Emergency medical evacuation is coverage that offers assistance in the event that you need to be evacuated due to an emergency medical situation. If a medical emergency occurs and you need to be airlifted to the nearest hospital, the cost could be up to tens of thousands of dollars without insurance.

This type of insurance is either included or can be purchased as an add-on benefit for most travel medical insurance plans. Most plans provide this coverage for travelers with a trip length of 15 days up to one year, depending on the policy.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Who needs emergency medical evacuation and repatriation insurance?

Whenever you travel abroad, you always want to be prepared for the unexpected. So, the short answer is that every traveler should opt in for this benefit just to have peace of mind should an accident or medical event require emergency evacuation.

But for some situations, the need for emergency evacuation insurance is more likely. For example, this add-on can help travelers like seniors, people with disabilities, cruisegoers, and foreign aid workers stay safe in isolated areas with limited medical facilities.

Foreign visitors to the U.S. can benefit from the repatriation coverage that often comes with evacuation insurance. If repatriation is covered under the medical evacuation benefit, it means that part or all of your return flight home could be covered.

Q. What is included in emergency medical evacuation coverage?

Generally, all or part of the cost of emergency transportation, by air or ambulance, will be covered. If you're traveling from your home country to the U.S., this benefit can even cover part or all of your return flight home. In some case, it could cover the cost of transporting a loved one to be by your side or of returning any dependent children home.

There are some restrictions, though. For one, the medical situation you're being evacuated from must be covered by the insurance. Also, many insurance companies will only cover you if the the situation is life threatening. Finally, in most cases your insurer must approve all emergency medical evacuations.

Q. Does emergency medical evacuation insurance cost extra?

Most comprehensive insurance plans include emergency medical evacuation coverage in the premium cost. Some basic coverage plans may list the benefit as an add-on rider.

Q. What are the different types of evacuations?

There are three main types of evacuations: medical, emergency evacuation, and political. Medical plans and insurance companies will handle each type of evacuation differently. While this article focuses solely on emergency medical evacuation, you can read our blog article to learn more about the other types of evacuations.

Q. Which plans offer emergency medical evacuation coverage?

While most travel medical plans include some sort of emergency medical evacuation coverage, travelers who participate in adventure sports or challenging activities while abroad need to be especially careful while selecting a plan to ensure emergency medical evacuation coverage is included.

For more information, take a look at our list of top-rated emergency medical evacuation plans.