Repatriation Insurance (DAN)
Three months ago an American cruiser in Bonaire developed a significant cardiac problem beyond the abilities of the local hospital. The hospital in Curacao would have been able to handle it be he would have faced a six figure bill.
Fortuntely he had DAN (Divers Alert Network) premium insurance which includes repatriation for none dive related medical problems. He had payed $150 for the years coverage.
At 24:00 we were talking to a DAN doctor on call at Duke and he ordered a Lear Jet from Miami, at 02:00 We briefed the nurse on the Lear Jet, at 09:00 the Jet landed in Bonaire and at 17:00 my friend was in a cardiac unit in Miami. His wife had flown on the Lear jet with him.
When the initial stabalization had been accomplished DAN payed for commercial flights for them back to their home in California where he underwent continued treatment.
The cost of the flight, paid by DAN, was $25,000+ the final medical bill, paid by Medicare, was over $200,000.
Repatriation insurance is a great bargain expecially for someone with medical coverage in the US such as Medicare or Veterans coverage.
While I am sure commercial repatriation insurance works the advantage of DAN is that you deal directly with the 24/7 on-call Diving Medical Officer at Duke who does not have to ask a permission to order the jet and does not have a financial incentive to not order the Lear Jet. It is my understanding that the insurance is available to none divers.