Travel Medicen Travel Insurance

Do I need an emergency medical assistance plan?

Jan 12, 2022

Carl Corder
TravelAssist has identified the plan points of travel insurance, and it offers distinct coverage plans for an array of traveling situations.
By Carl Corder

Taking stock is an important step you take before any trip: what will you need for the trip, and what prep do you need to complete before you leave? For RVers, much of this process revolves around pre-trip maintenance, odd jobs on the rig, creating and fulfilling a packing list. For other travelers, it’s checking flight details, luggage, booking a car rental.

But how often does that checklist include comprehensive safety measures like emergency medical assistance?

The details of the trip matter—flight details, campground reservations–but don’t forget about the trip prep that goes beyond the day-to-day of vacation. Emergency medical assistance, travel insurance, and roadside plans are types of safety nets that protect you in the event of an emergency while traveling.

What is emergency medical assistance?1

Medical emergencies can occur wherever we travel. And dealing with emergencies in an unfamiliar place only compounds stress and confusion.

Emergency medical assistance helps travelers during emergency medical situations by coordinating medical care–including transportation, document transfer, and more–while reducing or eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for the parties involved. In short, it provides logistical, behind-the-scenes support for matters often not covered by medical insurance.

For example: when traveling to more remote destinations, the nearest hospital won’t always have the necessary facilities to rehabilitate you once stabilized from a severe illness or injury. Instead, they may transport you to another hospital or a recovery center, and you could be forced to absorb those costs. Or you could be forced to pay steep costs just to fly you home if you require oxygen or a nurse transport. Some emergency medical assistance plans can cover these costs.

That’s when it pays to have emergency medical assistance, which could cover those additional costs. Note: these costs are typically not covered by your regular health insurance.

What does travel insurance cover?

Standard travel insurance may not include benefits to cover you when experiencing a medical emergency while traveling. Depending on your coverage, it may include auxiliary benefits like trip cancellation protection, lost luggage, or extended costs/cancellations due to severe weather.

Plans differ widely when it comes to travel insurance, and you should inquire into specific plans to see how they approach the following:

  • Travel insurance typically does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. Learn more about any other medical stipulations that might exist from the insurance provider.
  • Named peril plans only cover specific situations, events, and losses included in your plan description.
  • Many medical emergency-related expenses are not covered by travel insurance, such as repatriation and other logistical costs.

Travel insurance can be helpful protection—especially when you find something that covers a specific risk. But remember, travel insurance is usually only valid for specific trip dates opposed to annual protection for multiple trips. So with so much that travel insurance doesn’t cover, how do you know you’re really protected?

Everything you need to know about Good Sam TravelAssist

Good Sam TravelAssist works to coordinate both emergency medical assistance and return logistics in the event of a medical emergency. Its plans are designed to reduce the costs and hassle of a medical emergency away from home that many health and travel insurance plans typically don’t cover.

Some key emergency medical services include:

  • Emergency medical transportation to the best appropriate hospital or care center.
  • Transfer of documents including insurance and medical records.
  • Health updates to your family, employer, and physician.
  • Transportation for a person of your choice to be flown round trip to join you if hospitalized for three or more days.

But medical service and care is only the first benefit of TravelAssist. When you experience an emergency away from home and are not able to return your RV, TraveAssist will coordinate return services of you and your RV. On top of this, some TravelAssist plans provide unique benefits for your travel companions and pets if you were to become involved in an emergency medical situation.

Key services for return logistics include:

  • Return services of your RV, vehicle, or motorcycle if you are unable.
  • TravelAsisst will coordinate your return home based on the hospital’s recommendations, including flights home, to a rehabilitation center, or to the original location of your RV.
  • If hospitalized three or more days with pets left unattended, TravelAssist’s Premier membership will help cover boarding and return service of your pets if your plan includes this feature.

TravelAssist benefits vary widely depending on the plan you purchase. Evaluate these with a TravelAssist team member or by reading the plan descriptions in detail to ensure you get the right coverage depending on your needs.

Stay safe when you travel, and make the most of your trip without any worry-as-baggage. A Good Sam TravelAssist membership puts a team of support behind every trip you take, wherever you go. Find out today which plan is best for you.

1Benefits described are intended as an overview, please refer to your Plan Description for details on coverage and benefits. TravelAssist does not provide coverage for medical expense, and does not take the place of medical or travel insurance. If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., contact a trusted travel advisor to learn more about acquiring travel insurance prior to your next trip.