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MASA - Medical Air Service Association


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Good Morning All,

 

Yesterday I was at a presentation about MASA and am looking for information for those who have it.

 

How do you like it?

Have you had to use it?

Any praise or complaints?

 

How is it different from FMAC Assist?

 

Thanks bunches in advance.

 

If you prefer to email me - gardenhavens@gmail.com and put MASA in the subject line.

 

Diane and Andy Hitzel

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We started fulltiming in September 2005 and bought our lifetime plan in 2007 at the FMCA SE Rally, primarily due to my health problems. No sales pitch was needed for us, my late uncle and aunt had been members for many years due to his health concerns. He had been transported twice by helicopter from Sebring FL to different FL hospitals and once by MASA aircraft to his primary doctor's hospital in Northern IN from one FL hospital. MASA also took their motorhome to their home in southern MI for them. No cost to them other than the original cash outlay We have never had the use it, but know they are there if needed.

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Chose not to buy it or any other such service because as fulltimers, what home would they return us to? When medical need came up that were not scheduled, we went to a facility nearby and stayed as long as needed. It is a good service if there is one place that you want to return to in case of medical emergency. If you don't have such a place, it has little value.

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Chose not to buy it or any other such service because as fulltimers, what home would they return us to? When medical need came up that were not scheduled, we went to a facility nearby and stayed as long as needed. It is a good service if there is one place that you want to return to in case of medical emergency. If you don't have such a place, it has little value.

One benefit that it would have in the circumstances Kirk describes for fulltimers is for medical evacuation. For example, when we worked in Arches NP helicopter evacuation from there to a trauma center was a minimum of $5K. I would assume that MASA would pay that. Correct? Or even like at North Ranch - any emergency there and they fly you to Phoenix. Last person that I know of it cost them $15K. They had insurance....lucky them. I don't know if a specific medical evacuation policy would be cheaper or not, though.

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Thanks so much for your replies and info - great perspective on the medical evacuation. I think I need to check out what our insurances cover for the transportation and FMCA Assist for the return of the RV.

Our discussion now is where would we want to return to???

 

Sheesh - Hate thinking about these things!

 

Thanks again - :-)

 

Diane

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My understanding of these medical evacuation/transport policies are that they require you to have some sort of medical necessity for them to pay for the transport. They don't pay just because you very strongly believe you should be transported.

 

I'm sure if you are in a small town medical facility and that facility states you need to be transported to a large medical facility because you need medical care they can't provide, then that would be covered.

 

Now if you are Arches NP and have a medical problem, the camp host calls the ranger or 911, the helicopter arrives and flies you to Moab and you are released from the hospital with undetermined diagnosis or that you had non life threatening symptoms, will there be any second guessing from the company as to whether or not the helicopter was necessary? Could you have been transported by ground service at less cost? Since no qualified medical person is likely to have been there at the time of the perceived emergency does that matter?

 

Thoughts that I have used to decide whether or not to buy a policy:

 

How do I personally feel about paying the $5K or even $15K fee for transportation out of my pocket, versus buying a policy like being discussed in this topic.

 

How likely am I personally to need transport from someplace like Arches?

 

Can I envision some reason why I would have a medical necessity to have medical air transport to my personal doctor in my home town?

 

Would I have better piece of mind buying insurance for medical evacuation?

 

My decision: Since I own a motorhome, I decided to keep my FMCA membership current. They have a policy, something like the one mentioned in this topic, included in the membership. Is it as good? I don't know.

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My understanding of these medical evacuation/transport policies are that they require you to have some sort of medical necessity for them to pay for the transport. They don't pay just because you very strongly believe you should be transported.

 

I'm sure if you are in a small town medical facility and that facility states you need to be transported to a large medical facility because you need medical care they can't provide, then that would be covered.

 

Now if you are Arches NP and have a medical problem, the camp host calls the ranger or 911, the helicopter arrives and flies you to Moab and you are released from the hospital with undetermined diagnosis or that you had non life threatening symptoms, will there be any second guessing from the company as to whether or not the helicopter was necessary? Could you have been transported by ground service at less cost? Since no qualified medical person is likely to have been there at the time of the perceived emergency does that matter?

 

I think your point is a good one....But to clarify the Arches NP scenario. There are qualified medical personnel at the scene (paramedics) that make the decision to air lift. They take you to Grand Junction - not Moab. Moab has no real hospital. (At least at the time)

 

I don't know if MASA covers this scenario or not....thus the nature of my question. But if they did, then this would be a good reason for a fulltimer to have them.....

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As DH (teacher's pet) stated, we have MASA. When searching the various services that offer similar options, we found that many will not write you a policy if you travel with a life threatening problem for which you are medicated. Since DH qualifies on that count, SkyMed, the FMCA plan (at the time), etc., would not cover him. I went so far as to talk with the underwriters of those plans. MASA has a 90 day exclusion, then you are good to go for any emergency you may have. They are also world wide. We like to boondock some and occasionally find ourselves in remote locations. That is the precise reason we purchased the MASA plan. . . to potentially airlift DH (or myself) out of the location to a hospital who can treat his complicated problems. So far we haven't had to use it. . . that's good, but we know it's there.

 

Dale

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My decision: Since I own a motorhome, I decided to keep my FMCA membership current. They have a policy, something like the one mentioned in this topic, included in the membership. Is it as good? I don't know.

 

If you think the FMCA coverage is anything like what you get from MASA or SkyMed, I urge you to read the fine print again. The FMCA coverage only covers transport to the nearest medical facility that can provide adequate care. Nothing is said about getting you or your RV home. Furthermore, any other coverage such as transporting your RV is dependent on you being approved for transport.

 

In comparison, SkyMed (which I don't believe is not the company providing the FMCA coverage) will transport a full-timer anywhere he wishes. I called to ask that specific question and that was their response.

 

The kind of event I am most concerned about happened to a friend of my wife's a few days ago. She slipped and broke a hip. She had surgery here in TX but needs to return to her home in Iowa within a few weeks. If a doctor decided she wasn't fit for a lengthy ride in her dually, a policy such as SkyMed or MASA probably would cover it.

 

I need to study the differences between SkyMed (which my employer had purchased for me when I used to travel abroad extensively) and MASA to compare the coverages. The annual costs appear to be similar. We like to summer in Canada and returning from there after an event such as a knee or hip replacement I think is a far more likely concern than speculating if I'm ever going to be in some remote location where I need a real evacuation.

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Joel, I urge you to rethink "needing a real evacuation". You do not have to be in a remote area. Something as simple as the desert behind North Ranch with an injury could entail a helicopter transport to Phoenix. That is a real evacuation and would not be paid unless you had coverage. This is a perfect example of how a fulltimer could take advantage of MASA or Skymed. You do NOT need to use these services for transport "home". They have value without that.

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Joel, I urge you to rethink "needing a real evacuation". You do not have to be in a remote area. Something as simple as the desert behind North Ranch with an injury could entail a helicopter transport to Phoenix. That is a real evacuation and would not be paid unless you had coverage. This is a perfect example of how a fulltimer could take advantage of MASA or Skymed. You do NOT need to use these services for transport "home". They have value without that.

 

Jack:

 

I'm not disagreeing with you at all. We're going to buy either SkyMed or MASA before we leave TX this spring. I don't want to put my trust in what I can get from the FMCA coverage. Typically, you get out of it what you pay for it and in FMCA's case that isn't very much.

 

Joel

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I'm at a Resort now that has a monthly presentation from MASA. The meetings are always well attended probably because they buy everyone who attends, the Fish Fry Dinner. With that being said, when we are ready to purchase(maybe this Friday?), it would be through MASA. It appears to be the best one out of the ones available.

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I'm at a Resort now that has a monthly presentation from MASA. The meetings are always well attended probably because they buy everyone who attends, the Fish Fry Dinner. With that being said, when we are ready to purchase(maybe this Friday?), it would be through MASA. It appears to be the best one out of the ones available.

 

If you've compared MASA to SkyMed, I'd appreciate knowing what you learned. There's a MASA presentation at our RV park this week that I'm going to miss. The costs of the two companies appear roughly comparable, what are the key differences?

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I've sat through the SkyMed presentation on a couple of occasions but it's been a few years. Last year, I listened to MASA at this CG and if I can find my notes on both presentations, I could give you a more informed answer. MASA actually had a handout comparing the two(I'm sure it was slanted a tad toward their product) but in general, I was just plain more impressed with MASA and their overall coverage and more expedited handling of claims. I will attend this Friday's presentation and if I can give you more info or send you some info, I will. I'm sure they'll be handing out packets of info and I'd be more than happy to grab a set for you and mail it?

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I've sat through the SkyMed presentation on a couple of occasions but it's been a few years. Last year, I listened to MASA at this CG and if I can find my notes on both presentations, I could give you a more informed answer. MASA actually had a handout comparing the two(I'm sure it was slanted a tad toward their product) but in general, I was just plain more impressed with MASA and their overall coverage and more expedited handling of claims. I will attend this Friday's presentation and if I can give you more info or send you some info, I will. I'm sure they'll be handing out packets of info and I'd be more than happy to grab a set for you and mail it?

 

If you see a comparison document grab one for me, but the regular stuff I can easily get off both company's websites. If you do snag one, let me know and I'll PM you an address you can send it to. Thanks,

 

Joel

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When we bought MASA, we were able to get a "lifetime" policy. SkyMed also offered one, but I don't think they do any longer. For that matter, MASA would only offer the lifetime plan at certain times. Once again, SkyMed does not automatically cover everyone. They requested a list of medications and if particular meds were listed, you were out of the running.

 

Dale

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When we bought MASA, we were able to get a "lifetime" policy. SkyMed also offered one, but I don't think they do any longer.

 

 

 

Several people have noted this as an example of why MASA was better but IMHO this doesn't tell me anything about the relative coverages. In theory, I could have a lifetime policy with a company that had inferior benefits (not saying that's the case here) but I am rather surprised that no one has offered to tell me anything that makes one company better than the other. In fact, it sounds as if quite a few people simply made their minds up at the free dinner presentation that MASA usually offers and didn't actually do much, if any comparison shopping.

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When we were planning our trip to Alaska, in 2006, we purchased a Sky Med policy. From what I remember (age is creeping up) it cost about $3000 for 5 years of coverage. Once we had our trip and the coverage ran out we did not renew. Now we have a "lifetime" coverage from MASA for about the same amount. I expect to live a few more years of fulltiming, and after that the coverage will cover for any traveling we do. Hope this helps a little Joel.

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OK...so I found some notes from last years presentation, this might be a little scattered brained but here's what I noted from last year.(I will update this after tomorrows presentation).

 

1) Skymed uses Underwriters-MASA does not

2) Skymed does not cover dangerous activities-MASA does(think ATV'ing for instance, Rock climbing)

3) Skymed only covers critical accidents- MASA (I didn't write anything)

4) Skymed only covers two ambulance rides per year and not at Home transportation

5) Skymed 250,000 members-MASA 1.5 million members(maybe an advantage?)

6) Skymed wants to know all medications you are taking in order to deny claim's(this maybe hype?)

7) MASA has no deductibles, no claim forms and no dollar maximum's

 

As to coverages: MASA covers:

Ground ambulance at home

Ground ambulance away from home

Helicopter at home

Helicopter away from home

Worldwide coverage

Minor children coverage when traveling with you(Grandkids....or kids in genera;)

Periodic news letters from MASA

Fixed wing air ambulance hospital to hospital

Spouse or escort transportation

Vehicle return

Non injury transportation (flying in family members)

Recuperation/repatriation (medical transport to hospital nearer to home)

Return transport (commercial air transport home)

Mortal remains return

Minor children return

Organ recipient Transport

Organ retrieval

 

That's what I have so far......let me add, I have nothing to do with MASA, just another interested party that takes notes!!!

Last year's prices: Lifetime Family- 4490.00 Lifetime single-3390.00

They have 5 year plans also: 3300.00 family, 2490.00 single

Hope that answers a few questions but I'll still look for more tomorrow.

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OK...so we went, we listened and we bought!

The presentation itself was pretty much what I remembered last year but some highlights I touched on above.

Skymed uses underwriters, which means when you have a claim, it sent on to an insurance claim specialist who may or may not approve your claim. MASA does the claim process in house-family oriented company. Skymed provides only 2 ambulance rides per event whereas MASA is unlimited. This may not seem like a big deal BUT if you ever have to use a Medical Emergency Flight, it could involve 4 or more transports by ambulance.

 

A big difference is Skymed relies on High pressure salesmanship where they say, you have to buy Now to get the deal...MASA has no such pressure. MASA has been in business since 1974, main office in Salt Lake Texas with 17 Worldwide offices. MASA is staffed 24/7/365 by English speaking representatives. MASA is approved by AMA(American Motorcycle Association, they cover ATV and Private aircraft accidents, they transport remains for the Neptune Society. MASA provides Worldwide coverage and Cruise Ship Transport. MASA is the only company that pays "actual charges". Skymed bases their claims on the terms:," Usual and Customary" charges and "Fair and Customary" charges...which means your bill maybe 10,000 dollars and they will only pay what the underwriters deem as fair and customary! MASA will reimburse you for covered events up to 6 months after the event, in the event you forget what might be covered or not. Skymed events are established only when a patient is "Critical" in nature and if Medicare turns down a claim, 85% of the time Skymed will also turn down that claim.

 

Oh...another big item....Skymed has NO Life Time program whereas MASA does and it's probably the best bargain.

To some it up, as presented.....MASA is the Roll-Royce of the industry, Skymed is a Chevy and all others are the Yugo's!

Gee maybe I should be a salesman haha :-)

 

I did get some paper work in case you want it and Ill give you our presenter's name and number(A very nice guy, easy to talk with): Roger Anderson (800)350-6449 or E-mail him at "rogmar77@hotmail.com. If someone does decide to purchase, they do have a referral program and I'll be more than Happy to send you my member number.. :-) and name. :-)

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Thanks so much for the information. That was exactly the sort of stuff I was looking for.

 

The only thing that I find puzzling (and a little disturbing) is that the MASA website is singularly lacking in ANY detail about its services. There is no fine print nor anything which describes what is and is not covered. I'm assuming that after you sign up you must get something that resembles an insurance document, but I'm surprised that there's nothing on the website that provides that information. Each coverage item is listed, for example, Escort Transportation, but there is no discussion of under what conditions such transportation will be provided, whether it will be via commercial or private aircraft, etc.

 

I'm the kind of buyer who likes to know what I'm getting in advance of signing a contract. I guess I'll have to call Roger to find out more info.

 

Joel

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They do have their own fleet of private lear jets for medical transport. He also stressed that if a patient has had or is having a heart attack, the flight(fixed wing or helicopter) there will be a cardiac doctor on board as well as a cardiac nurse. I did get a pamphlet with the fine print which I'm still reviewing and if something jumps out at me, I'll shout out.

 

One other thing I found interesting is that Skymed has a practice of "buying the time" at the resort's they make presentations at, thus locking MASA out via the agreement with the venue. In other words, MASA pays no one to make a presentation.

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