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When something goes wrong while you travel and you need to be Medevac’ed to a hospital the costs can be enormous, easily reaching tens of thousands of dollars, and sometimes costing over $100,000 if a private jet or air ambulance is needed.
If you’re traveling abroad and considering an insurance policy to cover medical evacuation in case of an emergency, you might want to double check your credit card coverage before paying $30 – $100 for a typical medical evacuation policy.
It depends. Cheaper policies will cover transportation to the nearest appropriate facility, and send you home if it’s deemed necessary. More expensive options, like those that often cost about $100 for a trip, will let you choose the hospital, including sending you to a hospital near your home if you request it.
Cards typically cover making sure you get to the nearest hospital that can reasonably provide you care. In some cases that might be a hospital in the country you are visiting, while in others it may mean flying you back to the United States for care. They will also pay to fly someone to stay with you if you’re traveling alone.
For many trips and circumstances this can be viable coverage, especially on cards that have no limit on the amount of expenses that can be covered, even if private jet services are needed to get you home safely.
There are currently four cards widely available to U.S. residents and open to new applicants that offer Medevac coverage:
Coverage is similar to the United Club Card, but there is a limit of $100,000 on expenses covered.
The coverage on The Platinum Card is similar to that on the Chase United Club Card, but has the added benefit of not requiring that you use the card to pay for the trip to be eligible.
So in summary, The Platinum Card from American Express offers the most comprehensive coverage for medical evacuation, with no need to charge your trip to the card to be eligible for the benefit, and with a $200 annual airline fee credit you can reduce the cost of the card to about $250 per year.
Remember, evacuation coverage won’t cover medical care – you may need separate coverage for that, but the evacuation benefit makes for excellent peace of mind and can let you save money when shopping for other coverage.
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