Updated 1/21/22: Covac Global has changed its requirement to “medically prudent to avoid hospitalization” from its previous “medically necessary.” Clients who purchased memberships prior to 1/11/22 are grandfathered in to the more generous plan requirements in place at time of purchase.
Covac Global Has Changed Its COVID-19 Evacuation Coverage, due to Omicron. Given the much higher transmissibility (see Omicron 4X as Transmissible), it was only a question of time until Covac Global changed its triggers for air ambulance evacuation.
Prior to January 11, 2022, Covac Global was our go-to recommendation for U.S. travelers who needed a guarantee of being able to get back into the U.S. from abroad, if they tested positive for COVID-19. The old criteria for Covac Global was two-fold: a positive result from a COVID-19 PCR test and at least one COVID-19 symptom, such as fever, nausea, fatigue, etc.
New Covac Global Requirement: Medically Prudent to Avoid Hospitalization
As of 1/11/22, Covac Global has added an additional requirement for all new policies it issues: in addition to a positive COVID-19 PCR test and at least one COVID-19 symptom, Covac Global must deem the evacuation to be “medically prudent to avoid hospitalization.” That gives the company huge discretion in deciding whether a member will be transported or not, and means that the coverage is no longer viable for the use case where the primary concern is whether the member will be able to get back to the U.S. due to work, family, or other obligations. Previously the company would transport a member positive for COVID-19 and displaying just one symptom, even if it was an extremely mild case; now the member will have to demonstrate “medical necessity,” presumably a much more serious case that Covac Global deems cannot be treated effectively in the country the member has traveled to, in order to be transported back to the U.S.
Covac Global does still differentiate itself from Medjet, another service that provides air ambulance back to the U.S. for COVID-19 positive patients. As we wrote in Covac Global vs. Medjet COVID-19 Evacuation Insurance, Medjet requires the member to be hospitalized yet in stable enough condition to be transported, in order to provide air ambulance evacuation.
While we'd still recommend Covac Global for elderly or medically vulnerable clients since the protection is better than Medjet in that it doesn't require the client to be hospitalized to be eligible for transport back to the U.S., we no longer have a viable option for clients concerned about being stuck outside of the U.S. if they test positive with a mild case of COVID-19. We expect we'll be booking more of these clients domestic travel, including to Hawaii, to avoid being stranded, at least until/unless U.S. rules change in terms of the required negative COVID-19 antigen test 1 day prior to the return flight to the U.S.
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