Types of Coverage Travel Insurance

TravelAssist 101: How a Medical Evacuation Works

Jan 12, 2022

Tuker Ballister
While traveling, the last thing you need is to realize the insurance you’re paying for doesn’t offer sufficient coverage.
By Tuker Ballister

Sometimes we travel to places where the quality of medical care isn’t the same as what we’re accustomed to in the U.S. That’s where Good Sam TravelAssist can come in.

According to our Transportation Manager, Juan Ives, “If a member needs critical medical care while they’re away, our main goal is to ensure they’re treated in a facility that is properly staffed and well equipped to treat their condition. And if it’s not, it’s our job to evacuate them to a facility that can.” He continued, “If a traveler requires a higher level of specialized care (IV, fluids, oxygen, medical monitoring, etc.), and can’t travel home for care on a commercial flight, we’ll coordinate an air ambulance evacuation.”

Good Sam TravelAssist’s air ambulance coordinators work tirelessly to help travelers through serious—and often life-threatening—medical circumstances 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This is obviously a lengthy process, but we’re here to help give a better idea of how it could actually play out in real life. Imagine that you’re visiting a construction site in a remote area of India and you fall and break your pelvis. Once emergency responders have arrived, you’re transported to a local clinic that is not equipped to treat you properly. Now what?

Well, once you place a call to our team of air ambulance coordinators to inform us you’ve been hurt—we will get to work. It’s our job to ensure you get the care you need during a medical emergency like the one described.

Let’s stick with the scenario outlined above. How would TravelAssist help? The process would look something like this:

1) Coordination with Medical Team

Our in-house medical team consults with your treating doctor and concludes that you’ll need transportation to New Delhi—the closest city with the appropriate level of orthopedic care to treat your broken pelvis.

2) Proper Documentation

TravelAssist works with your employer to gather all the documentation and information that is necessary for your transport and receiving hospital admission. Depending on a traveler’s location, this could include passports, your social security card, visas, and health/travel insurance information.

3) Transportation to the Proper Medical Facility

TravelAssist will arrange for an in-flight medical team and an appropriate aircraft from our network of accredited air ambulance providers—in the case of your broken pelvis, there would be a nurse and paramedic to continue your treatment, monitor vital signs, and perform pain management for the duration of your flight.

Note: all of our air ambulance transfers are staffed with certified medical flight personnel. Before you depart, they will need to take duty rest, which is a mandated break in between flights. This is not only for your health and safety but for your transport teams’ as well.

4) Communication with Your Friends and Family

TravelAssist shares the air ambulance itinerary with your authorized contacts (employer, family members, etc.) as well as the treating and receiving medical facilities. The TravelAssist staff takes care of everything so you don’t have to try to navigate the often labyrinthian rules, procedures, and regulations of the medical world.

5) Saving You Money

You arrive in New Delhi safe and sound, so you can receive the appropriate treatment for your broken pelvis; and last but not least: you’re thankful that you had TravelAssist because a medical evacuation, depending on the location, can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

This is just a brief explanation and a single scenario that TravelAssist can help with. It’s a service applicable to all sorts of medical emergencies that could occur while traveling. The best trip plan includes having a solution in place should the unexpected occur, and that’s exactly the purpose of Good Sam TravelAssist.

If you’d like to learn more, take a look at the various plans and their benefits. We have a plan designed for everyone. Don’t travel this year without the emergency medical coverage you need.

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.