Med Evac Insurance
Who sells it? How much does it cost?
Not only worth it, but essential, in my opinion. I worked at the hospital on STX and saw several patients sit in the ER for days and wait for their families to scrape up the money, or for emergency insurance to kick in, so that they could be flown to PR for a medical problem that required a specialist that was not present on STX (neurosurgeon, PICU, etc.). Better to work that out in advance if you can afford it. Most standard health insurance doesn't cover transfers off island, and a medical evacuation can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Also, while we're talking about this stuff... I never realized until I lived on STX how important it is to have travel medical insurance. It's cheap ($30 or so for a 2-week vacation), and it will cover the cost of your care in a country where your regular health insurance doesn't apply and/or fly you back to the States. I can't remember whether SkyMed and MASA cover other Caribbean nations, but if they don't, or if you're traveling beyond the Caribbean, this is worth considering.
and with MASA you get discount (~5%) on many items at plaza extra and other places too I think. Have to eat alot to get your $500 back, but it is a nice savings as an added bonus. see link below for more info
Med Evac insurance is worth it because the cost of a flight in an air ambulance can cost $20K and up depending on where you want them to fly.
One important thing to remember is that if you don't have medical insurance the hospital at your destination may not be willing to accept you as a patient.
If you are stable there is no obligation for any hospital to treat you or provide other services. The air ambulance company isn't going to fly you anywhere if you have no place to go when you get there.
Be sure about the coverage. Most coverage will move you to the closest place that can do the work. The problem is that they, not
you decide where that is! Medjet says they take you where you want to go; that may mean home, but could be someplace else.
Most of the companies offer different levels of service for a fee. The cheapest is the one where you will be taken to the nearest facility that can handle your type of injury (may be Puerto Rico, may be Miami). For a larger premium you can get the service that will take you where you request.
The same advice given in 2013 still applies in 2019 and will definitely apply for many years to come. if you choose to live in the Caribbean or if you live in an a country with less than stellar medical facilities or if you travel a lot it is wise (almost essential) to have Medical Evacuation Insurance. As pointed out, it is not really that expensive and premiums haven't increased that much since this thread was started 6 years ago - think around $300/year for an individual policy and 4450 t0 $600/year for a family policy (slightly higher if you are above 80 years old). It is worth every penny of the premium as it can cost upwards of $25,000 to $50,000 to be medically evacuated from any given area.
There are quite a number of companies that offer Med Evac Insurance including: AirMed, Medjet Assist, MedEvac, MASA and several others.
Don't hesitate, do your research and purchase a Med Evac policy now rather than go without.
I've been researching a bit and the pricing for Aeromed family is $350 and seems very reasonable. it was cheaper than MASA, but I'm curious as @aeroballer probably is who provides the best service. I'd rather pay $$$ for the best service. Anyone with experience that can talk about how your choice did?
do you have all zones, or did you just buy the South East Zone? Thanks.
In order to be air evacuated, the required medical service cannot be available on the island at the time of illness or injury. An MD on the island will make the referral to a facility off-island. The off-island facility needs to know you're on your way and have a bed/appointment ready for you. Sometimes the evac company will help arrange commercial flights, sometimes they arrange private planes.
Without health insurance that works both places, in addition to evac insurance, getting off island will be a significant problem - if not impossible.
United Health/AARP has some type of arrangement with AeroMD. I think you need to be a customer of both.
In our case, my big America corporate medical insurance paid AeroMD $44K to evac by my husband to PR by private jet - no questions asked. AeroMD works with Bohlke on STX - so plane was on standby almost immediately.
We have since bought the AeroMD plan that will take us to Florida.