San Francisco, CA, August 02, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- As tourists and sports enthusiasts around the world prepare to travel to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, a leading emergency travel service is ready to help them deal with unexpected serious illness or injury while in China. Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness to travelers in China, and the rate of traffic accidents, including fatal accidents, is among the highest in the world.
While many people buy travel insurance to provide for lost luggage or canceled trips, they often overlook medical evacuation insurance, a unique benefit recommended by the U.S. State Department that transports seriously ill or injured travelers to a hospital. “If you or someone in your family has a medical crisis in China, your personal health policy or credit card insurance won’t get you home,” said Tim Prero, President of Travel Assist Network. The company’s Air Rescue Card™ membership plans provide emergency travel services, including medical evacuation, to its members in return for a modest fee.
“The last thing any traveler expects is a serious injury or illness,” said Prero. “It’s something that happens all too often; unfortunately, it’s not something travelers expect or plan for.” Aside from being incredibly frustrating, a health-related emergency can be costly: A medical flight home, if needed, can cost up to $100,000. If Air Rescue Card™ members need to be hospitalized in China (or anywhere at least 99 miles from home), Travel Assist Network will transport them on a medically-equipped aircraft to a hospital of their choice—anywhere in the world. There is no additional cost to the member, beyond the 14-day fee ($75) or annual fee ($235 for an individual). The member’s spouse and dependent children are also transported at no cost.
Travel Assist Network has pre-established relationships with China-based emergency centers to facilitate medical care and payment issues. “We’ve taken special measures to anticipate members’ needs during the Olympics,” said Prero. “We are in the best possible position to serve our worldwide clientele under these special conditions.” The company’s team of emergency physicians, who are affiliated with the University of Chicago, are in Beijing to address members’ needs. Physicians and assistance coordinators are available to members 24/7.
Air Rescue Card™ membership also includes services for problems commonly experienced by travelers throughout China due to cultural, language, and regulatory differences:
· Medical facilities and ambulances typically demand payment before offering service. Travel Assist Network can arrange ambulance transfers and advance funds to pay for these services.
· Credit cards and insurance are fairly new concepts in Chinese hospitals, and are typically not accepted. In emergency situations, Travel Assist Network can advance funds to members.
· Medical services can be limited and are offered only in hospital clinics. Scheduling appointments can be very difficult, if not impossible. Travel Assist Network helps its members schedule these appointments.
· Medical care is substandard in much of China and language barriers can create difficult and frightening circumstances. In emergency cases, Travel Assist Network provides telephone or in-person translation services.
Travel Assist Network provides worldwide emergency air evacuation and travel services through the Air Rescue Card™ program. Benefits are available to anyone traveling more than 99 miles from home, regardless of age, medical history or global destination. When required, members are evacuated to the hospital of their choice by air ambulance with trained medical flight crews. Air Rescue Card™ membership also includes a guaranteed trip home for spouse and dependents. Fourteen-day benefits start at $75. Annual plans are available for individuals, families and groups. For more information, visit http://www.travelassistnetwork.com
or contact 866-500-0333. Travel Assist Network™, Air Rescue Card™ and the Travel Assist Network™ logo are trademarks of Travel Assist Network, Inc.