Frequently Asked Questions

What is the relationship between MEDEX & UnitedHealthcare Global

As part of UnitedHealthcare, MEDEX provides individual travelers with access to the same world-class medical, safety and insurance solutions offered to corporations, educational institutions and international organizations. It is staffed exclusively by UnitedHealthcare Global professionals who are available 24-hours a day to support your global travel needs.

How do you access MEDEX services?

Individuals who purchase a MEDEX program can simply call a toll-free phone number to access the worldwide UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance network. If a toll-free number is not available from within a country the traveler can call UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance collect. The telephone access numbers are printed on the fulfillment material or ID card the members receive upon enrolling.

When do you utilize the services?

The UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance Emergency Response Center (ERC) is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We are here to help with any type of travel, medical and security situation, regardless of the severity.

How many cases does UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance handle a year?

UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance manages approximately 25,000 cases per year in virtually every country of the world.

How does UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance help locate appropriate medical care?

UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance has a global network of more than 59,000 providers worldwide. The network contains hospitals, clinics and physicians, as well as air ambulances, house call physicians, medical escorts and other providers geared uniquely to the travel insurance industry. UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance has rigorous credentialing and recredentialing standards. Members are provided referrals based on the medical specialty needed, location, language, office hours, training, etc.

Does my MEDEX program require that members go to specific hospitals, doctors, or clinics?

In order to reap the full benefits of our services, we strongly recommend that members contact us before entering hospitals so we can refer them to the best providers in the area. If our members go to other providers, UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance cannot be certain of the level of treatment. However, UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance will provide the same assistance services regardless of where the individuals are treated.

What happens in the event of a hospitalization?

It is important that UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance is notified as soon as possible. We will monitor your care and work through the complex details of foreign hospitalizations. Our staff will immediately speak with your treating doctor to assess your condition, your treatment plans, and whether or not an evacuation is necessary. We will update your family, employer and personal physician as appropriate. In addition, we will coordinate all insurance verifications and admission details.

How does UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance facilitate hospital admissions?

UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance will coordinate all billing and insurance verifications, including settling any guarantees of payment. This ensures that there is no delay or denial of medical treatment because a member is unable to make the up-front payment or because a member's insurance is not recognized.

What if the local facilities are not capable of providing treatment?

In evaluating the local facilities, UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance considers such factors as the quality of the blood supply, medical technology and specialties available, use of sterile equipment and the patient's medical requirements. If facilities are inadequate, the one of our Physician Advisors will report on the safety of such an evacuation, any medical needs the patient may require en route and the evacuation plan details. UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance will consult with all parties involved and fully manage the issues surrounding the evacuation.

What is a typical cost to evacuate an individual?

Evacuation costs vary depending on the location and the severity of the medical problem. Typically, an evacuation can run anywhere from $10,000 to in excess of $75,000.

What is actually involved in an evacuation?

Evacuations are complex and involve:

  • Evaluation of the transport requirements (such as oxygen requirements, doctors necessary, any special equipment, altitude specifications, etc.)
  • Discharge administration
  • Admission into a new facility
  • Identifying qualified aeromedical escorts and air ambulances
  • Coordinating ground transportation on both ends of the evacuation
  • Immigration and flight clearances
  • Assistance with family travel arrangements

What are the types of medical evacuations?

The evacuation method is determined based on the patient's condition and location, and may be:

  • Commercial Airline Transfer (for less severe medical problems, such as a broken arm)
  • Commercial Airline Transfer with Medical or Non-medical Escort
  • Stretcher Commercial Airline Transfer (several seats are removed for the stretcher)
  • Air Ambulance Transfer

Once a member is released from the hospital, do the services end?

UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance will continue to monitor’s your case until they you returned home or have received final treatment.

What if a member has a non-medical problem?

Members can call the UnitedHealthcare Global Assistance Emergency Response Center for help. We will assist with lost or stolen passports, legal referrals, translation services, emergency transfer of funds and a host of other non-medical problems.

What if there is a political situation and the Member needs evacuation or security services?

UnitedHealthcare Global has a division dedicated to assisting members in the event of a deteriorating political situation. If a member wishes to be evacuated due to a deteriorating political situation, UnitedHealthcare Global Safety can assist with the coordination of such transport. UnitedHealthcare Global Safety has 24-hour capabilities to book commercial airline reservations or arrange charter flights. Cases can be coordinated urgently, based on the availability of aircraft. If a traveler is not sure about the relative cost effectiveness of numerous commercial flights versus a charter, (assuming that both options are available), UnitedHealthcare Global Safety can obtain a price comparison. UnitedHealthcare Global Safety can also assist with determining any visa regulations that would apply to travelers, and confirming hotel and ground transportation arrangements in the destination city. If provided with specific demographics and location information, UnitedHealthcare Global Safety can formulate more specific Contingency Plans with pricing at an additional charge.

In a more acute security situation, where special security personnel and arrangements are needed, UnitedHealthcare Global Safety can assist in accessing appropriate services from specialized security affiliates.

Pricing for the coordination of security evacuations would be at an hourly rate, plus the actual commercial or charter flight costs.

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