Five Myths About Travel Insurance | MedjetAssist on USATODAY.COM

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4. If I get sick or injured while traveling and need medical attention, a travel insurance policy will cover my expenses and get me home.

Don’t bet on it. Travel insurance typically provides the insured with a medical transfer to the “closest most appropriate medical facility as determined by the insurance company.” This means that if you fall ill while sightseeing in Rome, the travel insurance policy will only provide transfer to a hospital in Rome, the closest facility. It will not get you back to your hospital of choice or home hospital.

“Many times, we believe the ‘medical evacuation’ portion of a travel insurance product will get us back home,” says Roy Berger, president and CEO of MedjetAssist. “That could be a very costly mistake.”

That’s a bit of an understatement. A traveler needing a medical evacuation flight from London to the United States on a dedicated air-ambulance with two pilots and a minimum of a critical care nurse and paramedic would pay $70,000 out of pocket. From Africa, the cost is about $120,000, while Asia would run $140,000. That’s just for the private one-way medical flight back to your home hospital. So this is where air medical transport membership programs like MedjetAssist come in.

“As a Medjet member, if you are hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, Medjet will arrange to transport you back to your hospital of choice in your home country,” Berger says. “You, as the member, get to make the decision as to where you want to receive the remainder of your care.”

The cost of short-term, eight-day membership with MedjetAssist is $99, while a yearly membership is $270 per person.

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