For people in rural areas and those a considerable distance from the medical help they need, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) options like flying are necessary. If you need to fly for medical travel and are considering getting trip insurance, here are some things you will want to know.
The Process for Purchasing Flight Insurance
It is essential to get flight insurance as soon as possible, but not until you have procured all the flight details. The process for purchasing flight insurance is fairly straightforward. Here are the basic steps in the process when purchasing flight insurance.
Contact the provider
Many airlines offer flight insurance. If you are booking through a travel agent, he or she can often provide options for trip insurance. Both of these sources provide reliable and reputable flight insurance at typical costs. If you book your airline tickets online, especially on travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz, or Kayak, you will often be offered the opportunity to purchase trip insurance during the checkout process.
Personal and flight information
When you enroll for flight insurance, the provider will require information regarding flight details such as airfare cost and lodging plans. (This is one reason to wait until you have secured the flight information and travel details before getting flight insurance).
Choosing a travel insurance plan
In addition to shopping and comparing rates, it is also wise to choose the best travel insurance plan for your needs. That can include coverage for travel considerations such as lodging and travel fares, like taxis, public transit systems, and Ubers.
If you or a loved one are traveling a considerable distance for treatment or specialized medical services, the more options your travel insurance plan provides, the better. With so many potential variables to consider with medical travel, getting familiar with your plan’s allowances and flexibility is a good idea.
The Pros and Cons for Getting Travel Insurance
It is arguably the most commonly asked question regarding any type of insurance policy or plan, including flight insurance: “Is it worth it?” That also leads to the pros and cons of getting travel insurance.
Technology and the ability to do so much online today (e.g., rent a car, book a hotel, etc.) have also eliminated many of the cons previously associated with travel insurance.
You may feel like purchasing trip insurance and not using it is a waste of money. In many cases, however, that isn’t a bad thing at all. Peace of mind is the main reason for purchasing travel insurance. Think about whether you would be able to afford purchasing new tickets, hotels, etc. in the event that you had to cancel your trip. If that cost of a second trip is a hardship, then it’s worth it to pay a little more for the first trip and avoid that risk.
If you are traveling for medical care, it may mean that you are more likely to have to cancel or reschedule your trip. That increased risk may mean that the trip insurance is an even better idea for you than it would be for someone not traveling for medical care.
In addition to having peace of mind that you won’t be out the entire price of your airfare, flight insurance also offers coverage for many other expenses commonly associated with travel. In terms of dollars and cents, the greater the price of the trip, the greater the pro of having travel insurance if you ever need it.
Typical Costs of Travel Insurance
If you are looking to get a good idea of how much travel insurance will cost, the standard range is typically between 5% to 10% of your trip cost. Remember that the total cost of your trip is not the same as the insurable cost of your trip.
It is also a good idea to go over the typical valid reasons for filing a claim for insurance reimbursement. The common causes and the typical valid reasons for filing a claim for insurance reimbursement include illness or injury, whether it be you or any of your traveling companions.
If you are traveling for medical care, you will have a pre-existing condition. However, pre-existing conditions normally will not impact travel insurance policies, and declaring such conditions will typically suffice in the event you need to cancel your flight. Still, be sure to read the terms of the policy carefully to make sure that pre-existing conditions do not exclude you from coverage.
Trip insurance will not generally cover a change in plans, for example, if your medical appointment is rescheduled. Be sure that your medical appointment is firm before booking your trip.
What to do when the Cost of Medical Travel Becomes a Burden
If you’re traveling long distance for medical treatment, and you have to make multiple trips, possibly with multiple people, the costs of medical travel can add up quickly. If these costs are are financial burden, or are becoming a barrier to getting the health care you need, we encourage you to find out more about Angel Flight West’s free medical transportation services. If we are not able to help you directly, we can often make a referral to an appropriate resource.