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Old 10-03-2017, 03:39 PM   #1
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FMCA Assist vs Sky Med

Has any one compared Sky Med to FMCA Assist regarding benefits and specifically Canadian travelers ?
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:30 PM   #2
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I know this is an old post but SkyMed will take you to your home city. FMCA takes you to the nearest approved facility.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:28 AM   #3
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FMCA Assist vs Sky Med

I have both and I plan to keep both. If you read the fine print you will see that although they look similar on the surface, there is really a big difference between the two. I read the fine print. You should too.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:24 AM   #4
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From stories I have heard about Canadians with travel insurance struck with illness in the US, the first thing the insurer wants to do is get you back to Canada on their dime so they do not have to pay US rates when they can get you on your own Canadian health care if they can get you home. Assuming you are able to be medivaced back to Canada by your travel insurance, is there really a need for FMCA Assist or Sky Med?
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:18 PM   #5
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So are you saying that the insurers are willing to pay for air ambulances to get their customers back to Canada from, say - Arizona? That's at least a $60K US bill. Or are you saying that they are getting their customers back by commercial air after they have paid for several days in a US hospital with all the attendant additional charges and miscellaneous costs? If they are flying people back home commercial, then I would agree that that duplicates what FMCA, Good Sam, MASA, EA+ and all the other "assistance" plans do. However if they are willing to pay for the air ambulance, as soon as the patient can be stabilized for transport (in the air ambulance); then that would duplicate SkyMed.

When I read the fine print, e.g. Medipac's policy, they say that they cover "the cost of a one-way, economy class airfare to Your departure point in Canada; or (b) the cost of additional airline seats to accommodate a stretcher when recommended by the attending Physician." That is NOT an air ambulance!

So if you live in Edmonton and your departure point in Canada was Vancouver or Toronto, where do they take you? And where is it you need to go?
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:17 PM   #6
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As I said, I have this information second hand. I assume that you have your own travel insurance so it might be worth asking then. My understanding is they want to minimize their payouts - as do all insurance companies - so if the prognosis outlook indicates hospitalization with a price tag in excess of the transportation, then it would make business sense to them. My insurer wants you to call them before seeking treatment - if that is possible. The case I heard about involved evacuation via chartered jet. Sorry I cant help further.
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:52 PM   #7
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I understand, bobmac. I just haven't seen instances where an insurance company cut their costs by flying people back to their home provinces in a chartered jet. What I have seen is instances where they cut their costs by denying claims. I was surprised to see one company that in their fine print reserved the right to deny claims related to a change in a prescription drug dosage within 90 days of the start of a trip out of the province. In their mind the dosage change meant that the pre-existing condition was not stable when the person left the province, therefore it was not covered. I wonder: how would they know about the change in dosage if the insured person did not tell them about it? Do they actually go back and review medical histories after a claim has been submitted to find changes in medication dosages that they can use as the basis for denying claims? What if the dosage change was less because the condition was being cured? The fine print didn't cover that.
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:41 PM   #8
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flying home

When my wife had an atrialfib attack while we were in Yuma - from 105.f. She ended in Hospital for the afternoon She was then admitted for overnight observation. Then the insurance company insisted that she be flown home to Williams Lake via commercial airlines
I found out later that we should have had her go to Vancouver General Emergency dept.as she went via Vancouver-for a specialist's care. They offered to fly me home with her but I requested that I be allowed to drive the motorhome home because of the dog. They agreed. I later submitted the fuel costs for the us and Canada - they LATER PAID FOR IT.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:02 PM   #9
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FMCA Assist vs SkyMed

Thanks, JCM, for your post. I hope your wife is doing well now under the specialist’s care. How often do you have to travel from Williams Lake to see the specialist in Vancouver? That’s a day’s drive each way! Why can't she get ongoing care in Williams Lake?

Your post raises some questions:
1. Was afib a pre-existing condition on her insurance policy? If not, it would be interesting to know the effect on her insurance premium next season.
2. You say that she was at the Yuma hospital for an afternoon and then admitted for observation. I infer that the doctor in Yuma felt that flying home on a commercial airline did not pose a significant risk. Was the doctor aware of what is involved in flying commercial from Yuma, AZ to Williams Lake, BC? How many stops? plane changes? hours end-to-end? Did the insurance company paid the entire fare?
3. If the doctor in Yuma had required an air ambulance, would the insurance company have sent and paid for one? (Can we do better than guess the answer to this question?)
4. More to the topic of this thread – what would FMCAssist or SkyMed have done? I haven’t a clue but if someone knows, please share what you know.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:10 AM   #10
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She now goes to Cardiac Specialist in Kamloops - closer. There is none in our "small" town.
The insurance company was aware of her condition.
I could have used MASA if the insurance company was difficult. The only thing is that they insisted she be flown home immediately. I did convince them that I should drive her to Palm Springs and save 2 plane changes.
In all, the insurance company was good but remember they won't pay for treatment, only up to the point of stability for being flown home - then it is up to you. That's why I suggest going to an major hospital's emergency dept. for immediate care vs waiting a few weeks to see your GP then ? how long till you get referred to a specialist (if necessary).
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:22 AM   #11
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We got the FMCA program for the repatriation of our coach back to Canada. The maxium coverage is enough and don't need to worry about the coach , storage, plugging in, etc with other priorities.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:00 PM   #12
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Looks like you are still looking for a definitive answer as to how an insurance would handle a "what if" situation. Businesses deal with each specific situation based on the information they have from the insured and what they have been able to determine from the medical staff and the decision is based on multiple variables. In the end, they are going to make a decision on the option that minimizes their cost just like all businesses. You are not going to get an answer to your theoretical question nor will the other poster. If being able to be flown home is important to you for whatever reason, get a policy with a business that offers that service.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:15 PM   #13
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FMCA Assist vs SkyMed

Actually, Bobmac, I posted on this thread that I already bought SkyMed and FMCAssist is included in my FMCA membership. I have actually read the fine print for both SkyMed and FMCAssist, so I know what they both "say" they will do - but I have never had first hand experience with either one.

SkyMed says that they will fly me by air ambulance to a hospital near my home as soon as possible after I'm hospitalized. FMCA Assist says they will fly me home as soon as I'm able to go on a commercial flight. That's a big difference between the two and the comparison of the two was the original topic of this thread. The issue of being returned home as soon as possible after a hospitalization is particularly relevent to Canadians who travel outside their home Province.

JCM made a very interesting comment: "I could have used MASA if the insurance company was difficult. The only thing is that they insisted she be flown home immediately." JCM makes it clear that his wife did not need an air ambulance. We probably all realize that the insurance company was acting in their own best interest. If the insurance company was willing to fly his wife home immediately but MASA was not - I'd like to know why.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elorig1 View Post
Actually, Bobmac, I posted on this thread that I already bought SkyMed and FMCAssist is included in my FMCA membership. I have actually read the fine print for both SkyMed and FMCAssist, so I know what they both "say" they will do - but I have never had first hand experience with either one.

SkyMed says that they will fly me by air ambulance to a hospital near my home as soon as possible after I'm hospitalized. FMCA Assist says they will fly me home as soon as I'm able to go on a commercial flight. That's a big difference between the two and the comparison of the two was the original topic of this thread. The issue of being returned home as soon as possible after a hospitalization is particularly relevent to Canadians who travel outside their home Province.

JCM made a very interesting comment: "I could have used MASA if the insurance company was difficult. The only thing is that they insisted she be flown home immediately." JCM makes it clear that his wife did not need an air ambulance. We probably all realize that the insurance company was acting in their own best interest. If the insurance company was willing to fly his wife home immediately but MASA was not - I'd like to know why.
I never contacted MASA since she was being flown home anyway and she could stand being in a commercial flight.
They flew her from Palm Springs and the on to Williams Lake. I drove the coach home.
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