Medical Evacuation Insurance Plans

A guide to six options.

Medjet Assist

Unlike many plans, MedjetAssist will transfer patients to a hospital of their choice when traveling within the United States, not just when abroad. Annual membership is $250 for an individual or $385 for a family of up to five. There are also short-term bookings for one to three weeks.

Flying Doctor Service

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, members are guaranteed free evacuation to Nairobi from anywhere in East Africa. Profits benefit the Flying Doctors’ Society of Africa, which brings doctors to rural areas where they are needed most. Plans range from $30 for two weeks to $50 for two months.

International SOS

Founded by two Frenchmen in 1985, International SOS is active in 70 countries and operates a network of clinics and “alarm centers” that serve as a sort of global 911 service. The company also provides health care for the employees of many international corporations and nonprofits. Individual plans range from $85 for a ten-day trip to annual membership for $435.

Access America

AccessAmerica’s Med Evac plans cover up to $1 million of the costs associated with transport to a medical facility—one it deems “appropriate”—and then home. There are 3-, 6-, and 12-month evacuation plans for individuals ($190–$490) and families of up to eight members ($290–$690).

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

Travelers are entitled to the same emergency evacuation from the Australian outback as residents, at no charge. The RFDS is funded in part by donations, which can be made on its Web site. The service started in 1928 with a single biplane and now has 53 aircraft, each fully equipped with an intensive care unit.

MedEscort International

MedEscort International can help travelers who leave home without coverage and are faced with a medical emergency. But it’s not an insurance plan, so the patient is responsible for the costs of the evacuation, which can run as high as $125,000. In addition to offering “air ambulance” services, the company provides medical escorts for travelers in need of continuous care.