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Medjet Assist Review

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2019

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Medjet is a specific type of travel coverage that is focused on the needs of travelers that are suddenly injured, ill, or in a dangerous situation while away from home and need emergency transportation. Medjet approaches their travel insurance from a membership angle rather than a traditional policy.

About Medjet

Medjet was founded in 1991 and was the first company to offer emergency evacuation coverage on a membership basis. Their main focus is on medical evacuation, although they also offer a comprehensive plan that provides coverage for other emergencies.

Medjet is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, and they serve customers in Canada and Mexico as well as in the U.S. Their plans cover both international and domestic emergency transportation. Medjet’s memberships provide access to a fleet of air ambulances that are located around the globe; more than 250 fully equipped air ambulances can be dispatched from one of 50 locations to provide quick evacuation as well as medical treatment en route. Medjet contracts with the owners of these ambulances to provide services to their members; the company does not own them directly.

There are a variety of membership options under two main plans. They can be purchased for a range of time periods and for either individuals or groups. Unlike medical evacuation coverage included in package travel plans, Medjet memberships do not have a cap and have fewer limits on criteria for transport, as we will discuss later in this review.

Memberships can be purchased directly online or over the phone as well as through travel agents and other travel purchase locations. Plans can be short-term or annual, and there are also expatriate and domestic plans.

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Medjet Plan Options

There are two Medjet plans: Medjet Assist and Medjet Horizon. The Horizon plan offers extended coverage that is not included on the Assist plan.

Medjet Assist

The Assist membership is focused on Medjet’s original intention – providing emergency medical evacuation and transportation to members. There are no limits on the cost of the services that are covered, as long as the member meets the criteria set out by the plan. The coverage under this plan includes:

  • Hospital to hospital transport regardless of medical necessity
  • Transport to hospital of the member’s choice
  • Medical transport both domestically and internationally with no cost limit
  • Coverage for both business and personal travel
  • Communication between member and family, interpreter services, monitoring of treatment, and message transfer
  • Transfer of mortal remains

Medjet Horizon

The Horizon membership has all of the above services, and also adds additional coverage. This includes increased emergency medical coverage as follows:

  • Emergency medical cash advance
  • Ground transportation between hospitals within 150 miles

This plan also offers Travel Security and Crisis Response coverage as follows:

  • Assistance and evacuation in the event of terrorism, natural disaster, political threat, pandemic, or violent crime
  • Crisis response for kidnapping, disappearance, wrongful detention, extortion, and blackmail
  • Trip intelligence and e-alerts
  • Legal referrals

Membership Options

There are several different options that open Medjet membership to almost anyone and for any travel plans.

Short-term membership is available with both plans. Options include 8, 15, 21, and 30-day plans. These plans are available to members up to 75 years old.

Both plans can be purchased as an annual membership. There is both individual and family membership choices, with the family plan including two adults and up to five children. Like the short-term membership, annual membership is offered up to age 75.

For those over age 75, Medjet offers their Diamond membership, which goes up to age 84.

Collegiate memberships are available for students and faculty studying or working away from home. Coverage is offered for up to 120 days.

There are two Expatriate membership choices: 180 or 365 days, with coverage for those living and working abroad.

The Motorcycle membership covers not only the transportation of the rider but also of a motorcycle that is being used for travel.

Domestic membership covers members only within the 48 contiguous states.

Finally, there are a number of corporate and organization memberships that provide a group rate and plan for evacuation.

Plan Limits

As noted, there are no caps on the cost of the medical transport, but transports are limited to two per membership year. For Diamond members, only one transport is offered per membership year.

The family membership offers one transport for each member of the family in an event where more than one family member is injured at the same time.

Unlike most medical evacuation coverage on package plans, Medjet does not have medical necessity requirements in order to cover transport to another hospital, and the member can always select the hospital to which they wish to be transported. With the Assist plan, transportation is only offered when the member is more than 150 miles from home – the Horizon plan offers ground transport within 150 miles.

Rates

We ran several different quotes based on the varying criteria on the quoting page, which was simple, straightforward, and easy to navigate.

Our first quote was for an annual plan, one-year membership, for international and domestic travel, and with no single trip exceeding 90 days. The Assist plan came back at $295, while the Horizon plan with the same criteria was quoted at $444. There are discounts offered for multi-year memberships – a five-year Assist membership with the same criteria came out to $1099, or $220 per year. Horizon was quoted at $1,844 for five years or $369 per year.

A short-term, 30-day membership came back at $250, making the annual membership clearly a much better value. The shortest membership period offered is the 8-day, which costs $99.

These rates are very similar to those offered by other similar membership-based plans.

Claims

Unlike a traditional insurance policy, Medjet’s memberships involve no claims and no paperwork, according to the site.

Members call the toll-free 24/7 line when assistance is needed, and Medjet handles everything from there. Members should not see any bills or need to file any claims, as long as all of the services are within the rules of the membership contract and the membership fees have been paid. In this sense, Medjet does not operate as an insurance policy, but simply as a membership that provides benefits, much like being a member of AAA.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Medjet has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and there are no complaints on file in the past three years. The one complaint that was on file the last time we reviewed this company has dropped off, leaving them with a clean BBB file. There are two positive reviews on the BBB page.

Medjet’s Facebook page has 18 reviews, most of which are positive. 15 of the reviews are 5-star, with one 3-star and two 1-star reviews. Both negative reviews cited that the member received no assistance, but there is little indication as to why. The company did respond to one complaint, replying that the company’s rules and regulations were being followed. Positive reviews, on the other hand, are detailed and glowing.

The number of complaints about this company is very low, and there are quite a few positive reviews. The overall number of reviews is fairly low, which may in part reflect many members never having had a claim. Whatever the reason, this company comes out with a strong reputation.

The Bottom Line

Medjet’s services are very specific and many travelers will find them expensive, particularly in comparison to package travel policies. When they are needed, however, it’s clear that the investment is considered to have been well worth it. With few restrictions and no cap on the dollar amount of coverage, Medjet provides their specific service very effectively and well beyond the medical evacuation coverage offered by other policies.

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

12 Comments

  1. While every travel business is helping consumers, Medjet has not extended the expiration dates of their contracts during this COVID period b/c “you can still travel domestically”!

    Seriously? This is not a customer-based business.

    Reply
    • While we understand everyone is frustrated by the current situation, Medjet has been actively servicing members in March and April whenever and wherever possible.

      Our security partners have done an incredible job navigating wide variables of quarantines, border closures, and flight cancellations helping many of our MedjetHorizon members get home.

      Medical transports have been executed both domestically and internationally, on a case-by-case basis amidst what we all know to be very difficult circumstances.

      So our services are still active.

      For those members who have not been able to travel this last month, our intent of pointing out domestic travel benefits was to point out coverage for when domestic travel does resume.

      We do not, at all, encourage members to disregard safety or local/state/federal ordinances.

      Many of our members purchase Medjet coverage for the “big international trip” but almost half of the transports we do each year are domestic…sometimes people forget they are covered for that too.

      Our membership services representative’s intent was to remind the member of this benefit.

      Reply
  2. My husband became extremely ill on a European cruise this spring, he was removed from the ship and hospitalized in Austria.

    Once given the diagnosis from the Austrian doctors, we were very concerned with his medical care given the extent of his illness.

    The hospital did not have air conditioning, nor did they have private rooms to allow him to rest comfortably… and I was very concerned about him being exposed to other illnesses.

    While most of the staff spoke English, there was a slight language barrier at times which was frustrating.

    It’s stressful enough to have a spouse hospitalized, but being in another country when it happens adds a lot of additional stress.

    We called Medjet.

    I was exhausted with worry, lack of sleep, and constant shuttling back and forth from the hospital to the hotel (there was no place for me to stay in the semi-private room).

    I cannot express in words how much of a relief it was to make one phone call and have Medjet jump into action.

    There were no claim forms, no paperwork to chase rotating doctors around to sign, no hassles, just compassion and reassurance from Medjet that the transport team was on its way.

    From the moment they arrived at the hospital in Austria, until my husband was admitted to our home hospital, the kindness and care we received from the entire Medjet team was just incredible!

    All I can say is I will never travel without it again.

    Reply
  3. I am writing about the best gift I have ever received. Piece of mind!

    My son is going to be studying abroad this August in Chile.

    This will be his first trip out of the U.S. He was gifted Medjet Horizon by a dear family friend.

    I honestly feel like I don’t have to worry.

    Knowing he will be protected and cared for in case of anything completely removes any anxiety.

    I feel like he will be traveling with a silent bodyguard.

    I was more concerned about his last years studying in Santa Barbara then I feel now knowing he is traveling to South America because of Medjet Horizon.

    I am overjoyed and so relieved.

    Reply
  4. We’ve had a Medjet membership for several years but never thought we would have to use it.

    That all changed when, on a Mediterranean cruise, my husband suffered a perforated ulcer which resulted in a heart attack.

    The ship was docked in Malta and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital there.

    After major surgery and ten days in intensive care and four additional days in cardiac critical care, his doctors agreed that he would be able to return to our local hospital in California.

    However, they would release him only if he flew in an air ambulance.

    If he had to travel commercial, even first class with a nurse, we would have to stay in Malta at least six more weeks.

    I contacted Medjet two days after Pete was admitted to the hospital, not knowing how long he would need to be there.

    I cannot tell you how grateful I was for the kindness and concern of those I spoke with.

    I was assigned to a coordinator who immediately answered my calls (even the one time I forgot about the time difference and called in the middle of the night!)

    Medjet kept in communication with my husband’s surgeon and cardiologist in Malta and knew when he would be discharged.

    They sent a fully equipped air ambulance with a registered nurse and paramedic and, because the time and distance required three intermediary refueling stops each way, four pilots were required.

    They had arranged an ambulance to take him from the hospital in Malta to the airport and an ambulance was waiting for us when we landed, twenty-one hours later, at John Wayne Airport.

    The nurse and paramedic even accompanied us in the ambulance to our hospital to fully apprise our doctors there of his condition.

    Of course, I had many forms to complete for doctors, hospitals and insurance claims.

    But I was never asked to fill out anything for Medjet and I was never sent an invoice from them for anything.

    I am so grateful that we had our membership and I tell everyone about the excellent service it provides.

    Peter also recommended Medjet to each of his doctors here and they have been counseling their patients who travel.

    Reply
  5. When my husband fell on a cruise recently, he was taken to the local hospital as soon as the ship docked in Aruba.

    He needed surgical repairs, but there was there was no way I wanted him operated on there, but our insurance was of no help (although it did eventually pay for the hospital).

    I am so thankful we had MedjetAssist. Their team made arrangements to get him home, they showed up, put him in an air ambulance (I got to go with him) and got him to our own hospital.

    It was so smooth and the team was just super. We almost didn’t buy the coverage but our travel agent insisted…we are FOREVER in her debt, as well as Medjet’s.

    The hospital in Aruba he was in was ok, but definitely NOT the place I wanted him to have surgery in.

    Reply
  6. My husband and I had Medjet Horizon Insurance for years. A few years ago we were in Cancun Mexico when my husband fell in a restaurant and had multiple fractures to his knee cap. Meaning it shattered with the tendons pulling the fragments in such different directions there was a giant hole where his knee should have been. I contacted Medjet from the local Mexican hospital for medical evacuation to a hospital in Miami. I was told all their medical jets were being used and there was nothing available for us. Nor could they tell us when they would have something available. Shocking to say the least.

    Reply
    • Response from Medjet COO:

      “Time from member’s initial notification of Medjet, to arrival at the chosen facility in Miami, FL. (via Medjet arranged air medical transport), was 14 hours.

      We are not sure why this member, 4 years later, has made this statement, but it is inaccurate and makes no mention of the timely, and completed, transport.”

      Reply
      • Dear Sheri,

        When I post is irrelevant.

        Your own response is 6 months after mine.

        The fact of the matter is I was told by the Med jets agent that none of their jets were available and they didn’t know when they would have one.

        It was only after I called Health Network that a jet was available to me.

        They arranged everything with Miami Baptist and were in constant communication with me.

        This is the first I heard that you had any involvement what so ever.

        We never spoke with nor had any contact with anyone from Medjets since we were told all there jets were busy with other clients.

        Reply
  7. We bought Medjet evacuation coverage. I asked if we had coverage in Mexico and was told: “yes, we are worldwide”. We are now vacationing in Mexico and discover we are not covered in the state of Guerrero.
    This fact should have been made clear to us.
    Will not purchase Medjet coverage again.

    Reply
    • Response from Medjet COO:

      “Our services are global, and we do cover most of Mexico.

      Unfortunately, if an area is deemed to be a Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”) by the US State Department, we cannot send crews into the area.

      Most people know places like Syria, Iran, Iraq, etc. are deemed Level 4, but there are also certain areas of Mexico that have recently hit Level 4 due to cartel activity and extreme violence.

      The Level 4 exclusion is clearly stated in our rules and regulations, but the list does change, and the list is updated frequently on the State Department’s website.

      Members can always call us prior to travel to clarify what area they are traveling to, and coverage specific to it.”

      Reply
  8. I am glad to find out about MedjetAssist even though at 77 and 78 years of age if we choose this coverage for our travels we will have to accept their highest-cost plans. Also, under “Best Insurance Quote Providers” you recommend Liberty Mutual. We don’t use them and will likely never use them. Here’s why. Last year a military veteran damaged the rear quarter panel of our car while he was backing out of a supermarket parking space. He was courteous enough to wait for us and provide his insurance information, USAA (restricted to military and relatives). USAA always, or almost always, ranks at the top in Consumer Reports surveys. When his adjuster came to inspect our car he asked me if I insured with USAA.

    My answer: “No, I was not in the military so we have to accept ‘second best.'” The adjuster instantly replied “AMICA?”

    Yes! They are a splendid high-service insurance company which my extended family has used for at least the past 85 years. And by “second best” I meant only that CU’s surveys rank AMICA immediately behind USAA and well ahead of the rest of the long list of companies, Liberty Mutual among them. When reviewing premium services like Medjet Assist you should not then relax your standards when recommending other services like auto and home insurance.

    Reply

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