Africa expat medical evacuation
Those who are planning a move to Africa to live and work need to make sure that their medical insurance covers every eventuality. This includes the possibility of medical evacuation. All this means is that in the event of an emergency, your insurance will cover the cost of getting you to the nearest approved medical facility for treatment. Obviously when you are working in Africa you could find yourself in a remote part of the country and the nearest suitable medical facility could be hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away, depending upon the treatment that you need. The cost of getting there could be very high and it is good to know that your insurer could be taking care of this bill.
A medical evacuation plan
The medical evacuation insurance is usually an add-on to an existing medical insurance policy. There are a number of benefits to this type of policy. The main feature of the policy is to ensure that you are able to travel to the nearest suitable medical facility if you need emergency or ongoing treatment. This will not necessarily mean that you are returned to your home country and your medical insurer will have a great deal of say in the medical facilities that they will deal with, so the geographic nearest may not be the one that you are taken to either.
Some policies will also include a feature that is called Emergency Reunion. This means that a close friend or a family member can be brought to you while you are ill. The policy will often cover the cost of their travel, their accommodation and some reasonable day to day living expenses. However, you should check your policy in order to figure out if this is covered or if you need this to be added in. Some insurers will include this as standard while others will want to charge an extra fee for it. You should also check if there are limits for the cost of accommodation and travel as it could still mean that you are paying some of the cost yourself.
In the event that the worst should happen the cost of repatriating your remains to your home country may also be covered although some policies may have this as an additional feature that you need to pay extra for.
The cost of medical evacuation
There is no way to determine just how much a medical evacuation will cost if you are suddenly taken ill miles from the nearest medical facility. The cost will depend where you are to begin with, where you are to be taken and the type of treatment that you are going to need. However, if you do not have this type of medical insurance then getting the right Africa expat medical evacuation could be a problem. The cost could theoretically be $100,000 or more – is that the sort of money you could find in an emergency? With the right add-on to your medical insurance policy you would not need it.
Do you need medical evacuation insurance?
Not everybody is going to need Africa medical evacuation insurance. If you are in an area where you have a variety of medical facilities to hand you may not need to have this additional feature on your insurance as you are close enough to simply be taken there by local emergency services. Countries such as South Africa are considered to have very good quality private healthcare services so you would not have far to travel to get the treatment that you need.
Most people who purchase a comprehensive international medical plan will already have the cost of medical evacuation included, although this does depend upon the individual policy and it is a good idea for you to make sure you know what is covered and what is not. It is always better to find out before you purchase the policy instead of only finding out when you need to make a claim!
When you think you might need to put the evacuation clause of your policy into practice all you need to do is call the insurance provider who will then liaise with medical professionals to arrange to have you collected and taken to an appropriate facility. There may be restrictions on the type of facility that you can be taken to and you should make sure you know which clinics and hospitals are considered to be acceptable by your insurer.
You should not automatically assume that you need to have this type of policy in place. It is better to discuss your requirements with Africa Expat Health in order to determine if you are going to need the additional cover before you pay out for an extra policy.
Our team is on hand to answer any questions that you may have about this aspect of Africa expat health insurance so why not pick up the phone today and find out more?