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How To Fly Home If You Have COVID Symptoms

by SharonKurheg

Imagine this scenario. You flew into Mexico City and arrived 5 days ago. They didn’t test you for COVID-19 when you landed. You notice you’re starting to have a runny nose but figure it’s nothing; probably just a cold or allergies. Two days later, you can’t stop coughing, and a few days after that you feel pressure in your chest and it’s getting really hard for you to breathe.

Oh crap, you’ve got lots of symptoms of coronavirus!

It’s probably best to go to the hospital, but do you really want to do that in Mexico City? Wouldn’t you rather go to a hospital at home? But if you have multiple symptoms of COVID, no airline is going to risk flying you home. So then what?

Enter Medjet.

Medjet is a global medical transport and travel security membership program for individuals, families, groups and corporations. If you’re hospitalized more than 150 miles from home and meet their transport criteria, Medjet will arrange medical transport to the hospital of your choice within your home country at no additional cost. All you pay is your membership fee.

Medjet has previously not been transporting those with suspected or diagnosed COVID, but as of October 19, 2020, they are willing and able to transport such patients in the 48 contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean Islands (some restrictions apply). This page has some of the guidelines they will follow and this page includes their various rules and regulations for the same.

But what if you’re not in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean? What if you flew to Tanzania and started experiencing the same symptoms?

Enter Covac Global.

Covac Global bills itself as the first fully indemnified Covid-19 air transport service for U.S.-based leisure and business travelers.

For an annual fee (policies start at 30 days of business or leisure international travel for the year), if you contract Covid-19 while abroad, Covac Global says it will provide you with private air transport to your home U.S. airport at no extra cost.

Whereas Medjet has been around for nearly 30 years, Covac Global is a newbie to the medical transport world and only came about after the coronavirus pandemic began. Also, while Medjet will transport members for nearly any illness, Covac Global’s sole intent is to transport those diagnosed with, and show symptoms of COVID019.

Neither membership is cheap. Coval Global membership begins at $999 and Medjet, similar to an insurance policy, has a bajillion options (individual vs. family, domestic vs. domestic & international, how long you want your membership to last, what would be included, etc.) within two different programs, to help determine price.

Most people who get COVID don’t need hospitalization. However even if you only have mild symptoms, it would be reckless to go on a commercial plane (if they even let you on) and the cost to self-quarantine for 14 days could easily cost more than your membership fee. But for those who require a higher level of medical care, most would probably want to be in a U.S. hospital if at all possible. With Medjet or Coval’s services, for those who don’t have international health insurance or a credit card that will cover such services, that’s now possible.

Feature Photo: Medjet

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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