Medical evacuation insurance: another cautionary travel tale

Last month, my parents went to Florida for two weeks against the advice of their four children. We were worried that my father, who is on oxygen and has multiple medical problems, would take a turn for the worse and end up in a hospital. They decided to go anyway (parents today...they just don't listen).

Before they left, I urged my father to buy medical evacuation insurance, a specific type of travel insurance that retrieves "members" from anywhere in the world and transports them to the hospital of their choice. Last year, I edited an article for a website called Traveling Mom about the benefits of an insurance plan provided by a company called MedJet Assist. Afterward, I told my parents about the company and the week before they left for Florida, I spoke with them again and my father said he bought similar insurance via American Express.

You know what happened next. My dad, who has a blood disorder that makes his hemoglobin count drop to life threatening levels (among other medical problems brought on by 40 plus years of smoking), ended up in the hospital. It got so bad he needed a blood transfusion. They stabilized him but he just wanted to get back home to New Jersey.