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The Interview: John Gobbels of Medjet Assist

Medics loading a plane. Credit Medjet Express
Medics loading a plane. Credit Medjet Assist

So you’re going on vacation?

Got travel insurance?


How about air medical transport coverage?


You’re entitled to be confused. Many of us take out a travel insurance policy when we’re putting down many thousands of dollars on a vacation trip. But air medical transport coverage? We turned to John Gobbels, vice president and COO of MedjetAssist

What is air-medical transport coverage?

Air-Medical transport coverage, or more specifically an air-medical transport membership like Medjet, provides travelers who are hospitalized from illness or injury a seamless, no-cost transfer to any hospital of choice in their home country.

How does it differ from travel insurance?

The most important difference is that travel insurance products only provide the insured with a medical transfer to the “closest most appropriate medical facility.” This means that if you are hospitalized in Mozambique, Africa, the policy will only provide transfer to Johannesburg (the closest facility), not all the way to your home country hospital. Another important aspect is that the travel insurance company makes the decision if you will be transferred while Medjet places this into your (the member’s) hands

On the tarmac. Credit Medjet Assist
On the tarmac. Credit Medjet Assist

What are the key components of an air-medical transport membership?

Home country hospital of choice medical transfer

The member decides if they wish to be transported

No limit on transfer costs as some international locations could be well over $120,000 to return to the U.S.

No adventure travel/sports exclusions

No natural disaster exclusions

No pre-existing conditions exclusion for members under age 75

What doesn’t it cover?

It does not cover if you are ill or injured and do not require hospitalization or if you are hospitalized in a war zone. It also doesn’t cover your medical bills; just the transport. All membership benefits are clearly outlined in the membership handbook available on our web site at www.medjet.com

Am I correct in assuming that it’s mostly people involved in adventure travel who should be concerned about air-medical transport coverage?

That is an incorrect assumption. While Medjet has no exclusions for adventure travel or adventure sports, most accidents or illnesses happen when we least expect it.

Let’s assume I don’t have air-medical transport coverage and I fall ill or have a severe injury while I’m traveling. What would it cost out of pocket to get a medical flight home from Europe, or Africa or Asia?

Here are some out-of-pocket transport costs that one could incur if you do not have a membership with Medjet.

London to the US $70,000

Africa to the US $120,000

Asia to the US $140,000

Who makes the decision to fly me home?

If you are hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, require continued hospitalization and meet membership criteria,  you make the decision to be transported to any hospital you choose in your home country.

Fortunately, I’ve never been on a medical flight, but can you describe to us what they are like?

Air-medical transfer is best described as a flying ICU. You are surrounded by a caring team of medical professionals specifically trained in altitude physiology. From IV pumps and medications to advanced airway devices including ventilators, air-medical transfer is fast and efficient.

How about the cost – is it a yearly membership or can you do it on a trip-by-trip basis?

Eight-day short term memberships start at only $99 and annual memberships start at $260. Medjet is priceless peace of mind that always in your wallet.


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