While medical insurance provides certain coverages for you in Mexico, sometimes a fully-managed medical evacuation plan that transports you back to your doctors, your family, your healthcare network and your hospital of choice in your home country might be necessary.
This guide describes what medical evacuation is, how it’s different from medical insurance, who can make use of it, and how you can arrange a medical evacuation plan for your stay in Mexico.
While Mexico offers patients an ample choice of quality medical care facilities in-country, there are times when a Medical Evacuation may be necessary to receive certain care or treatment.
Medical evacuation is typically undertaken when people suffer a catastrophic illness or accident, cardiac event, stroke, or serious injury. Patients might also be medically evacuated when they need a transport to a specialty hospital or when their medical condition has been stabilized locally, but ongoing care is best undertaken at a medical facility near to family back home or where their primary healthcare plan can cover such care.
Flying When You’re Very Sick
It’s worth bearing in mind that commercial airlines will not fly passengers who are in a severe medical state, so it’s false to presume that, in the event of an incident that leaves you or a family member in a medically-acute situation, you’ll be able to be flown home on a regular flight.
Medical evacuation is logistically complex: it goes far beyond the arrangement of a private flight (although the private flight is a major cost). Managing such a flight in short-order — securing flight permits, arranging the ground transport for the pick-up in Mexico and subsequent transfers to medical facilities at the foreign destination — requires the right team and experience. In addition, there’s the co-ordination with local doctors and healthcare facilities across borders (often in different languages), dealing with customs and immigration formalities, and taking care of all the payments upfront along the way.
Air Ambulance Worldwide is an experienced operator in this field
Mark Jones, Vice Chairman of Air Ambulance Worldwide, understands the complexities of medical evacuation. As a tenured executive in the air ambulance industry and part of an elite, highly-accredited air ambulance company with a global network of providers, Mr. Jones sees the challenges and what is truly required when managing such a flight on a daily basis: a medical evacuation is a very significant undertaking which involves many people working in unison to ensure a patient in critical or serious condition is transported safely, comfortably, and quickly to a medical facility outside of Mexico.
Even if you are covered by a Medical Evacuation clause in a typical travel insurance plan, or believe your Health Insurance will cover such a medical evacuation, you may find it does very little to bring you home to your hospital of choice or even across the border to your home country. Many plans are limited to “nearest adequate facility” or “nearest suitable facility’ which often leaves you far from your home, your doctors and your family.
Once the doctors in Mexico and in the foreign country you intend to evacuate to agree that Medical Evacuation is warranted, utilizing only a highly accredited medical evacuation company like Air Ambulance Worldwide will ensure they spring into action and work through the complex logistics needed to make a medical evacuation happen.
Insurance or Membership Plan?
There is a difference between medical evacuation insurance and medical evacuation membership/assistance plans. Many medical evacuation membership or assistance companies are not regulated, are not compliant with insurance laws and not underwritten, and may bid out your care to unaccredited providers, all of which place you with unnecessary risk with little or no recourse should they unjustly deny a claim. A medical evacuation insurance plan is a true insurance product that is regulated and underwritten with claims processed using a legally-regulated procedure.
If you have a Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan in place, the evacuation company will manage everything using procedures set in place to support evacuees; with a premiere level policy everything is taken care of on your behalf and all the costs are covered without deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses for you. The key is to be sure you have a plan that provides “hospital of choice” transport and is true insurance.
If you don’t have a Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan, you’ll need to approach a company that specializes in medical evacuations and pay in advance of any services required. These fees usually range from US$25,000 to US$60,000 for a dedicated air-ambulance to transport you from Mexico back to the US or Canada, and more if your home country is in Europe or Asia. If you yourself are not able to release the funds (due, for example, to your incapacity) then a member of your family or a friend will need to make arrangements.
Medical evacuation companies do not offer credit terms. This is why having a Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan in place makes sense: it prevents you from having to raise significant amounts of money in short order (and the delays which inevitably ensue with payment transfers, etc.) and, even if you have the money, an evacuation plan means that you’ll benefit from a service that is continuously on-standby should you ever need it, and without delay
Once activated, the evacuation company will provide everything you need for a formal medical evacuation from Mexico to an arranged destination, and all of the complex logistics will be undertaken on your behalf.
Whether you’re covered by a Plan or have the cash to cover the significant cost of a self-funded medical evacuation, you won’t get medically evacuated if you have a modest illness or minor accident. Medical evacuation is a service that is used only when a genuine need arises. The doctors treating the patient, the doctors at the hospital you are seeking transport to, and the medical director for the air ambulance company are key decision-makers in these circumstances.
Medical Evacuation is appropriate when:
- The patient has medical insurance coverage in their home country (or can pay for medical coverage when they arrive there) to ensure admittance;
- An acute or catastrophic medical situation arises; for example, a heart attack, stroke, or severe accident that may warrant a medical evacuation;
- The patient needs longer-term medical care or convalescence which is best administered in their home country and cannot travel on commercial flights due to incapacity or illness;
- The patient needs specialty care not available in Mexico;
- Following stabilization after an acute medical situation emerges, the patient would prefer to be closer to their home hospital of choice, their family, their primary doctors, and their healthcare network for continued coverage instead of remaining in Mexico for care over the medium or long term.
As explained in the previous section, you can pay for Medical Evacuation on a self-funded basis, but the fees are high and, moreover, during a time of stress, the delays caused in finding an evacuation company, making payment arrangements, and working out the details are not ideal circumstances in which to become caught.
A medical evacuation insurance plan will operate in the background and be available for you at a moment’s notice if you need it, without having to concern yourself about any of the logistical and financial challenges. That’s why, even if you have the money to pay for a self-funded evacuation, it makes sense to be covered by a Plan if you’re likely to benefit from one.
A premium medical evacuation insurance plan by a regulated company such as Travel MedEvac insurance is unique: there is no deductible, there are no out-of-pocket costs, and the plan includes US$500,000 in coverage. Therefore, medical evacuation insurance plans go beyond the typical travel insurance coverages that may take you to the nearest adequate facility (and probably far from home). Instead, they provide specialized and fully-managed bed-to-bed medical transport to your home hospital of choice, to get you close to your own doctors, and close to your family.
For Visitors/Tourists: If you’re visiting Mexico for leisure or business, a Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan will ensure that you (or members of your family) get taken back to your local hospital and doctors in your home country where you can be treated and have access to continued medical care. Find a visitor/tourist plan.
For Residents in Mexico: If you live in Mexico — part-time or full-time — a Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan can provide bed-to-bed transport in the event that you or a family member needs to get back home in or after a medical emergency; for example, to take advantage of medical health insurance coverage you have there (for Canadians, this could be your government-provided coverage), or if you want to be close to family in the event of a serious medical condition which requires longer-term treatment. Find a Mexico resident plan.
Premium medical evacuation insurance plans that will transport you from Mexico to your hospital of choice in the United States or Canada are available.
Who is underwriting your medical transport?
A significant component of any evacuation plan is the company contracted to manage the medical transports and provide the aircraft, pilots, and medical crew. There are a number of air-ambulance companies operating in the market, but we recommend you secure a plan that guarantees all transports will be undertaken only by a highly accredited EURAMI or CAMTS certified company, because companies that ‘bid out’ medical transports to unaccredited companies (and elect the lowest bidder) might be putting you and your loved ones at risk. EURAMI and CAMTS accredited air ambulance companies ensure only the highest quality medical personnel, pilots, and aircraft will be utilized during medical transport.
Choose regulated insurance plans
It is also essential to be sure that you are securing a regulated insurance plan that is fully underwritten to protect you and your loved ones. Most membership or assistance plans that may look like insurance are not underwritten by a regulated insurance carrier, may deny an eligible claim, and may bid out your care to unaccredited air ambulance providers. Such a plan can leave their policy holders with little or no protection and recourse.
Buying a Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan
Mexperience is pleased to introduce our readers to Travel MedEvac, a licensed US-based company specializing in regulated Medical Evacuation Insurance Plans and only uses EURAMI or CAMTS accredited air medical accredited transport companies to support its plan members.
You can request a quote online and learn more about the plan options available; watch this short video on what Travel MedEvac Insurance Plans provide; or if you have questions and want to discuss your requirements in more detail, make an inquiry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and a representative from Travel MedEvac will contact you personally.
When you buy an Insurance Plan using Travel MedEvac, you get:
- A choice of competitively-priced plans that can be tailored to your circumstances
- Plans for short, medium, and long-term stays in Mexico
- Plans provided by a fully-licensed, regulated and compliant U.S. company
- US$500,000 in coverage
- Plans that include fully-managed, bed-to-bed, medical transport out of Mexico to your hospital of choice in your home country.
- Return of auto or RV
- Visitor Transport
- Mortal Remains Return
- No deductibles, and no out-of-pocket expenses
- First-class customer service and smooth claims procedures
- Transport managed by Air Ambulance Worldwide guarantees only a EURAMI or CAMTS accredited air ambulance provider in their extensive network will be utilized for the best aircraft, crews, and care in the industry
- Full transparency about plans and terms before you buy
- The peace of mind knowing that in the event of an acute medical emergency you and your family can be expertly transported to a hospital of your choice, in your home country, with all the logistics and costs covered
Arrange Your Medical Evacuation Coverage
There are two ways to get started:
Contact Travel MedEvac Insurance by telephone to discuss your requirements at 602-344-9225 or write them by email at email@example.com
Medical Evacuation Insurance Plan quotes are provided by Travel MedEvac Insurance, a US-based company offering fully underwritten medical evacuation insurance plans. Mexperience is not an insurance agent or insurance broker and acts solely as reader referral to our patron, Travel MedEvac Insurance.
Mexico in your inbox
Our free newsletter about Mexico brings you a monthly round-up of recently published stories and opportunities, as well as gems from our archives.