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Medical air-lift programs

Several medical-emergency transportation programs airlift travelers from virtually anywhere to a hospital of their choice—a luxury not included in typical travel insurance plans, which may prefer to send travelers to the best hospital nearby. A medical evacuation from Johannesburg, South Africa, to New York could cost $125,000. But these medical-emergency membership transportation programs charge only a small fraction of that, with annual fees ranging from $225–$250 for individuals to $350 for families. And, in some cases, even single-trip coverage can be purchased. Alabama-based AirMed International (800/356-2161; airmed.com) offers a 14-day-trip plan from $95. And if you’re staying closer to home, MedjetAssist (800/527-7478; medjet.com) recently introduced a domestic policy for travel within the 48 contiguous United States. American Express Platinum Card members already receive emergency medical evacuation coverage as part of the card plan.

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