We were pleased to note that respected travel guru Arthur Frommer had mentioned, on his official blog, the existence of “hospital of choice” plans among the smorgasbord of travel insurance options available to consumers. Having the ability to request a particular hospital in the event that you have to be evacuated for medical attention during a trip is certainly a benefit worth pointing out to travelers. However, Mr. Frommer’s article only mentions one specific company. In the interest of sharing the wealth, we thought it was important to point out that, as a comparison website, we offer several choices from a range of companies. We also figured that, while we’re on the subject, you might want to know exactly what Hospital of Choice means when you’re comparing travel insurance.
Currently, nine different companies and over 13 plans on the InsureMyTrip site offer some form of Hospital of Choice coverage. Although the details of each plan vary, in a nutshell, Hospital of Choice works like this:
Mr. Smart Traveler has purchased a travel insurance plan which includes the Hospital of Choice option. Mr. Smart Traveler is in a foreign country, enjoying his trip, when he unexpectedly becomes very ill. He is admitted to a local hospital and is told that he will have to continue an inpatient hospital stay for treatment and supervision. Not wanting to be away from his family and the comfort and security he feels undergoing medical treatment in a U.S. hospital with familiar doctors, our hero can, at this point, call his travel insurance company to ask about being transported to the hospital in his home city, where his family, his doctors, and the specialists he trusts will all be able to take good care of him as he recovers. (Roll credits and swelling music — a happy ending for our traveler!)
Depending on the plan details and the nature of his illness, Mr. Smart Traveler could be escorted to his chosen hospital via private medical flight, or he could be attended on a commercial flight by certified medical personnel. He could be taken directly to his home hospital, or, if his condition will not allow him to be transported to that facility safely, he may give permission to be transported to the closest hospital that can properly care for him. In any event, the point of this particular option is that Mr. Smart Traveler will be able to make a decision that is comfortable for him, and will receive treatment at a hospital that he is confident will provide him with excellent care. This is the kind of peace of mind that many travelers are seeking when they consider travel insurance in the first place, and it’s the kind of option that should at least be explored. Hospital of choice coverage can be purchased either as part of a stand-alone evacuation only policy, or as an included benefit in one of the package policies we offer. We recommend comparing these plans on our site, then speaking with one of our Customer Care representatives at 800-487-4722 to get additional information for your individual concerns.