SkyMed FAQ

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SkyMed Takes You Home FAQ

 

Questions? Take a look through our Frequently Asked Questions for extensive information about SkyMedTAKES YOU HOME services. If you don’t find an answer to your question here, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-273-8508 or contact us by email at any time.  Quote & Purchase Online!

 

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SkyMed History

Service Areas

The SkyMed Difference

What SkyMed Provides

Membership

Options

Types of Membership

Medical Transport

SkyMed Flights

I Am Canadian

Residing in Mexico

SkyMed Member Death

Vehicle/RV

SkyMed History

How long has SkyMed been in business?

SkyMed has been in business since 1989. SkyMed has four offices: Lakeland, Florida; St. Croix, USVI; St. Thomas, USVI and the corporate office in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Service Areas

What are the 32 countries in the SkyMed Universe?

Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barduba, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Gaudaloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nevis, Puerto Rico, St. Kits, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, Grendines, Trinidad, Tobago, Turks, Caucos Islands, United States.

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What area does SkyMed cover?

Coverage is provided to members traveling throughout Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Belize and the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii).

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Does SkyMed service cover its members when they are traveling on vacation?

Yes, for vacation travel and for business travel.

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Does it matter how I am traveling? Do we have SkyMed service on a cruise?

SkyMed provides its services whenever you are traveling 100 miles or more from home with the basic membership. The SkyMed Ultimate plan provides certain services while you are at home. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a cruise, leisure or business flying, traveling by car or by RV, SkyMed will be there for you whenever you travel.

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The SkyMed Difference

What is the difference between SkyMed and the numerous “assistance companies”?

SkyMed transports its member home to their hospital and their personal medical care providers; this is the key SkyMed difference. Assistance companies may transport their members to the closest appropriate hospital which they determine is adequate for their member’s medical care. More than likely the member has already been transported to the closest adequate medical facility when their call for help is made, and therefore no further transport is made by the assistance company. Members of most HMOs and PPOs once stabilized for travel must return home to validate further medical cost containment.

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What SkyMed Provides

What does my membership provide?

The basic SkyMed membership provides for hospital-to-hospital transport of yourself and a companion in the event of a critical illness or injury. Your RV or vehicle is also returned to your home. Or if you stay in the admitting hospital, following discharge you have 30 days to decide if you still need SkyMed’s help in returning home and if so, we provide commercial transport home and a professional driver to return your RV or vehicle.

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What happens if I need an air ambulance and If I do not have SkyMed?

Unfortunately, it is CASH BEFORE BOARDING, and if time is of the essence many people cannot organize the thousands of dollars in a timely manner when a major medical emergency happens. SkyMed will assist non-members in arranging for transport, and will do so at a cost savings to the non-member of about 20% on the flight cost which remains their burden.

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Does health insurance pay for emergency medical air transportation?

Most plans provide little or no coverage; in fact, only a very small percentage cover this service and many of those only pay for transportation in restricted medical situations. If you are a member of a health maintenance organization (HMO) and out of your HMO’s area of service and experience a serious medical condition, your HMO will pay to have you stabilized but they may not transport you home. SkyMed can become the safety net for you and take you home.

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Do you provide medical insurance?

SkyMed services do not include any hospital or medical bills incurred by our members. However all professional medical services on board an emergency air ambulance are covered.

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Will SkyMed pay for hotels, meals and rental car for a family member flown in to be with me?

SkyMed provides only the roundtrip airfare to/from the closest commercial airport.

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Are my grandchildren covered by my Membership ?

When members are traveling with grandchildren, under 18 years of age, and the member suffers a critical injury or illness, arrangements are made to return the grandchildren to their parent’s home. Should the grandchild become critically injured or ill, they are entitled to the same services as their grandparents. This applies when the grandchildren are traveling with the grandparents and not accompanied by their parents. Arrangements are made and paid for by SkyMed.

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What is the incidental expense allowance?

Should a member have incidental expenses in relation to a medical air ambulance transport (such as taxi, meals, hotel), SkyMed will reimburse up to $200 towards these costs.

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Membership

What if I become a member and then change my mind? Do you offer refunds?

A new member has 30 days from the Membership Effective Date to read all membership information and decide if they wish to keep their membership. If not, a full refund will be given upon request.

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How do I apply for SkyMed membership? And how quickly does it become effective?

You can enroll through a SkyMed representative by phone, or online at www.skymed.com. Allow 72 hours for membership approval.

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Is there a waiting period for pre-existing conditions?

All memberships are subject to underwriting and pre-existing conditions are fully covered after only 90 days. Everything else is covered from the date of enrollment.

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Are all options automatically included in my membership?

No. Your Basic annual membership includes only the traditional SkyMed services. Additional options are available to increase a member’s coverage, and can be added at any time. Not all members desire all options, so there are choices available.

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If I am in an accident, how would anyone know I am a SkyMed member?

Make sure that all family members are aware that you have SkyMed, as they will be notified first. You should also place your SkyMed card right behind your driver’s license and insurance card, as that is the first place medical personnel will check should you be unable to communicate with them.

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Will membership rates increase without notice?

Renewals are always based on the rates current at the time of renewal. If rates are increased, present members are given the option of extending their membership at the current rate for a maximum of three years.

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How does a member notify SkyMed when they need assistance?

On the back of the membership card are listed all of SkyMed’s contact phone numbers. SkyMed’s call services are available 24/7/365, weekends, evenings, and holidays. There is no need to hesitate calling once a member is hospitalized, even if the member is not certain of the severity of their hospitalization. When calling SkyMed’s call center, you will be asked if this is a medical emergency. If you need assistance immediately, please answer “yes” and you will be transferred to a SkyMed Member Services employee immediately.

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Does SkyMed have a grievance procedure in case a member believes they have not benefited as they should have from their membership?

An aggrieved member must put their grievance in writing and submit it to:

SkyMed Grievance Coordinator

13840 Northsight Blvd., Suite 109

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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Options

What is the Helicopter Option?

The Helicopter option provides transport from the scene of an auto accident to the hospital. Transport is also provided hospital-to-hospital under emergency situations when the original admitting hospital cannot provide the care necessary for the member. Costs can be up to $25,000 for a short trip to a hospital. SkyMed guarantees there will be no out-of-pocket costs to the member for a helicopter transport.

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What are the options I can add to my SkyMed Membership?

The additional options available to members for expanded coverage include: SkyMed Plus Option, Helicopter Option, 100 Mile Waiver Option, Ground Ambulance Option, Primary Driver Disability Option (PDDO). The additional fees that apply to options run from $35 – $95 yearly. Members choose the options that fit their specific needs.

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Can an existing member add options to a membership that is already active?

Options may be added at a later date, and the fees are calculated as follows: If there is less than 6 months remaining on the membership the option fee would be half the annual rate for that particular option. With 6 months or more remaining on a membership the member would pay the option’s full amount for the year or years remaining on the membership.

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What does the 100-Mile Waiver Option provide?

Without this option, the member must be more than 100 air miles from home when becoming critically injured or ill to receive services. With the 100 Mile Waiver Option services are available to the member whether they are at home or traveling – within or outside that 100 mile perimeter.

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If ground ambulance service is included in the basic membership what does the Ground Ambulance Option offer in addition?

The Ground Ambulance Option provides transportation to the hospital, whereas the traditional SkyMed membership service provides ground ambulance when a hospital-to-hospital transport is needed.

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If I suffer a critical illness or injury will my pets be returned? What if I am in Mexico?

This service is available with the SkyMed Plus Option. SkyMed pays for the return of your pet on a commercial flight (when permitted by the airlines and according to the rules of the authorities.) The same applies for Mexico.

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If vehicle return is included in the basic SkyMed Membership, what is the reason for the Primary Driver Disability Option (PDDO)?

Your basic SkyMed coverage does include return of your RV or vehicles. The Primary Driver Disability Option (PDDO) provides help when you are NOT critically injured or ill, and you have not been hospitalized, but have a medical problem where you are told by a medical professional you are not to drive for ten days or longer. PDDO provides $2,000 in reimbursable expenses toward return of the stranded vehicle and the member home, or to continue on to your original destination. Pre-approval for this member service is required.

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Types of Membership

What is the difference between short-term and annual membership Services?

An annual membership includes the 12 basic SkyMed services, (with the exception of organ retrieval and organ recipient transport services for new members on a transplant list prior to enrollment). The annual membership also allows the member to expand their coverage by adding on SkyMed Options.

A short-term membership is a minimum of four days and a maximum of 21 days. It includes the basic SkyMed services (with the exception of organ retrieval and organ recipient transport). SkyMed Options are not available to short-term members.

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What constitutes a family membership?

A cohabiting couple or single parent, with dependents under the age of 18, or under the age of 24 if full-time college students.

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Your membership states “family membership.” Will this include adult siblings, my mother and father?

Family members, other than identified above, must have their own memberships.

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Must my traveling companion be my spouse?

You can list a traveling companion, as long as you cohabitate and both have the same medical transport preference.

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Our adult child lives and travels with us. The IRS considers him to be a dependent. Can he receive SkyMed services just as we do?

Your adult dependent would need to have his/her own individual membership, and it would be treated the same as is any membership.

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If a member is two years into a 5-year membership, and wishes to change to SkyMed Ultimate is this possible?

Yes, they would be given credit for any months remaining on their membership towards the purchase of the Ultimate. The sliding scale is available through all representatives.

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If a member has more than 5 years remaining on their membership, can they upgrade to SkyMed Ultimate?

Yes, and the remaining years are applied as a discount towards a maximum of the first five years. Years remaining that exceed five are calculated on a year-by-year basis.

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If a member already has a SkyMed Basic membership, can they add the NATO service?

Yes, rates are available on request.

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Medical Transport

What is the cost of an emergency medical air transport?

Costs are determined primarily by distance and start at $9,500 and up. Related services (RV or vehicle return, family commercial airfare, etc.,) are in addition to the air transport cost. With the unstable fluctuations in today’s fuel prices SkyMed services can easily exceed $60,000.

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May I have two transport preferences?

Members must select one medical transport preference. This transport preference can be changed and that change must be in writing. The new transport preference will go into effect in 30 days from receipt of request.

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What if I don’t want to be returned to the city shown on my mailing address?

SkyMed asks for two pieces of information from you. One is the address to receive mail for renewal information, membership cards, etc. The second is your medical transport preference, indicating where you wish to be taken in the event of a critical illness or injury. They are not necessarily the same.

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Is there a minimum number of days a member must be hospitalized before they can be transported?

Once a critically ill or injured member has been admitted to a hospital (or 24-hour clinic); transport is provided as soon as the doctor pronounces the member stable enough to be transported. Same day transports may occur, but are not the norm.

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What is meant by “hospital-to-hospital” transport?

In the event of a critical injury or illness, once a member is stable enough to be transported, SkyMed will arrange and pay for bedside-to-bedside transport for the member. This transport includes ground ambulance from the departing hospital to the flight, a medically-equipped and staffed air ambulance to the member’s transport preference, and ground ambulance from the destination airport to the receiving hospital. A companion may accompany the member on a space-available basis.

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Who determines if a member is going to be transported?

When a member suffers a critical illness or injury requiring transport, the member’s attending physician works in concert with SkyMed’s Member Services Director. SkyMed will schedule the necessary air ambulance transport as soon as the member has been stabilized. Arrangements must be made at the receiving hospital for patient acceptance. All transportation arrangements MUST be made by SkyMed. Members arranging for their own air ambulance are financially responsible for complete payment of those arrangements.

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If I am unable to be transported home and have to stay where I have been admitted, will SkyMed fly a family member to my bedside?

Yes, SkyMed will provide round-trip airfare for one family member to be at the stranded member’s bedside. When other companies offer this service their member must be hospitalized for seven days to warrant this member comfort. SkyMed does not have a minimum stay requirement.

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When SkyMed provides transportation home for a member will you fly us back to Florida so we can finish our trip after recovery?

That is not a membership service.

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We will be camping in some remote areas. If a critical injury occurred, would SkyMed transport the member to the nearest hospital?

SkyMed’s services begin once you are at a hospital. SkyMed does not provide transport to the hospital in this circumstance. The exception to this member caveat is if the traveler were a SkyMed Ultimate member then the member would be entitled to transport by ground ambulance or helicopter.

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Can a member change their transport preference, and if so, how?

Yes, medical transport preferences can be changed in writing and sent to SkyMed International, Inc., 13840 N. Northsight Boulevard, Suite 109, Scottsdale, AZ 85260-3665, or by fax to 480-946-3484, or by email to info@skymed.com. The new medical transport preference will go into effect 30 days from receipt in the SkyMed office.

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If a member is injured in an auto accident and requires immediate transportation to a local hospital (and prior approval is out of the question,) what

Approval is not required in this circumstance, SkyMed notification, once the member is in hospitalized, should be undertaken.

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What is visitor transportation?

When a critically ill or injured member is hospitalized and either cannot be stabilized for transport or elects to remain at the original admitting hospital, the member has the option of having a family member or close friend flown to that destination to assist the family. SkyMed pays for the round-trip fare for this person.

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What is meant by return transportation after recovery?

Should a member be hospitalized away from home, upon discharge the member has 30 days to decide if they require assistance to return either to their home or to their original destination. SkyMed will pay for a commercial flight for the member and a companion, and if there is a stranded vehicle or RV, SkyMed will arrange for the vehicle/RV to be returned as well.

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SkyMed Flights

What type of aircraft is used?

Approximately 75% are on medically-equipped and staffed jets or other fixed-wing aircraft depending on type of airport or landing strip available. The balance is on regularly scheduled commercial carriers. The severity of a member’s condition determines the method of transport.

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How many medical flights and/or services are allowed in one year?

Members are allowed two services per person per year.

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Is travel based on coach class fare for members?

SkyMed may provide for first class commercial flight under extenuating circumstances for ambulatory members.

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Does SkyMed own its own aircraft?

It is impractical when serving a membership base across 30 countries, the North American hemisphere, plus Costa Rica and Belize. SkyMed has developed professional working relationships with the finest air ambulance carriers serving this huge area. Aircraft contracted for air ambulance service to SkyMed members must meet all FAA qualifications. A medical crew, certified for flight, will be on board.

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What is a commercial carrier medical escort flight?

When a member has been discharged from a hospital, but requires medical assistance returning home at the attending doctor’s request, SkyMed will provide a qualified nurse or paramedic to accompany the member on a commercial flight, and pay for all costs of that flight.

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I Am Canadian

I am from Canada and if I become ill, do I have to be admitted to a hospital before I am eligible for membership service?

SkyMed services are hospital-to-hospital, therefore hospital admission is a necessity. SkyMed needs to know exactly what your medical condition is, and that you are stable enough to be transported, that information must be provided by a medical professional.

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When a member spends more than six months, cumulatively, outside of the USA or Canada what membership is required?

The Basic membership will cover travel throughout the year. But if a member resides for more than six months of cumulative residency outside of the U.S. A. or Canada, the member is obligated to be a NATO member. Abusing this requirement will result in SkyMed services being denied.

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Residing in Mexico

If a member resides year round in Mexico, will SkyMed transport me to the USA should I have a critical illness or injury ?

Yes. Once stabilized and a guaranteed bed is secured, SkyMed will return year round residents to the medical transport preference as indicated on their application. The members must in this situation have a basic membership with the North American Transport Option feature (NATO)

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What is the North American Transport Option (NATO) plan?

The NATO plan provides membership service for those living outside of the U.S. more than six months in your 12-month membership year. With this plan SkyMed waives the minimum 100 mile travel requirement.

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Are there delays in repatriating members from Mexico?

There is always the possibility of a delay due to a hospital bed not being available at the destination hospital. In addition, in Mexico the airports close at dusk and reopen at dawn. If the call is received too late in the day to fly into an airport, then the member will not be air evacuated until the next morning.

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SkyMed Member Death

What about the transport of physical remains? Must it be the same as my medical transport destination?

SkyMed will transport the physical remains to the destination directed by the surviving spouse or family.

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What physical remains services does SkyMed pay for?

Ground transportation to remote areas is not covered by SkyMed However, SkyMed pays the following expenses when physical remains return is required: 1) commercial air transport of remains, 2) airfare for spouse or companion, 3) return of stranded vehicle or RV.

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Is SkyMed membership transferable to a family member if a member passes away?

Yes, your membership may be willed to an heir. The recipient completes and submits a membership application, and upon approval, would receive the remaining length of member service time on the deceased’s membership.

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Vehicle/RV

When an RV is to be returned, will SkyMed make sure the RV is prepared for the transport?

No, the RV needs to be road-ready. The refrigerator must be turned off and emptied, everything readied for transport, and any towed vehicles must be hooked up and ready to go. Any repairs to the RV or vehicles are the member’s responsibility.

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What happens if a member wants a family member drive to stranded vehicle home?

A member has the choice of having their RV or stranded vehicle returned by a driver they designate. SkyMed will provide airfare for that person to the airport nearest to where the RV is located. SkyMed will pay for fuel, oil, toll fees and a maximum of $100 day towards expenses.

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How is an RV or vehicle return handled from Mexico?

The member would need to designate someone to drive their RV or vehicle home for them. SkyMed will provide airfare for up to two people to the nearest airport where the stranded RV is located and pay for all fuel, oil, toll fees and a maximum of $100 per day towards expenses to return the RV to the member’s transport preference. The designated driver must have a notarized statement from the owner stating they are authorized to drive the vehicle across the international border. With critically enhanced international security, SkyMed has provided this service since September 11, 2001 in lieu of a professional driver.

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I no longer drive my RV- does that make SkyMed unnecessary?

Your SkyMed membership provides multiple services whenever a member travels 100 air miles or more from home (or with the SkyMed Ultimate, even when you are at home). The method of transport does not matter – it could be by car, plane, cruise, or by rail – you have SkyMed peace of mind traveling with you.

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