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Thread: Backcountry extraction insurance, anyone use it?

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    Default Backcountry extraction insurance, anyone use it?

    Just started shopping, what do you guys use?

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    Lifemed had a 49 per year on their site im going to buy it

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    Inreach offers it as well when you sign up for one of there plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbear View Post
    Lifemed had a 49 per year on their site im going to buy it
    Question: If you are in danger but not actually injured or sick, will Lifemed perform search and rescue?

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    No! You get the booby prize instead.

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    My point or thinking...If you're in the backcountry and have an emergency worthy of immediate rescue there's a chance it could be non-medical in nature. I don't know how a guy can push the button on his plb or other device and be assured the first responders will be the ones he wants...or whose services are covered by the insurance.

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    PLB button goes right to RCC. (rescue coordination center) They decide what resources to send. In general, if they don't have contact with you and get the trouble signal, you are going to get a decent response. The nice thing about who the RCC sends, you won't have to pay a thing if it's a real emergency. Generally they are going to send the Troopers, Coast Guard or National Guard. The Coast Guard and National Guard always launch with medical capable personnel on board. The Troopers, not so much.

    Sat phone is the way to go if you need to talk to someone.

    The only time you have to pay is when you call on one of the private outfits like LifeMed or Guardian. LifeMed or Guardian do not do search and rescue, and they have greater weather and terrain restrictions than the Coast Guard or National Guard.

    You have to look at each company's capabilities and make your choice. This isn't just all about emergencies in the field. My health insurance coverage for flights is horrible. If I burst an appendix on the Haul Rd. (happened to one of my employees) an emergency trip to Dead Horse and medevac to Anchorage on an airplane is going to be expensive. Massive head injury requiring a flight to Seattle? Going to be a hefty bill.

    Guardian does airplanes and excels at it. Life Med has helicopters and airplanes, but less bases in the bush hubs. We currently carry insurance for Guardian, but I discovered on renewal that I wasn't covered for a helicopter flight. I will most likely buy both insurances to cover myself well. $175 a year to cover all my bases isn't too bad considering how much I have to lose financially.
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    I'm looking at LifeMed too, and it's good to understand the limitations of each vendor. The Lifemed $49 deal covers a household of up to 4.

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    Apollo Insurance

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    Regarding the subject of this thread, back country insurance, the only company with high level medical care that can respond to a backcountry medical emergency(assuming you have a sat phone to call for more than just search and rescue) is LifeMed with their helicopters. Guardian does not have any. The range of those helicopters is generally restricted to the South central up the Parks, over towards Rainy pass, out the Glen towards Glenallen, down the Kenai. That is a pretty darn big chunk of country with lots of people at play in the backcountry. If you play in that area a lot, your back country medevac with high level medical care would be covered by LifeMed insurance providing you already have medical insurance with medevac coverage. That is a requirement of all medevac membership plans. In addition to that, they have fixed wing aircraft covering the entire state with rapid response times. Those same planes can also transport you to the lower 48 if needed. And lastly, LifeMed has the only Neonatal, high risk OB and Pediatric specialty teams.

    Yes I have a bias, but those are the truths as I know them.

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    Recommend you check out Global Rescue (https://www.globalrescue.com) as they will extract as well as transport to medical care. Good Luck
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    Just reviving this old thread and wondering if anyone out there has ever had to utilize any of the mentioned companies, such as, LifeMed, Guardian, Apollo, Inreach....???

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    I was going to get it, then when I went to sign up if you don't have health insurance otherwise, you can't sign up for any of these programs. What I got out of it was that it only covers what your main insurance won't pay. I have seen LifeMed pick people up at the lodge, but they were dispatched after no one else could make the trip in the time frame that was needed.
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    Thanks D.H. for the reply.

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    Just finished my WFR recert with an instructor who used to work for LifeMed, and this subject came up. Be advised- LifeMed won't extract you from a mountainside or any tricky terrain. They'll pick you up from an airport with a fixed-wing plane or land in an appropriate spot in the backcountry and wait at that spot for you to deliver the patient to them- no hot loads, and no trekking away from the LZ to carry you to the helo. If you need an extraction from hazardous terrain, that's the job for the PJs.

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    Another vote for global rescue. We advise all of our clients to sign up prior to a remote trip. Havent had to use them yet but know people who have. They will get you out of anywhere. Usually they will sub it out to a local company ( at least thats how it works here) but they will get you out. Inreach is another good one. inReach operates much like Global Rescue in that they will use a local company in most cases. A buddy had his inReach send an SOS accidentally last fall while out hunting. He didnt know it was sending the signal until the helicopter showed up. There was a police officer and medical help onboard. They were glad he was OK and the entire ordeal didnt cost him anything, but here in Yukon the RCMP has room in their budget for calls like that...not sure if you would be on the hook for costs in other areas. One thing I like about Global Rescue is that they will make sure you have a paramedic by your side if you are in a country with sketchy medical services. I wouldnt go overseas without it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ANCguy View Post
    Just finished my WFR recert with an instructor who used to work for LifeMed, and this subject came up. Be advised- LifeMed won't extract you from a mountainside or any tricky terrain. They'll pick you up from an airport with a fixed-wing plane or land in an appropriate spot in the backcountry and wait at that spot for you to deliver the patient to them- no hot loads, and no trekking away from the LZ to carry you to the helo. If you need an extraction from hazardous terrain, that's the job for the PJs.
    First off I am a flight medic with LifeMed.

    This is partly correct.

    LifeMed will pick you up form a remote area if it is safe to do so. They will hike in to get you.

    The limitation is if there is any technical extrication required like mountain extrication where specialized training and equipment is required.

    If it is a hike to the patient and a non-technical extrication they will within, safe parameters, absolutely do that and have quite often.

    The decision to do the flight will always be decided on what is safe for the med crew and patient.

    The 210th does have capabilities that does exceed LM in some instances.
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    Global Rescue has no resources in Alaska. They will call local resources such as LifeMed, 210th or another local company to do the medevac / rescue. This is true, in Alaska, of any of the other companies like Global Rescue. Basically, in Alaska, you are paying them to make a phone call.

    The earlier post that said Guardian has more bush bases in incorrect.

    Often the Guardian insurance calls LM to do bush medevacs.
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    Does Medicare count as "must have insurance"? for LM?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    Does Medicare count as "must have insurance"? for LM?
    It looks that way: https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/am...-services.html

    Actually it looks like the folks at LifeMed have already answered that question: http://www.lifemedalaska.com/insurance-billing

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