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Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Mani Karthik
With more than 5.4 million travelling abroad to attend meetings, conduct business, for their honeymoon, or to visit family and friends overseas, India has emerged as the second fastest-growing outbound travel market in the world, preceded by only China, according to an article published by Forbes in 2017.
The article went on to say that this growth was the result of changing lifestyles, rising personal income levels, the 7% GDP global growth rate, availability of low-cost airfares and diverse travel packages.
With the rise of international travel among Indians, it is more important than ever before to arm yourself with a good travel insurance policy to minimize the considerable financial risks associated with travelling, including illness, accidents, lost baggage, missed flights, cancelled tours, terrorism, emergency evacuation, and even repatriating the body if the policyholder meets their unfortunate demise abroad.
Such coverage is offered distinctively via 3 types of policies, travel insurance, travel health insurance and medical evacuation insurance.
What is Medical Evacuation Insurance?
Life is uncertain. No one can imagine that when travelling to a foreign land and enjoying the most memorable time of one’s life, you could fall ill.
If you are travelling in the world’s largest economy, the US, the skyrocketing medical expenses in that country can immediately take a toll on your finances, ruining your much-awaited vacation in a minute.
Many incidences of people falling sick in a foreign land has encouraged travel insurance companies to offer evacuation insurance to travellers, which provides for medically necessary evacuation to a medical facility and, if necessary, via medically equipped flights to return to their home country.
In case one succumbs to the illness and dies abroad, the insurance will pay for the repatriation of the mortal remains to the home country.
What Does it Cover?
You should know that evacuation insurance is not medical travel insurance. It covers medically necessary transportation. It saves a traveller from a potentially costly transport so that he /she can focus on their treatment and nothing else.
Emergency medical evacuation covers:
- Requirements of special equipment, oxygen, etc., during transportation
- Admission to an appropriate medical facility
- Air transportation, in cases like of a broken leg, etc.
- Ground transportation during an evacuation
- Flights and immigration to home country
The above-mentioned coverage benefits are payable up to the policy limit. The patient himself/herself need not get into the hassle of finding the closest medical facilities suitable for their needs, the coverage will determine this for the policyholder and will pay for your transportation to that facility.
However, there are emergency medical evacuation plans that allow the policyholder to stipulate the hospital to which they desire to be transported to, also known as a “hospital of choice” benefit.
While some plans by default offer this benefit, it needs to be added in others. Once you have received medical assistance, the insurance will pay for your transportation to the location mentioned by you in the US or to your residence in your home country.
You should know that most medical evacuation plans include coverage for the repatriation of mortal remains to the home country, in case of the policyholder’s unfortunate demise. However, the coverage will not pay for the funeral, burial or cremation expenses.