Compare Medical Air Transport

Learn how our experts identify and compare the essential factors of medical air transport to find the best option for you. From plan features and air fleet to on-board medical equipment and availability, we research everything you need to know to make a decision.
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How we Compare Medical Air Transport

Plan Features - 35%
Air Fleet - 25%
Base of Operations - 10%
On-board Medical Equipment - 15%
Availability - 15%

Plan Features Compared

Cost Limits

It’s not enough to know that your provider is able to offer medical air transport services across any point in the world. Knowing just how much it’s willing to cover expenses should also be considered. The main benefit of membership-based medical air transport services is that it is cheaper compared to call-based or on-demand medical air transport. “NO cost limit” simply means no out-of-pocket expenses regardless of distance travelled.

Nearest Appropriate Medical Facility Limitation

In most cases, medical air transport services have the sole discretion of determining the appropriate medical facility destination. And this might be thousands of miles away from home. Some providers advertise “transport to a medical facility near home” but this is more of an option and not a choice.

A “NO nearest appropriate medical facility limitation” makes the choice of where you are transported entirely your decision. 

Medical Necessity Requirement

This refers to prior doctor approval to air transportation. Again this is a decision that most likely rests in the discretion of your provider’s physician. A “No Medical Necessity Requirement” only requires that you be hospitalized to qualify for air transport.

Pre-existing Condition Clause

A pre-existing condition clause excuses your medical air transport provider when a member suffers from such ailment. A waiting period is usually required in order for members to qualify for the program. A “NO pre-existing condition” clause means that you get immediate protection.

Miles from home -Refers to the minimum distance from a member’s registered home before medical air transport could be availed.

Bed to bed service – coordinates member’s transport using aircraft or ground ambulance or a combination of both.

Emergency evacuation – a benefit often included in air transport services.

Commercial flight medical escort – a medical air transport option that uses commercial airlines for transferring members to another medical facility. Members are escorted by medical personnel during the flight. This is done when specialized aircraft is deemed unnecessary.

Number of transports in a year – minimum industry standards are one transport in a year. Multiple transports are also offered so be sure to check this feature with your provider. Limitation for number of transports include those for families or multiple transports in one occasion.

MedjetAssistAir Ambulance CardAirMed InternationalGlobal RescueInternational SOSSkyMedMASA AssistAir Rescue CardAir Evac Lifeteam
Cost LimitsNoneNoneN/AHigh cost limit$1,000,000 aggregate limit for Emergency Medical EvacuationCombined single limit of $250,000 for covered services ($100,000 for the Short Term Product)NoneNoneN/A
Nearest Appropriate Medical Facility Limitation150 miles from their home and have the option of being transported to their home country hospital of choice150 miles or more from homeNone100 miles from homeNot statedMore than 100 miles from homeN/ANoneN/A
Medical Necessity Requirement
Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion
Waiting Period30 daysNone15 days30 daysNoneUp to 90 days90 daysNoneNone
Maximum Dollar LimitNoneNoneN/AVaries on the plan$100,000 per Member per Personal Security SituationN/ANoneN/AN/A
Number of Transports in a Year 2 separate flights per annual membership per year excluding except for repatriation flightsUp to 2 separate transports per membership per yearN/A2 transports per yearN/A2 services per person per yearN/AN/ANo limit
Bed to Bed Service
Emergency Evacuation
Commercial Flight Medical Escort

Air Fleet Compared

The backbone of any medical air transport service. This is what differentiates this type of service from ambulances or land-based emergency medical transport. Aircraft assets gives medical teams the ability to transport patients faster over longer distances.

The quality and number of aircraft largely depends on the company’s coverage area. This could run from a few states to multiple points across the globe. Aside from maintaining a fleet of aircraft that could cover multiple emergencies instantaneously, it should also possess a combination of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft for responding to different situations.

Medical Air Transport with the Best Air Fleet :  MedjetAssist Air Fleet Air Ambulance Card Air Fleet AirMed International Air Fleet
MedjetAssistAir Ambulance CardAirMed InternationalGlobal RescueInternational SOSSkyMedMASA AssistAir Rescue CardAir Evac Lifeteam
Fixed-Wing Aircraft
Helicopters

Base of Operations Compared

Pre-deployed aircraft or bases plays an important role in reducing response times. Some medical air transport companies are able to respond to medical emergencies faster by maintaining partnerships with different air carriers. Multiple bases does not only improve the availability of aircraft, pre-positioned personnel ensures qualified personnel will be able to respond to emergencies more quickly.

Medical Air Transport with the Best Base of Operations:  MedjetAssist Base of OperationsAir Ambulance Card Base of Operations
MedjetAssistAir Ambulance CardAirMed InternationalGlobal RescueInternational SOSSkyMedMASA AssistAir Rescue CardAir Evac Lifeteam
Number of Medical Aircraft250 private air amblulances65 medical aircraftN/AN/A8 air ambulances in Singapore, Johannesburg, Dubai, Baden-Baden, Tianjin and Port Moresby. N/AN/AN/A110
Base Locations50 worldwide15N/AN/A1,000 locations in 90 countries32 countries19 locationsN/A131 mutually-supporting air medical bases across 15 states

On-board Medical Equipment Compared

Aircraft should be furnished with the best emergency medical equipment staffed by professional trained medical personnel. Pilot qualifications are also considered.

MedjetAssistAir Ambulance CardAirMed InternationalGlobal RescueInternational SOSSkyMedMASA AssistAir Rescue CardAir Evac Lifeteam
Respiratory
Cardiac
Stretchers
Immobilization Equipment

Availability Compared

Medical air transport services are not only designed for answering domestic emergencies. This is especially useful for travelers abroad who are visiting countries that might not have the same level of medical expertise back home. This is an area of concern especially for members planning to travel abroad. It is essential that you sign up with a company that is capable of conducting medical air transport in those countries.

Full Medical Air Transport Comparison

Plan FeaturesAir Fleet Base of OperationsOn-board Medical EquipmentAvailability
MedjetAssist Medical Air Transport10.010.010.010.010.0
Air Ambulance Card Medical Air Transport9.09.09.09.010.0
AirMed International Medical Air Transport9.09.08.09.010.0
Global Rescue Medical Air Transport8.08.08.08.09.0
International SOS Medical Air Transport8.08.08.08.08.0
SkyMed Medical Air Transport8.06.08.09.09.0
MASA Assist Medical Air Transport6.08.06.08.08.0
Air Rescue Card Medical Air Transport8.04.07.06.08.0
Air Evac Lifeteam Medical Air Transport6.04.05.06.06.0
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FAQ

What is Medical Air Transport?

Medical Air transport is a service that allows patients to be air lifted to and from medical facilities, while receiving care from trained medics. Because of the astronomical expense of these types of transfers ($10,000 and up), they’re typically only used in the most dire circumstances, after all other options have been exhausted, or when time is of the essence. For example, rescuing patients from the scene of an accident, or transporting patients from one hospital to another in order to receive specialized treatment.

What most people do not know is that many Medical Air Transport companies offer annual memberships, typically ranging from $70-$400 a year for an individual membership. Additionally, some companies will offer short-term protection for when you travel.

When would someone use a Medical Air Transport membership?

If you are a regular traveler, live far away and have to travel for healthcare, or are just looking for some extra protection in case of a medical emergency, a medical air transport may be a good option for you.

What is included with a Medical Air Transport membership?

Most companies offer at least one medical air transport a year for free or at an incredibly reduced price.

The more comprehensive memberships offer worldwide coverage (with some restrictions), handle all of the transportation arrangements for you, and will bring you to the hospital of your choice in your home country, regardless of the severity of your medical condition or how much it costs. While more limited memberships have regional restrictions, may fly you to the hospital of their choice, or have a limit to how much they'll cover, or limit the circumstances eligible for transport.

Do Medical Air Transport companies own their own aircrafts?

This depends on the company. Sometimes the company own and operate their own fleet, while other times companies will work with partner air carriers to provide medical transportation services to their members.

But I have travel insurance, why would I want a Medical Air Transport membership as well?

When you are traveling and experience a medical emergency, your travel insurance may provide medical air transport, but typically it is to the closest hospital. The more comprehensive medical air transport memberships will bring you to the hospital of your choice. If you are abroad in a foreign country, this means you may have to pay more than $100,000 in order to be transported to your home country, but with the best medical air transport memberships, you’ll never see that bill.

Latest Reviews

L
Lydia M
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
6/21/2015
Bought a 1 yr membership although never thought I'd need with USA travel as my main vacation spots. May 28 flew New Orleans/Orange County for daughter's wedding in Palm Springs. Have had many many trips to this area. 2 days later massive medical emergency. Hospital put me in Hospice, my Dr. In New Orleans told husband to get her home & they would save. MEDJET coordinated everything professionally & precisely. 3hrs 40 min after airlift in Palm Springs I was in MY hospital in New Orleans. Amazing company. All paperwork between hospitals/ambulances/Doctors coordinated quickly & precisely. They saved my life.

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