The Benefits of Membership

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The Benefits of Membership

By: Roy Berger, President/CEO – MedjetAssist

About a year ago in this space we did a comparison between the transport benefits of MedjetAssist and the American Express Platinum card and drew more positive member response than anything previously written.

So please indulge me for a moment as I try to resurrect those thoughts and perhaps add a new angle or two.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard  ‘I carry the American Express Platinum card or I purchased travel insurance so I don’t need MedjetAssist, right?’  Wrong.

At Medjet we hear that over and over again and when we take a few minutes to explain the difference between Medjet membership as compared to standard travel insurance, it’s amazing the reactions we receive!

The difference can be summed up in two words- evacuation vs. repatriation. Or going to strange and unfamiliar surroundings vs. going home.

Amex Platinum is a fine program. I carry a Platinum card and use it primarily for the airport club privileges (Delta, Northwest, Continental) and on a rare occasion will use the concierge benefit.  And travel insurance certainly plays a role when going on an exotic holiday or perhaps a cruise especially when you might need the trip cancellation and lost luggage benefit.

However, what Amex Platinum and most standard travel insurance will not do is get you home if you are sick or injured and hospitalized while traveling.  That’s where being a MedjetAssist member pays dividends!  Amex (and most standard travel insurance) will evacuate you to the closest appropriate medical center for treatment and that concludes the benefit.  They make the call on where to take you.  Under most circumstances they will not take you home.

MedjetAssist will.  As a benefit of membership you make the call on where you want to go for your extended care and treatment.  Most times our members want to go back home to their network of personal physician and family support.  This is repatriation and that’s what we do!  The decision on where you want to go is yours and yours alone as long as all transport criteria is met.

And don’t discount the MedjetAssist domestic transport benefits.  As long as you are over 150 miles from home- international or domestic- your Medjet membership is valid.  We do almost half our transports domestically.  Amex Platinum and virtually all travel insurance policies will not transport their members in the United States. And internationally, their physicians must deem it ‘medically necessary and advisable due to inadequacy of local facilities’  before you get evacuated and then it is most likely to the ‘closet appropriate medical center’ as their language is wont to state.  No such provision in your Medjet membership- as long as you meet inpatient criteria and you want to go back home, then home is where you are headed!

While on the subject of travel insurance; of course, a major travel insurer has been in the news lately making headlines I’m sure they would just as soon see go away in exchange for a solid balance sheet.  If you are looking for a travel insurance supplement for lost luggage or trip cancellation or even evacuation to get you off a cruise ship (and your Medjet benefit then begins at port) we have a good working relationship with the folks at Travelex and you can take a look at their product offerings at www.travelexinsurance.com.

Amex Platinum and standard travel insurance provide some fine benefits and we can endorse each of them based upon specific need. The comparison chart below does a fine job in spelling out the differences.  However if true ‘peace of mind’ is what you are looking for whenever you leave home, then the MedjetAssist program is the one that will get you back into that comfort circle should the unexpected happen anywhere in the U.S. or throughout the world.  You can count on us!

Know Before You Buy

Medjet

Platinum Card

Member transported regardless of medical necessity

Yes

No

Member determines which medical facility to be moved to

Yes

No

Transport to the closest appropriate medical center for treatment concludes the benefit

No

Yes

Transport is contingent upon member not traveling against physician’s advice

No

Yes

Transport is contingent upon the member not traveling with a pre-existing condition

No*

Yes

* For travelers under the age of 75


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