Old Feb 7, 15, 5:04 pm
Moderator: Manufactured Spending
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5,981
Originally Posted by fpc552 View Post
Even within the US, there can be a need. Allow me to illustrate with this choose your own adventure:

You decide to travel to somewhere more than (200/300/500/insert your threshold) miles from home for (business/tourism/spend the winter somewhere warm). While you are there, you (slip and fall/have a stroke/have your leg bitten by a lion). 911 is called, a local ambulance takes you to the closest appropriate medical facility and your are treated. After a few days, your acute care is done. If you were a local, you would be discharged (in a ground ambulance) to a local skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation, as you are not ready to be discharged home. (You/your spouse/your adult children) would prefer that you convalesce at a facility closer to your home, but (your doctors will not clear you for air travel unless it is an air ambulance/you cannot sit upright, even in domestic F, for the time required/your leg is in a cast and you can't bend your knee at all). To be transported to the facility closer to home, you will need to be flown on a stretcher. US domestic carriers used to offer this service (you would fold down three rows of seats and install a special stretcher over them), but as the process of installing and removing the stretcher delays turn-arounds, as well as the process of boarding and deplaning a patient on a stretcher being quite lengthy, so very few, if any, domestic carriers offer this service. You are now forced to either convalesce in a facility far from home and family, or charter an air ambulance. Your health insurance will not pay the cost of an air ambulance, as the local skilled nursing facility is the closest appropriate facility, so the long-distance transport is "not medically necessary."

When I was working in this industry, it was very common for us to transport retired folks from hospitals in Florida to rehab in the northeast. It was very seasonal, we would be very busy between New Year's and Easter. The most common conditions were stroke, heart attack, broken hip and pneumonia.

Typical cost for a light jet air ambulance (small Learjet or Citation) flight from central Florida to Long Island might be in the range of $10,000-$20,000. Remember, what you're doing is chartering a private jet with two highly experienced healthcare providers as flight attendants. Not an inexpensive proposition. Of, that price is all-inclusive: a crew of four (Captain, FO, RN and Paramedic), fuel and ground ambulance service at both ends. There is typically space for 1-2 family members to accompany, along with a limited amount of luggage. You won't accumulate any miles, though as I said before, you'll probably be stuck paying out of pocket, so make sure you get a few credit card sign-up bonuses, though I suggest that there are better ways to manufacture spend.
I guess anything is possible, but to me, the odds of this happening are low enough that I wouldn't consider it necessary to insure against it if I am traveling to a location where medical facilities are available nearby. Of course, OP has to evaluate his/her financial situation and decide.
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