If disaster happens, the choice of your trekking company can result either in peace of mind, or having an agent looming over your hospital bed, demanding thousands of dollars.
Helicopter rescue services will rarely come to your aid without you either making a cash deposit or full payment, which averages about $2500 an hour. With Trekking Planner, we will arrange the rescue and we have an agreement with them to be paid directly by your insurance company. Not all trekking companies have these agreements, and having insurance may not protect you from financial disaster Here is an example: recently an American developed Typhoid while on the Everest Base Camp Trek. She insisted on reaching the base, but then collapsed. She was med-evacuated to ICU in Kathmandu, and tethered to IV’s for 4 days. Two agents from the helicopter company showed up by her bed and demanded $6500. They said she would have to be reimbursed later by her insurance policy. Luckily she had a credit card. And then, when she was ready for discharge, the hospital demanded $1600 US before she could have her passport back. Again, she paid up front, with the expectation to be reimbursed at a later date by the insurance company. But what if she hadn’t had the financial reserves?
So of course have insurance that covers emergency helicopter rescue and medical care. But also make sure the trekking company has an arrangement with medical facilities to wait for reimbursement, instead of demanding payment from you up front. It is a small investment for peace of mind.