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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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