Frequently Asked Questions

Questions?

Take a look through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for extensive information about our SkyMed services. If you don’t find an answer to your question here, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-679-2020 or via email at any time.

How long has SkyMed been a travel membership business?

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

In which areas do SkyMed members benefit while travelling?

SkyMed services are provided to Members travelling throughout Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, and the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii).

 

What are the countries in the SkyMed Universe?

Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nevis, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent, Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the United States.

 

Are SkyMed services available to Members both when travelling on vacation or on business?

Yes, it’s available for both vacation and business travel; in effect, all travel.

 

Does it matter how I’m travelling? Do we have SkyMed service on a cruise?

The SkyMed ULTIMATE Out-of-Province Membership plan provides certain services while you are at home or out travelling. It doesn’t matter whether you are flying for leisure or for business, on a cruise, travelling by car or by RV—SkyMed will be there for you whenever you travel.

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

SkyMed takes its Members home to the hospital of their choice and at their choice of location.

Assistance companies transport their members to the closest appropriate hospital, which they determine is adequate for their members’ required 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 required of the assistance company.

SkyMed Members who purchase Canadian Out-of-Province Membership plans, must return home to validate further medical cost containment once they are stabilized for travel. The choice of staying at the hospital of admission or returning home is made by the Member’s family.

What does my Canadian Out-of-Province Membership provide?

We arrange and pay for the hospital-to-hospital transport of the SkyMed Member 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 decide to stay in the admitting hospital, following your discharge you have 30 days to decide if you still need SkyMed’s help in returning home. If so, we provide commercial transport home, fuel costs, and a professional driver to return your RV or vehicle.

 

What happens if I need a medically equipped air ambulance and I do not have SkyMed?

Unfortunately, air ambulances require 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 significant cost savings to the non-member. The non-member pays all transportation costs.

 

Does provincial health insurance pay for emergency medical air transportation?

Most plans provide little or no coverage; in fact, only a very small percentage of assistance-type organizations cover this service and many of those only pay for a limited portion of the cost of transportation in restricted medical situations. If you are a member of a provincial health insurance plan and out of your plan’s area of service and experience a serious medical condition, your plan may pay to have you stabilized, but it will be your responsibility to get back to your provincial plan’s service area. Check with your out-of-province health care provider to see if they will pay your health services in a foreign country or provide air repatriation to your home province.

SkyMed can become the safety net for you and take you home.

 

Does SkyMed 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 or medical escort services are paid for by SkyMed.

 

Will SkyMed pay to have a family member of friend flown in to be with the hospitalized Member?

SkyMed provides round-trip airfare to/from the closest commercial airport to the hospitalized Member. SkyMed provides this service as early as the first day of hospitalization as opposed to the many services that require a 7-day hospital stay prior to providing the service.

 

Do my grandchildren benefit from my SkyMed Membership?

When SkyMed Members are travelling 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 at SkyMed’s expense. Should the grandchild become critically injured or ill, they are entitled to the same services as their grandparents. This applies when the grandchildren are travelling with the grandparents and not accompanied by their parents.

Arrangements are made and paid for by SkyMed.

 

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. Often this is not necessary.

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 within the 30-day time frame will be given upon request.

 

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

You can enroll through a SkyMed representative in person, by phone, via email or online at www.skymedcanada.com. Most Memberships are approved at the time of application, except if there are pre-existing conditions.

 

Is there a waiting period for pre-existing conditions?

All Memberships are subject to pre-existing conditions review; new Members are entitled to all Membership services after 90 days. Every service unaffected by a pre-existing condition provided from the date of application is valid.

 

Are all options automatically included in my Membership?

YES. Your SkyMed Out-of-Province ULTIMATE Membership Plan offers 12 key services PLUS 6 extended services free of additional charge, including Global Emergency Travel Services (GETS).

 

What is GETS?

 GETS is a program available to SkyMed Members when travelling outside of the SkyMed UNIVERSE. (See “What are the countries in the the SkyMed UNIVERSE?”)

If I have 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 of your hospitalization. You should also place your SkyMed card 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.

 

Will Membership rates increase without notice?

Renewals are always based on the current rates at the time of renewal. If rates are increased, present Members are given the option of extending their Membership at the most recent rate for an extended period of time. All Memberships are treated equally.

 

Does my age determine my Membership fee?

Membership fees are not rated by age up to 79 years; we offer our Silver Plan for Members that are 80 years of age or older.  

 

How does a Member notify SkyMed when they need assistance?

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

 

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

Yes.

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 necessary care for the member. Costs can be up to $40,000 for a short helicopter trip to a hospital. SkyMed guarantees there will be no out-of-pocket costs to the Member for a helicopter transport. Helicopter flights between hospitals are to be arranged only by SkyMed; however, flights or ground ambulance services from the scene of a vehicle accident do not need to be prearranged by SkyMed.

 

SKYMED ARRANGES ALL FLIGHTS

Can I or my family or medical provider order my flight?

No, all flights are arranged and paid for by SkyMed. Flights arranged by Members are the Members’ financial responsibility and are not reimbursable.

 

What does my SkyMed ULTIMATE Out-of-Province Membership Plan provide? 

Your SkyMed ULTIMATE Out-of-Province Membership Plan provides several specialty options such as the SkyMed Plus Option (which includes the return of stranded pets), Helicopter Option, 100 Mile Waiver Option, Ground Ambulance Option, Primary Driver Disability Option (PDDO)—all with no additional fees.

 

What does the 100-Mile Waiver provide?

Without this service, the member must be more than 100 air miles from home when critically injured or ill to receive services. With the 100 Mile Waiver, services are available to the member whether they are at home or travelling – within or outside that 100-mile perimeter. However, this service is provided with your SkyMed ULTIMATE Out-of-Province Membership.

 

If ground ambulance service is included in the ULTIMATE Out-of-Province Membership what does the Ground Ambulance Service offer in addition?

The ULTIMATE Ground Ambulance Service provides transportation to the hospital, whereas the traditional SkyMed membership service provides ground ambulance from the hospital to the transportation mode once a hospital-to-hospital transport is approved by SkyMed.

 

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 Service. SkyMed pays for the return of your pet on a commercial flight (when permitted by the airlines and according to the rules of the airlines.) The same service applies when in Mexico.

 

What is the the Primary Driver Disability Option (PDDO)?

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 the return of the stranded vehicle to the Member’s home or to continue on to their original destination. Pre-approval for this member service is required.

 

What makes the SkyMed ULTIMATE Out-of-Province Membership Plan so special?

The SkyMed ULTIMATE Out-of-Province plan offers 12 key services PLUS six extended services at no extra charge, including Global Emergency Travel Services. As a SkyMed Member, SkyMed will make arrangements and payments for your transport to your home hospital in Canada should you as a Member suffer a critical illness or injury. SkyMed pays for the return transportation of a spouse or companion, children, grandchildren, plus stranded vehicles and pets!

 

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 university or community college students.

 

Must a travelling companion be a spouse?

No. They constitute a Family Membership if they reside at the same address and require the same medical transport preference.

 

What is the cost of an emergency medical air ambulance transport?

Costs are determined by distance and medical staff required on board. Related services (RV or vehicle return, family commercial airfare, etc.) are in addition to the air transport cost. SkyMed has paid as much as $104,000 for a medically equipped and staffed air repatriation.

 

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

SkyMed accepts two pieces of destination information from you. One is the address to receive mail for renewal notification, 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.

 

Are 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 in accordance with U.S. Federal Department of Transportation dictates. Same day transports may occur, but are not the norm.

 

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 flight based on space availability.

 

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. A Member arranging for their own air ambulance flight is financially responsible for complete payment of those arrangements. Such payment is not reimbursable to the Member.

 

If I am unable to be transported home and must remain where I have been hospitalized, 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. Most companies that offer this service require their member to be hospitalized for seven days to warrant this Member comfort. SkyMed does not require a minimum stay.

 

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 of the request at the SkyMed office.

 

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 is the procedure?

Approval is not required in this circumstance. SkyMed should be notified once the Member is in the hospital.

 

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 commercial economy fare for this person.

 

What is meant by “return transportation after recovery?”

Should a Member be hospitalized away from home, upon discharge after the patient care is completed 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 air 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.

What type of aircraft is used in Member repatriation?

When Members are ambulatory they are often repatriated on commercial airlines with medical escorts (doctors or nurses) to the destination hospital.

 

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

Members are allowed two air repatriation services per person per year.

 

Is travel based on coach class fare for Members?

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

 

Does SkyMed own its aircraft?

It is impractical when serving a Membership base across several countries throughout North America. 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 U.S. FAA qualifications. A medical crew, certified for flight, will accompany the Member.

 

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 and the medical attendant.

 

When a Member spends more than six months, cumulatively, outside of 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 in one year outside of Canada, the Member should check with their provincial healthcare plan to understand “out-of-province” regulations.

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

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

 

For what physical remains services does SkyMed pay?

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.

 

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.

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

It is the Member’s responsibility to make certain the RV is road-ready. The refrigerator must be turned off and emptied, everything readied for transport, and any tow vehicles must be hooked up and ready for transport. Any repairs to the RV or vehicles are the Member’s responsibility.

 

What happens if a Member wants a family member to drive a 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 $125 per day towards travel expenses.

 

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 fuel, oil, toll fees and a maximum of $125 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 an international border. With critically enhanced international security, SkyMed has provided this service since September 11, 2001 in lieu of a professional driver.

 

I no longer drive my RV or own one—does that make SkyMed unnecessary?

Your SkyMed ULTIMATE Membership provides multiple services whenever a Member is at home or away. The method of transport does not matter—it could be by car, plane, cruise, or by rail—you have SkyMed peace of mind wherever you may be.

In fact, the majority of SkyMed Members are not RV owners.

 

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