only went up to $439. Making it an annual family plan (with the longest trip being 45 days) was $655. But, if you want to add some of those travel assistance services, expect to pay over $1,000: you'll need to get a personalized quote to see what your specific premium would be.

Some exclusions apply

There are a few restrictions you should be aware of. First, you're limited to two transports per year, per member. You'll need to be at least 100 miles from home to qualify for medical transport. If you get sick while on a cruise, you'll have to disembark at an accessible port or medical facility (they won't land on that cool helipad on the ship to whisk you away). Also, you won't be eligible for transport if you have certain infectious diseases, you're in your third trimester of pregnancy, your condition is related to taking in a banned substance, and a few others. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before you sign up for your Global Rescue plan.

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Mostly positive feedback

Global Rescue has earned an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, with no complaints filed in the last three years. However, feedback from policyholders suggests mixed experiences. Some clients commend Global Rescue's professionalism and effectiveness in dire situations, describing how the company literally came to the rescue during natural disasters and medical emergencies. Others, unfortunately, express dissatisfaction with claims processing and customer service, detailing instances where coverage fell short of expectations or issues with app functionality.

Medical evacuation coverage you can trust

Despite these mixed reviews, Global Rescue remains a solid choice for travelers seeking good medical evacuation coverage and comprehensive travel assistance services. Its extensive network, experienced teams, and diverse offerings position it as a valuable resource to keep you safe while traveling. While individual experiences may vary, Global Rescue is a trustworthy medevac option that will be there when it matters most.

Travelex Review 3.5 Star Rating

Travelex

3.5 Star Rating
  • 3 tiers of insurance policies to choose from, all of which include medical evacuation
  • Coverage ranges from $100,000 to $1 million for medevac situations
  • Policies include up to $25,000 in expenses for medical escort
  • Companion evacuation covered as part of trip interruption benefit
  • Transportation provided to closest "adequate licensed" medical facility
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 1996
  • Affiliated with Zurich Insurance Group

Originally founded in 1996 in Omaha, NE, Travelex quickly rose to prominence as one of the top three travel insurance providers in the United States. In 2016, it expanded its global reach by joining the Cover-More Group, a subsidiary of Zurich Insurance Group, further solidifying its position in the industry.

Responds to the needs of travelers

Today, Travelex continues to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing needs of travelers, offering personalized protection products and services aimed at making travel safer and more accessible for everyone. With a mission to be a globally recognized travel insurance provider with heart, Travelex wants to inspire confidence in travelers as they embark on their adventures around the world.

Best Medical Evacuation Services

All policies cover medevacs

All of Travelex's insurance policies include medical evacuation. Let's take a look at the differences in coverage:

  • Travel Basic: covers a maximum of $100,000 in emergency evacuation and/or repatriation of remains, plus escort coverage of up to $25,000. This also comes with $15,000 towards emergency medical expenses resulting from an injury or illness while you're traveling. This insurance policy covers a maximum trip length of 30 days and a per-traveler cost of $10,000.
  • Travel Select: boosts your coverage to $500,000 for medevac and/or repatriation, plus escort benefits of up to $25,000. If you upgrade to include additional medical coverage, your emergency evacuation benefit jumps to $1 million. This policy covers all children 17 and under when traveling with a covered adult; just make sure to list the kids on the plan when enrolling. This plan can cover trips of up to 364 days, and our Kenyan safari-goer got a quote of $1,149.
  • Travel America: you get up to $250,000 in coverage for emergency evacuation/repatriation, and up to $50,000 in emergency medical expense reimbursement. This plan is designed for coverage of up to 8 travelers on a US-based trip of 14 days or less, priced at just $60. It also comes with car rental collision coverage and roadside assistance.
  • Travel Med: this plan offers you $100,000 in medevac and repatriation coverage, and up to $10,000 in coverage for emergency medical costs. However, even though this coverage was described in the section about medevac options, we couldn't find a quote for it or a description anywhere else on the Travelex site. We reached out and learned that Travel Med is a post-departure plan, meaning that it does not include any trip cancellation benefits. After entering your trip details on the website and hitting "get a quote", next to "comprehensive", click on "post-departure", to see the details of that policy.

Fantastic record for handling general claims

We're happy to report that Travelex has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with only 19 complaints filed in the last three years. That's a pretty big advantage over some medical evacuation providers in our review whose complaints number in the hundreds. And, as an insurance company on the whole, Travelex gets pretty good reviews. Customer ratings usually average well over 4 stars out of 5, though the vast majority come from policyholders who are grateful not to have needed to make a claim. But, even among those who had to file for benefits to be applied, Travelex still was recommended by nearly 90% of those leaving reviews.

Best Medical Evacuation Services

Most of the usual limitations for medevac coverage

However, we couldn't find any feedback specifically from policyholders who needed their Travelex policy to cover a medical evacuation, so it's hard for us to say what kind of experience you'd have with that aspect of their service. And, the medical evacuations here do have limitations. You get the usual wording of "nearest adequate licensed medical facility" rather than the hospital of your choice. So, let's say you're being evacuated from a cruise to the British Virgin Islands: it'll be up to Travelex to determine if you could get "adequate" care there, or maybe they'd transfer you to the not-so-great hospital in your hometown instead of the one a little further away in your state that specializes in whatever went wrong while you were traveling. That's a little lackluster compared with some of the options on our list, but it's pretty comparable to most generic travel insurance policies. (Also, for what it's worth, this information wasn't anywhere we could easily find on the Travelex site. We had to pop open a chat with a Travelex rep to get those answers.)

Travel companions covered under a different benefit

We also asked about benefits for travel companions. Our Travelex chat rep said this: "If one traveler has an unforeseen illness or injury requiring an evacuation, the other insured travelers would be eligible for the trip interruption benefit. This will allow the traveling companion to travel with the person being evacuated, provided there is room for them to travel together. However, that person's transportation costs would fall under our Trip Interruption benefit, instead of the evacuation benefit." So, those travel escort benefits we spotted only apply to the cost of sending a medical professional with the evacuated patient, not towards members of the travel party.

Better than most catch-all travel insurance policies

So, at the end of the day, should you choose Travelex for medical evacuation coverage? Perhaps. You could get a well-rounded insurance policy for your trip, and it does come with medevac benefits. But, if you're super-focused on medical evacuation protection, the policies here aren't quite as generous and robust as some of the options on our list who specialize in getting you out of wherever you got hurt or sick and transporting you to whichever facility you prefer. Travelex is above average overall, so we have given the company a good rating. But, we'd definitely recommend comparing your coverage here with other options on our list: only you can determine how heavy you want your focus on medevac benefits to be, and whether or not you want those benefits to be included with an overall travel insurance policy.

SkyMed Review 3 Star Rating

SkyMed

3 Star Rating
  • Offers both short-term and annual medical evacuation policies for individuals and families
  • Plans start at $11/day for individuals and $18/day for families
  • Options available for expats living in Mexico/Caribbean
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 1989

SkyMed International, Inc., established in 1989, is a membership company specializing in emergency travel services, including air evacuations worldwide. With subsidiaries like SkyMed Florida, Inc., and SkyMed USVI, Inc., they cater to specific regions and offer similar services tailored to those areas.

Many types of travelers are covered

Their services cover a broad spectrum, including hospital-to-hospital emergency air transportation, vehicle return, visitor transportation, and more. They offer both short-term and annual plans to accommodate various travel needs and frequencies. For instance, their short-term plans start from as low as $11 per day for individuals and $18/day for families, offering peace of mind for vacationers, time-share owners, and beyond. On the other hand, their annual plans cater to frequent travelers (like RV owners), providing year-round coverage for a fixed fee. Additionally, they have specialized plans for expatriates living in Mexico or the Caribbean, ensuring they can be transported back to their preferred location in the event of a critical medical emergency.

"A+" from the BBB

SkyMed is "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and we're glad to report that no complaints have been filed against this medical evacuation service in the last three years (although there was one negative review left on the BBB site, it wasn't filed as an actual complaint).

Some negative feedback

However, customer reviews present a mixed picture. While some customers praise SkyMed for prompt and effective service, others express dissatisfaction with their experience. One reviewer highlighted issues with customer service responsiveness; reliable communication is pretty important when dealing with medical evacuations. Another expressed frustration with limitations in coverage during critical situations, such as not providing immediate assistance in arranging air evacuation during a heart attack.

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Evacuation with commercial airlines

Several people pointed out that SkyMed will evacuate you using commercial airlines when possible. Of course, not just their own private network of contacts: not everyone wants to be sitting in a middle row on a Delta flight when they're dealing with a medical emergency. That's a big downside compared with some of SkyMed's higher-ranked rivals.

Positive stories too

Despite these concerns, some customers have had positive experiences, citing SkyMed's assistance in arranging flights and providing support during medical emergencies. For example, one customer broke their arm in Mexico and received prompt assistance from SkyMed, including arranging a flight home and covering expenses. Another customer recounted a scenario where SkyMed facilitated the transportation of a family member with a broken hip and fractured elbow from St. Maarten to Phoenix, Arizona, demonstrating the company's capability to handle complex medical situations and coordinate logistics effectively.

Not the best or the worst medevac coverage

While SkyMed offers a range of services and coverage options for medical evacuation, it's essential to weigh the mixed reviews. It's advisable to thoroughly review the terms and conditions, assess your individual travel requirements, and check out the alternative medevac options before making a decision. Ultimately, SkyMed is what we'd consider a "just average" option for medical evacuation coverage.

Redpoint Review 2.5 Star Rating

Redpoint

2.5 Star Rating
  • 3 protection levels to choose from, including a policy suitable for high-adventure travelers
  • All plans include medical evacuation
  • One-time premiums are roughly 7% of the total trip cost
  • Can also purchase annual plans
  • Accredited by the Better Business Bureau

As a traveler exploring insurance options that cover medical evacuations, you're likely seeking reliable coverage that offers peace of mind, especially for those daring adventures and unforeseen mishaps. Redpoint offers three different policy types, all of which include medevac coverage. Let's take a look at what this company has to offer.

Call in the cavalry on your next luxury trip

Cavalry, touted as Redpoint's choice travel protection for luxury adventures, offers 30 covered reasons for trip cancellation and interruption, pandemic coverage, medical evacuation, and $100,000 of primary medical expense coverage.

Get safe harbor when traveling to more established locales

Harbor, their best program for those traveling to established destinations, provides 16 covered reasons for cancellation & interruption, pandemic coverage, medical evacuation, and $50,000 of primary medical expense coverage.

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Pull the ripcord when you need rescue off the beaten path

Those are pretty standard policy types, comparable to most medical evacuation coverage providers on our list. But then there's Ripcord. Redpoint's Ripcord insurance touts itself as the ultimate adventure travel policy, promising robust protection from routine to extreme scenarios. With a laundry list of features ranging from trip cancellation to $1 million in medical evacuation coverage and $25,000 for search and rescue, it appears comprehensive at first glance.

Reasonably priced

Pricing isn't bad, either. On a 1-month trip to Kenya costing $20,000, our fictitious-yet-intrepid traveler got a quote of $1490 for full coverage. Your price will vary, based on your destination country (or countries), the age(s) of the traveler(s), how much you're spending, and so forth. But, you can expect a rough rule of thumb of 7% of your total trip cost. Frequent travelers may also want to consider Redpoint's annual plan; enter your info on the site to get a ballpark quote in that case.

Some high adventure companies no longer accept this coverage

However, before you dive headfirst into purchasing Ripcord coverage, it's crucial to scrutinize the reality beyond the flashy website promises. While Redpoint boasts impressive coverage, recent reviews from adventure travel companies paint a less rosy picture. One such company, in a candid assessment, expressed their decision to no longer accept Ripcord (or any Redpoint coverage) due to discrepancies between advertised coverage and actual services provided. Despite Ripcord's claims to cover rescue, remote locations, adventure travel, and evacuations, direct inquiries yielded vague and unsatisfactory responses, leaving potential policyholders in the dark about the specifics of coverage. This lack of clarity and inconsistency raises red flags, especially when considering the high stakes of emergency situations in remote or adventurous settings.

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Mid-tier rating from the BBB

Redpoint Travel Solutions is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but unfortunately the BBB has only given this medical evacuation provider a mid-tier "B" rating. The BBB says the less-than-perfect grade is because of the 32 complaints filed against the company; however, from what we could determine, each issue received a response from Redpoint. When there are other medical evacuation services with hundreds of complaints who still earn an "A+" , we're not entirely sure why the BBB dinged Redpoint's reputation to that extent (unless they found the same negative feedback elsewhere that we did and added that to their grade accordingly).

Not the top pick for medical evacuation coverage

In light of these concerns, it's prudent for travelers to approach Redpoint's medical evacuation coverage with caution. While the company may boast an array of enticing features and benefits, the real litmus test lies in Redpoint's ability to deliver on its promises when it matters most: during emergencies in challenging environments. Considering the potential discrepancies between advertised coverage and actual benefits provided, coupled with disappearing endorsements from adventure travel companies, it might be wise for travelers to explore alternative medical evacuation options that offer greater transparency and reliability.

TravelGuard Review 2 Star Rating

TravelGuard

2 Star Rating
  • 3 tiers of travel insurance to choose from
  • All plans include medical evacuation coverage, ranging from $150,000 to $1,000,000
  • Includes transportation to the "nearest adequate medical facility" and home if warranted
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for over 20 years

AIG's TravelGuard is a leading provider of travel insurance and assistance programs, offering comprehensive coverage for both international and domestic trips. With over 20 years of experience, TravelGuard has covered millions of travelers worldwide, providing essential protection against unexpected mishaps during their journeys.

3 travel insurance policies, all with medevac benefits

If you want medical evacuation coverage through TravelGuard, you'll have to choose from one of their three travel insurance plans. The Essential Plan gives you medevac benefits up to $150,000, the Preferred Plan goes up to $500,000, and the Deluxe covers up to $1 million in medevac expenses.

Transport may be to your facility of choice, but likely not

What's covered? As a travel insurer, it's not surprising that TravelGuard's medical evacuation benefit uses the typical "transportation to the nearest adequate medical facility" terminology, rather than giving the broader peace of mind that you can choose which facility to be transferred to. However, when we dug into the policy explanation (which, by the way, you can view during the quote process; we appreciate that transparency), it did say that transportation can be provided to another location or hospital of the insured's choice. But who makes that call? We're betting it's someone at TravelGuard and not you.

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Premiums are affordable

Still, the premiums at TravelGuard are quite reasonable. We entered the details for our pretend traveler, a FL resident in her 30s taking a once-in-a-lifetime, month-long trip to Kenya. Essential coverage was priced at $655.18, Preferred came in at $1,031.34, and Deluxe was offered at $1,402.26.

800 complaints in 3 years, but still an "A+" from the BBB

TravelGuard has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. We were surprised that this insurer wound up with such a good grade, considering there were nearly 800 complaints filed in the last three years. But, each issue received an appropriate response from TravelGuard, and it looks like most people are getting refunds and reimbursements when needed (even if it takes jumping through the extra hoop of filing a BBB complaint to get the company to pay attention).

Disappointing customer reviews

However, it's really hard to find policyholders who love TravelGuard - for any kind of coverage. In one place, across nearly 600 ratings, almost 90% had bad things to say, and it was usually the same thing: "TravelGuard denied my claim even for a covered service." That goes for everything from trip cancellation to missing luggage, flight delays and COVID cases.

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Good luck getting your claims paid

Even when people bought upgrades that should have protected them, it seems like TravelGuard finds a way to deny the claim, to make people jump through numerous paperwork hoops for months on end, you get the idea. While we didn't turn up any complaints specific to medical evacuations, we don't have any reason to believe that that's somehow TravelGuard's one shining area of phenomenal customer service.

We don't recommend TravelGuard for medevac coverage

We wouldn't count on TravelGuard to cover your medical evacuation, even if you meet all the terms of your policy. You might have some recourse if you file a complaint with the BBB, but do you really want to make your life that difficult? Whether you're looking specifically for medevac coverage or you want a good all-around travel insurance policy that includes it, you should probably look to a different company than TravelGuard.

AirMedCare Network Review 2 Star Rating

AirMedCare Network

2 Star Rating
  • Choose from 3 tiers of service: Air Ambulance, Ground Ambulance, and Fly-U-Home
  • Membership covers all people living in the same household
  • Serves 320 locations in 38 states for Air Ambulance starting at $99/year
  • Discounts available for members age 60+
  • International package available starting at $365/year
  • Over 3 million members

AirMedCare Network is the largest air ambulance membership system in the United States. More than 3 million people have chosen this coverage, which spans 320 locations in 38 states. Partners in the network include Air Evac Lifeteam, Guardian Flight, Med-Trans Corporation, REACH Air Medical Services, and many others.

Ground ambulance coverage in some Oregon locations

There are three types of coverage provided by AirMedCare Network: Air Ambulance, Fly-U-Home, and Ground Ambulance. We'll start with the last one, because it's currently only offered in Oregon. Service is provided through FireMed, but we weren't able to get the site to give us a quote for the OR addresses we entered because of the extremely limited service area even within Oregon. You'll pay $50 for a one-year plan, $100 for two years, and $1000 for a lifetime membership. Given the limitations, we feel pretty confident saying that you might as well skip that part of AMCN's membership options.

Air ambulance coverage starting at $99/year

Air Ambulance is the service that most people think of when medical evacuations come to mind. You can access a 1-year plan for $99 (or just $79 if you're age 60+), three years for $249 (or $199 for 60+), or a 5-year membership for $399 (just $299 for 60+). One benefit of AMCN's plans is that they cover all household members living under one roof; undergraduate college students are also included under parents' memberships.

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Benefits only apply when medevac is with a network provider

However, you should understand that you rarely have any say-so about who transports you in the event of an emergency. If first responders find you unresponsive by the side of the road after a car accident, you'll be transported by whichever service they choose. Any AirMedCare coverage comes in after the fact: if you're "lucky" enough that your helicopter flight or ambulance ride happened to be with one of their network partners, your coverage will kick in. If not? Too bad, you're on the hook for the full bill. As AMCN puts it, "Dispatch decisions are controlled by emergency medical personnel, and membership does not guarantee that you will be transported by an AMCN provider."

Fly-U-Home is most like traditional medevac coverage

The last tier of packages is AirMedCare Network's Fly-U-Home service, which may be a little more like what you're expecting when you search for a medical evacuation plan. This offers medical transport from one hospital to another and comes with coverage just in the lower 48 states or internationally (which also includes Alaska and Hawaii). Starting at $159/year for the continental US plan and $365 for the international membership, you'll get bedside-to-bedside, non-emergency medical transportation, up to two flights per year. You may be able to transport a friend or family member with you, but that's not guaranteed.

Know the coverage areas where you plan to travel

You'll want to look at their coverage map for any of the memberships you're considering, so that you'll know how likely it is that your medical evacuation will be with one of AirMedCare Network's partners. For example, you'll be completely out of luck if you need air ambulance service in Idaho (at least, if you want it covered by your AMCN benefits), while Fly-U-Home is offered nationwide (but not available for purchase by residents of AK, HI, ND, WV, or WY).

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Big drawbacks in the terms and conditions

AirMedCare Network has only received a "B-" grade from the Better Business Bureau. That lower-than-average rating is for failing to respond to just one of the four complaints filed against the medical evacuation service, which seems a little drastic to us. But, reading through those complaints, we became concerned that clients may sign up for a membership here, only to find out that their local affiliate has gone out of business. That was the case for more than one client whose feedback we found. Another said that they didn't realize that the terms of the contract at AirMedCare state that they'd be taken to the nearest trauma center, rather than the facility of their choice. That's a big disadvantage compared to many of the other evacuation providers on our list, especially for one client who needed to be seen strictly in VA-affiliated hospitals.

Not very reassuring that you'll get what you paid for

All of this leaves us not feeling terribly reassured that our membership here would actually wind up being worth something. There are an awful lot of parameters, exclusions, and, let's face it, random chance stipulations involved in determining whether or not the AirMedCare Network would pay for a medical evacuation. There are other options out there that don't feel quite so roll-the-dice, so we've ranked AMCN pretty low on our list.

Emergency Assistance Plus Review 1 Star Rating

Emergency Assistance Plus

1 Star Rating
  • Pricing ranges from $209 to $339/year
  • Choose between Essential and Premier tiers of coverage
  • Choose between Individual and Family plans
  • 24/7/365 response team
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 1996
  • Over 2 million subscribers since inception

Emergency Assistance Plus, or EA+ for short, has offered medical evacuation and transportation coverage since 1996. With over 2 million members covered over the years, this company uses a 24/7/365 response team with a global network of medical professionals, including experts in flight physiology.

2 medevac plans to choose from

There are two medical evacuation plans to choose from at Emergency Assistance Plus: Essential and Premier. Both are available as Individual or Family (self/spouse or partner/all dependent children) plans, priced at $209 and $279 for individuals or $269 and $339 for families. All plans include the following benefits:

Premier upgrade is worth the cost

However, upgrading to the Premier package gets you upgraded from economy class if you're able to be transported home via commercial airliner, transportation to the destination of your choice and not just home (if you live in San Francisco but want to be treated at UCLA), a hotel stay while waiting for transportation home, bereavement reunion coverage, transportation for not just one but three travel companions, pet care and return home, and a hotel room for the travel companion while the member is hospitalized. We'd say that's probably worth the extra cost, if you're going to use EA+ for your medical evacuation coverage.

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Actual benefits provided don't line up with expectations

What about reputation? EA+ has the Better Business Bureau's top grade and accreditation, with only one complaint filed with the BBB in the most recent three-year period. But, that doesn't seem to line up with the nearly three dozen reviews left on the BBB site, averaging a not-so-impressive 2.47 out of 5 stars.

Customer complaints

More than one EA+ client said that when they tried to make a claim that ought to have been covered, they got no help. This included a denial for not getting advance authorization on an emergency hospital trip, telling the client "If you are not admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay, we don't cover any expenses." Another complaint said that when they expected EA+ to coordinate with their travel insurance provider and help with a transfer to a different hospital, they were told "We don't do any of those things. That's just marketing." Not exactly what you want to hear, is it?

Lots of exclusions to be aware of

That lines up with some of the exclusions we spotted in the fine print at the bottom of the Emergency Assistance Plus website. For example, if you are a resident of Washington State, you have to be traveling more than 100 miles from your home to use your coverage. You can't get any coverage here if you live in New York State. And, here's the one that's the ultimate loophole: "All services must be arranged and provided by EA+." Kind of defeats the purpose of "emergency services" if they have to be approved by EA+ first!

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No positive reviews to speak of, outside of the EA+ website

In fact, other than the testimonials on the Emergency Assistance Plus website itself, we couldn't find anyone with glowing praise for this medical evacuation provider. Pointing out the numerous exclusions in the policies here, most people considering becoming a member are counseled by previous subscribers to look elsewhere.

Lowest-ranked option for medevac coverage

Emergency Assistance Plus is our lowest-ranked option among medical evacuation providers. It seems like the company looks for opportunities to deny you benefits, and often in ways that don't become apparent until you actually try to use your policy. With virtually no independently-verified positive feedback, EA+ has miles to go before we'd trust them with our safety while traveling. We recommend that you get your medical evacuation policy from one of the higher-ranked options on our list.

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Continued from above...

Of course, most of us don't live such exciting lives. But, medical evacuation might still be a necessity: you might be on a business trip in a different town when you experience sudden chest pain, or perhaps you're on a cruise in the Caribbean and you break your arm getting on the tender to the port. If the local hospital lacks the necessary facilities and expertise to address your condition adequately, having medical evacuation coverage can get you transportation to a renowned cardiac center in a nearby city or back home to the States for surgery on your arm in a facility you trust (and in a language you speak).

One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of medical evacuation services is the critical need for rapid response in medical emergencies. When people suffer severe injuries or illnesses in remote or inaccessible locations, the ability to quickly transport them to advanced medical facilities can be life-saving. Medical evacuation services provide a vital lifeline, ensuring that patients receive immediate attention and are moved to appropriate care centers with minimal delay.

Additionally, the level of care provided during medical evacuations is a key factor in their appeal. These evacuation services are often equipped with advanced medical equipment and staffed by highly trained medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics who specialize in critical care transport. This can ensure that patients receive continuous and specialized medical attention throughout the journey, bridging the gap between the site of the emergency and the healthcare facility.

Medical evacuation providers offer crucial services for individuals who encounter medical emergencies while traveling, typically transporting a patient from one location to another, often from a remote or under-equipped medical facility to a more advanced one, or even back home.. These services can be purchased as standalone memberships or policies, or they can be bundled with travel insurance policies offered by insurers.

How can you determine which type of medical evacuation coverage is right for you, and from which provider? There's a lot to keep in mind, but here are a few ways you can compare your options and make your choice:

  • Coverage area. Consider where you frequently travel. Providers may offer global coverage or have limitations based on regions or countries. Ensure your chosen provider covers the areas you visit most. Also look into whether the provider is networked with other evacuation services for greater coverage.
  • Medical services provided. Evaluate the range of medical services offered. This includes emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains in case of death, medical referrals, and assistance in locating appropriate medical facilities.
  • Transportation options. Look into the transportation options available. Providers may offer air ambulances, ground ambulances, or even commercial flights with medical personnel onboard. The speed and level of medical care during transportation can vary.
  • Coverage limits and exclusions. Understand the coverage limits and exclusions of the policy. Some providers may impose restrictions on pre-existing conditions or adventurous activities like extreme sports.
  • Cost and value. Compare the cost of coverage against the value of services provided. While affordability is important, prioritize comprehensive coverage over low premiums, especially considering the potentially high costs of medical evacuation. One way that some companies add value is through additional benefits like coverage for trip cancellation/interruption, transportation for travel companions, or even returning your vehicle to your home.
  • Reputation. Be sure to consider what other clients say about the medical evacuation provider. Is there ample evidence that they'll come through for you in your time of need? Can you rest assured that you'll be able to reach someone 24/7 and get a quick response time?

Medical emergencies can be unpredictable, but having reliable evacuation coverage can give you a lot of peace of mind while traveling. To help you choose the right plan and provider, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have meticulously researched and ranked some of today's most popular medevac options. Use this information to get the protection you need for your next adventure!

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Medical Evacuation FAQ

Medical evacuation coverage provides assistance in transporting you from a location where you're injured or ill to a medical facility capable of providing appropriate care. It's essential because it ensures you receive prompt medical attention, especially in remote areas where local facilities may be inadequate for your needs. It also helps protect you financially: out-of-pocket costs for medevac services can range from $15,000 to over $150,000.
Air ambulance services domestically typically involve transporting patients between hospitals within the same country, often for specialized care or to reach a higher-level facility. On the other hand, medevac services during travel refer to the evacuation of individuals from a foreign country back to their home country or to a suitable medical facility.
Yes, medical evacuation coverage typically covers at least one travel companion for the member being transported. If you've purchased a family plan, your coverage will usually include transportation for everyone on the policy. However, they may not actually be booked to travel with you if there isn't room, and the benefit may come from a different part of your policy (the trip interruption benefit instead of the evacuation portion).
While medical evacuation coverage is designed to provide assistance in emergencies, there may be limitations depending on your policy. For example, coverage may be subject to certain conditions, such as being a certain distance from home or requiring hospitalization. Additionally, there may be restrictions on pre-existing medical conditions or certain high-risk activities.
In most cases, medical evacuation coverage does not require pre-approval for emergency services. However, it's essential to contact your coverage provider as soon as possible in the event of a medical emergency to initiate the evacuation process and ensure timely assistance. Most policies stipulate that the provider has to be the one to arrange the medevac in order for it to be covered by the policy, so be sure to read the terms carefully and understand what steps you'll need to take to qualify.
Assessing your travel plans, destinations, and potential risks can help you determine if medical evacuation coverage is necessary. If you're traveling to remote or high-risk areas, participating in adventure activities, or have pre-existing medical conditions, medical evacuation coverage can provide invaluable peace of mind and assurance during your travels.
Medical evacuation is indeed included in some travel insurance policies, but there are several reasons why you might consider a separate medical evacuation policy. Firstly, the extent and quality of medical evacuation coverage can vary significantly between travel insurance policies. A separate medical evacuation policy often offers more comprehensive coverage specifically tailored to emergency transportation needs, including air ambulance services and repatriation to your home country. Additionally, travel insurance policies may have coverage limits, exclusions, or restrictions that could impact the level of assistance you receive during a medical emergency. Having a dedicated medical evacuation policy ensures you have access to specialized assistance and resources in critical situations.
Not typically. Health insurance primarily focuses on covering medical expenses related to diagnosis, treatment, and hospitalization for illnesses or injuries. However, medical evacuation involves specialized transportation services to transfer individuals from one location to another for medical care, and that's not usually covered by health insurance.
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