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Old 06-14-2019, 07:03 PM   #1
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Medical evacuation

Has anyone had experience with medical evacuation from Canada or US? Any info re evacuation insurance? How about using the DAN network?
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:46 PM   #2
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Has anyone had experience with medical evacuation from Canada or US? Any info re evacuation insurance? How about using the DAN network?

2006 my father had a stroke while he and my Mom were anchored in their Catalina 36 in Telegraph Harbor in BC. A Mayday call brought the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary out from from Ladysmith. They transported my Dad to Ladysmith and had an ambulance waiting to take him to Nanaimo hospital. Shortly after arriving and starting treatment he had a massive brain hemorrhage. At that point, he was alive but unconscious and the Drs at Nanaimo likely figured he would not survive. The decision was made to airlift him to Harborview in Seattle. He was transported by ambulance to the airport where an air ambulance service jet flew him to SeaTac. From there he taken by ambulance to Harborview. IIRC, from the initial Mayday call to arriving in Harborview about 24 hours. He was taken off life support the following day after my Sister was able to make it to Seattle.

To be honest, I think he was moved out of Canada via med transport because there is less paperwork flying a patient than moving a corpse.

My Mom handles all her own finances, but their private US medical insurance did pretty well by them. I believe that her total out of pocket expense ended up being about $15,000. Not bad considering the number of bills that were racked up over just a weekend. In the US, every medical insurance company will handle it differently and often air ambulance services are not covered well. She had the advantage of being able to discuss the air ambulance with her insurance carrier while my Dad was still laying in the hospital in Nanaimo. That is a little different than an emergency evac.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:46 AM   #3
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Has anyone had experience with medical evacuation from Canada or US? Any info re evacuation insurance? How about using the DAN network?
I have Dan insurance and worked in the diving industry for 40 years. The medevac part of the insurance does work, but requires you to initiate the transport through Dan to be covered. I guess they have rate agreements through transport providers. Do to the costs involved, proving need and this being the only option (life or death), is the main hurtle. Had a friend who went through the hurtles when his leg was badly broken by a a whale's tail in a third world country. His medical condition was rapidly deteriorating and it took some effort to get the ball rolling. I believe his plane flight would have cost $60,000 without insurance. If I was going to count on this insurance in a remote area or 3rd world country, I think I would have to have a satellite phone to be able to contact Dan directly.

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Old 06-15-2019, 06:55 AM   #4
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In December, 2010 (or January, 2011, I forget), a ten year old girl had to be flown out of Georgetown, Bahamas with an acute appendix, while we were there. Her parents had to charter a plane, and a vacationing ER doctor on his boat from Canada volunteered to fly back with her to Miami to monitor her.

It's not just old people who might need medical evacuations.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:23 AM   #5
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Some guys I used to ride motorcycles with had memberships with Med Jet Assist. I never heard any reports on their service.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:10 AM   #6
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It's not just old people who might need medical evacuations.
When we traveled recently to Bali the travel folks mentioned problems with rabies and limited treatment availability. As in, the expense of getting the supplies flown in might be something worth considering for travel insurance. We did, but also were fore-warned by that to know to put further effort into avoiding contact with local animals.

So, yeah, factor all of your guest ages.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:09 PM   #7
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Two scenarios - 1) a Canadian in the states: The American medical system including all varieties of insurance is a mish mash of craziness. So when a Canadian has something serious and has any kind of ambulatory ability, they will board an aircraft and fly home. I've worked in hospitals in Illinois, including working as a student while working at Pres. St. Lukes..... Medical Center in Chicago in the finance and collections area. Canadian hospitals don't have a collections center, this will give you an idea of how different the systems are. In Canada, you don't require one. My BC medical insurance will cover much of what may happen but third party insurance is highly recommended to cover the rest. This insurance may not be cheap or even available if you have some wretched condition.

2) Americans in Canada. Because of a plethora of insurance types and coverage, your out of pocket experience will vary. But, we have an excellent back up personnel to get your "^ss" out of a jamb. So lets say you are in the Broughton area and you end up having a stroke, for example. What will happen is your Mayday call will be dispatched out of Victoria. The dispatch will contact Canadian Air force Search and Rescue [Comox] and a helicopter will be activated. American military Search and Rescue envy Canadian military Search and Rescue because the Canadians have the jurisdiction to rescue civilians. I learned this based on a conversation I had with a Navy type out of Oak Harbor Naval Air Station.

If I were issuing a Mayday call in this scenario, I'd request a "Mayday relay" to ensure that Victoria received the call. There are marine radio repeaters along the BC coast so the relay may not be necessary, but I'd still do it to ensure reception by Victoria.

The flight from Comox to the Broughton area wouldn't be that long.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:34 PM   #8
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We are members of Air Med - www.airmed.com

A family membership is $385 per year, they fly world wide.

As with other providers you must call them directly to start
the process.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:43 PM   #9
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My wife and I have used DAN Diving Insurance and worked with them when my wife broke her leg in Granada. We were traveling with friends in the Florida Keys when a friend had encounter with some fire coral that turned into a sepsis infection. In both cases as simple call the DAN's 800 number and they took it from there. In my wife's case, they arranged for tickets, etc on commercial airlines and worked directly with the hospital in Granada while my wife was there for surgery for a few nights.
We do keep DAN Boater insurance and have been part of their marketing materials.

Yes, we are very happy with their services.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:48 PM   #10
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That is the business that I am in. What specifics are you looking for?
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:37 PM   #11
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We have had DAN for years. In 2017, my husband had a medical emergency while we were in the Bahamas. DAN paid to fly him from Marsh Harbour to Nassau.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:20 PM   #12
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After witnessing the experience of a fellow cruiser who had to be flown back from the Bahamas, we signed up for NRA Emergency Assistance

https://www.nraapprovedservices.com/emergency-assistance-plus



We did a side by side comparison with Dan and felt it was superior for about the same price. I seem to recall it might be about $145 for the two of us.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:28 PM   #13
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Has anyone had experience with medical evacuation from Canada or US? Any info re evacuation insurance? How about using the DAN network?
I knew a cruiser who experienced a non-dive related life threatening emergency while in the Bahamas. He had DAN insurance. They sent a med-evac jet to pick him up and fly him to a hospital in Florida where he had emergency surgery. Cost to him was $0.00. When I heard his story, I immediately subscribed to DAN and have been a member for almost 20 years. When we were cruising the Caribbean, conventional wisdom said, "If in pain, take a plane!". DAN is a great deal as long as you're 50 miles or more from where you tell them is "home".
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:23 PM   #14
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Have a look at the SPOT website, they do various levels of insurance IF you have a Spot tracker. I have a tracker on my boat and it works extremely well. My mum in her 80s follows where I am in my boat every day. I bought it because the SOS button not only sends out a distress message to GEOS who in turn call the Coastguard. They can also exchange messages with you.

In my view the SOS function is worthwhile the insurance is an optional extra. It should not replace an EPIRB.

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Old 07-02-2019, 02:05 PM   #15
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Medical Assistance

We’ve been boating in western Canada, often in remote areas. Used Spot for several years and changed to Garmin InReach. Does not have insurance options but communication choices are better.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:22 PM   #16
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LuHau is absolutely correct, Garmin does have worldwide coverage, but do you need Worldwide coverage? Spot works as well in the areas we cruise in, the maps on the websites will show you the coverage of both devices. Not only does Spot have insurance (the theme of this thread) it is also a lot cheaper to use.

Take a careful look at what both offer if you decide you want a tracker.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:32 PM   #17
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I loaned my sister my SPOT as she is riding the Tour Divide bike race. Yesterday she activated the SPOT emergency function. She was concerned she may have developed a blood clot in one leg. She was along a part of the race that is very remote, no phones and no cell service. An ambulance was sent to pick her up and take her to a hospital. Fortunately, no clots. Unfortunately, she had to scratch from the race due to the swelling and pain in the leg. First time my SPOT emergency function has been used. It worked well.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:17 PM   #18
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We’ve been boating in western Canada, often in remote areas. Used Spot for several years and changed to Garmin InReach. Does not have insurance options but communication choices are better.

InReach does not offer coverage. However GEOS offers two levels of coverage. See screen shot from the InReach page Settings tab.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:07 PM   #19
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I didn't know about the Spot policies offered by GEOS until this thread. Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:38 AM   #20
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We are shopping for this type of insurance now for a cruise from WA to AK this summer. Reading the DAN documentation https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/a...COI-002-G2.pdf I find:
The Company will pay for Covered Emergency Evacuation Expenses incurred due to an Insured’s Injury or Sickness that occurs while he or she is on a Trip.
then later....
Trip” means a period of travel away from home to a Destination outside the Insured’s City of residence; the purpose of the trip is business or pleasure and is not to obtain health care or treatment of any kind; the trip does not exceed 90 days; the trip has defined Departure and Return Dates specified when the Insured applies; travel is primarily by Common Carrier and only incidentally by private conveyance. Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s Primary Residence. For annual plans, any trip taken during the Individual Coverage Term.
This seems to preclude coverage for a cruiser. The incidents described by others indicate they did receive coverage. I'm wondering have DAN's coverage terms changed or am I looking at the wrong type of insurance? By the way Allianz and some others seem to have similar restrictions.

After further research AIG Travel https://www.travelguard.com/travel-i...nefits/medevac looks like it provides appropriate coverage. AIG defines a trip as:
Trip means a period of travel away from home to a Destination outside the Insured’s City of residence. The trip has
a defined Departure Date and Return Date; and does not exceed 364 days.
What are other's experiences?
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