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Last Minute Travel Insurance Purchase Saves Injured Traveler a Fortune

Unexpected injury or illness while traveling can put a damper on a trip in a hurry but can also create lasting negative impact on the finances of the traveler, states Stephanie Abrams, leading radio show travel expert. “Knowing that is something goes wrong, you are protected and will be cared for at home with your own doctors at the hospital of your choice goes a long way to giving travelers peace of mind when traveling,” Abrams states. Knowing the importance of the services provided by Air Ambulance Card, a service Abrams notes everyone should have and never have to use, Abrams has invited the company's executive vice president, Stan Bradley, to discuss Air Ambulance Card's unique services on the January 22, 2006 airing of Travel WITH Stephanie Abrams. Abrams has also invited a client of the company to share her experience in which
a $295 membership with Air Ambulance Card saved this Boulder, Colorado woman from a $58,000 air ambulance bill.

In August, 2005, Barbara Leutwiler, during a trip to a remote area of Brazil, slipped and shattered her kneecap. Because of good planning before her departure, just two days before she left for the South American vacation, Leutwiler purchased a membership from Birmingham-based Air Ambulance CardÔ. Within hours of her accident, the company was finalizing arrangements to dispatch an air ambulance to Brazil to bring Leutwiler and her husband home to Colorado for her needed surgery. Leutwiler, not wanting to seek medical attention in Brazil explains, “You need to be close to home, close to your doctors, not only for surgery, but for the recovery.”

Leutwiler was in Anapolis, two hours outside Brazil's capital, Brasilia. The day before her 59th birthday, she was on her way to breakfast when she slipped on a wet tile floor and broke her kneecap. She noted that explaining that she needed ice to keep the swelling down was problematic and, adding to the severity of the situation, Leutwiler had suffered a heart attack three years earlier. Because of the language barrier, she was having trouble communicating with doctors about the danger if given the wrong medicine.

Hospital staffers also did not know how to dial out of the country. Leutwiler's husband had an international operator connect him with Air Ambulance CardÔ who handled everything. Within six hours, they had obtained the necessary visas, clearances and permits in order to dispatch the jet and medical team.

Air medical transport protection included in some standard travel insurance policies will transport to the nearest, appropriate hospital. “Some companies would have said the hospital in Brasilia was adequate, or maybe would have flown her to Rio,” said Stan Bradley, executive vice president of Air Ambulance CardÔ. “We fly members to the hospital of their choice.” For Barbara Leutwiler, that was in Boulder, Colorado. The flight would have cost her $58,000 out of pocket. “They would have to pay their membership fee for 197 years to recoup the cost of this flight,” said Sam Jackson, president of Air Ambulance CardÔ.

Leutwiler is recovering at home. Once she is well, she plans to travel overseas again. Of course she will renew her Air Ambulance CardÔ membership first. “I am forever grateful that there is a service like this out there,” said Leutwiler. “If I didn't have it, I would still be there recovering.”

Air Ambulance Card™ provides travelers with hospital-to-hospital Prepaid Air Ambulance Service™ domestically and abroad. The membership program offers services for a period of one year to families or individuals, and corporate accounts. Air Ambulance Card memberships are available to residents of the U.S. and Canada and cost $195 per year for individuals and $295 per year for families. For more information visit

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