Practical Tips Before You Travel

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and for countless Americans, that means travel. Before you pack for your next trip, here is some information that could literally save your life.

Review your medical insurance policy. Some policies provide limited or no coverage when you travel out of the country. Look at your emergency transportation benefits: Will you be transported to the nearest adequate facility or returned to the U.S. for treatment? For example, if you are in a serious accident in Mexico that will require surgery, will your insurance provide air ambulance service for you to return to the United States for the operation?

Consider purchasing supplemental travel insurance. Travel insurance can be an affordable option that provides some coverage that standard health insurance may not. As with traditional policies, it’s important to read the fine print in travel coverage, too. Some things to look for:

Adventure Sports: Some travel insurance policies exclude adventure sports activities that you might try on a trip (bungee jumping, skiing, para sailing, etc). If you plan on an active vacation, select a travel insurance policy that includes sports benefits, or see about adding coverage for them.

Repatriation: For the international traveler, repatriation coverage is crucial. If you are sick or injured overseas, you want a policy that will get you initially treated, stabilized and flown back to the U.S. on a medically equipped and staffed jet. Pay close attention to the fine print, as some policies include repatriation only after you are well enough to fly commercially, which could result in you being stranded in a foreign country for months while you recover.

Hospital of Choice: Note whether the travel insurance policy will fly you to the medical facility of your choice or the medical facility of their choice. This distinction could mean the difference in spending months at a facility close to your home and family or one hundreds – even thousands of miles away.

Travel insurance can be purchased on an annual or per-trip basis, with basic trip insurance starting at around $100 per person. Many policies are customizable, with options like adventure sports and “hospital of choice” medical evacuation coverage.

Make a list of your medications and allergies. Put a copy in your wallet, and leave a copy with your emergency contact, preferably someone not on the trip with you.

Make copies of your insurance information. Take your insurance information with you, and leave a copy of your insurance card (front and back), traveler’s insurance policy, social security card and passport (if traveling internationally) with your emergency contact as well. In the event that you are incapacitated, your emergency contact can begin making arrangements to get you back to the U.S.

Put an Angel MedFlight business card in your wallet or write down As an international air medical transportation provider, Angel MedFlight transports patients all over the world, many of whom become seriously ill or injured while traveling. In the face of a medical crisis, we are the compassionate team of health care professionals dedicated to your protection and care.

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