When we subscribe an international medical insurance, the coverage protects us against the costs of hospitalization, or other medical care, which can sometimes be high depending on the circumstances. However, this does not systematically include assistance in the event of evacuation or repatriation for the most severe cases. How much does it cost and how does it work?
Evacuation and/or repatriation assistance is generally offered as an option to a basic health contract. For those who want it, just ask to their broker. With WrLife, it costs not more than an additional $10 to $15 per month over a standard health insurance contract and will allow a patient in difficulty to obtain appropriate assistance in all circumstances.
Indeed, when a medical distress arises, the local emergency services take charge of the victim to transport him to a nearby medical center. In Bangkok or in the big cities of Thailand, no worries in principle, the patient will be transported to an appropriate hospital center. On the other hand, it can be more delicate in some upcountry places, in the mountains or just in the small paradise islands as there are so many in this Region. In these situations, it is not unlikely that you will find yourself cared for in a local medical facility with only first aid available and where a sanitary transport on the road may not be the best suited to the situation. An assistance for evacuation will then be activated in order to provide medical care for the victim, generally from the local rescue facility to a hospital adapted to the severity of the victim’s injuries or symptoms. The evaluation criteria for an evacuation are (1) the state of health of the victim, (2) the mode of transport adapted to the victim, and (3) the weather at the time of the incident. The most appropriate mode of transport, under medical supervision, will be chosen among the following: special medical plane, normal airline, train, sleeper train, boat, ambulance, helicopter. An evacuation is systematically confirmed within 24 hours and the deployment of resources within few hours from their readiness.
This is why WrLife is partnered with Assist International Services (AIS) (www.assistinter.com) which responds to the emergencies of its Policyholders 24/7. AIS is a medical and technical assistance provider, established in Bangkok since 2003, specializing in the emergency needs of travelers, expatriates and locals nationals, in Asia but also in most countries around the globe. The platform has special knowledge of the Thonburi hospital group since it was created on their initiative before. AIS handles over 3,000 emergencies per year and has provided over 40,000 assists since its inception.
Thus, WrLife Insureds are assisted during their admission. In practice, AIS records the admission, controls and validates the treatment and costs offered by the hospital. They can also suggest solutions and establish daily monitoring in the first days of hospitalization, then every two or three days until discharge. WrLife policyholders have no fees to pay *, from evacuation to hospitalization and follow-up visits (if necessary). AIS will take care of this thru a Guarantee Of Payment (GOP) to the medical facility and then notify the insurance company for internal settlement.
Assist International Services also offers non-medical technical services, such as parcel transport (e.g. forgotten suitcase, etc.) and legal assistance such as contacting a lawyer abroad, arranging an autopsy, etc….
Regarding the transport of the body, in the event of death, AIS will pay for the transport of the deceased from the place where the body was placed in a coffin to the closest international airport from the address in the country of origin, or in the country of expatriation, of the Insured. Also, the Insurance company takes over the additional costs necessary for transport, including the cost of the coffin, making transport possible.
When an assistance is required, WrLife requires no more than a telephone request, or by telex, fax, email or telegram. In every case, the decision to provide an assistance, and the choice of the appropriated resources, are exclusively made by the doctor of the assistance platform, after having contacted the attending doctor on site and, where applicable, with the family of the patient. Only the medical interest of the Insured, and compliance with applicable health, are taken into consideration for deciding the action(s) to be taken.
Because accidents never happen in the right place, it is therefore necessary to protect yourself by choosing comprehensive health insurance including all types of medical assistance as well as repatriation. Related SGA’s service : https://shine-audit.com/services/insurances-brokerage/
* within the limit of the subscribed plan
By Manuel Ollivier