Evacuation and repatriation policy

A group policy has been set up to cover evacuation and repatriation for all crew as of 01 August 2018. This policy will be paid for through your crew fees and is provided by Talent Trust Consultants (TTc). Incoming crew are automatically enrolled in this policy by Human Resources. Benefits are only applicable in the event of an emergency evacuation, therefore, we strongly encourage you to sign up for the TTc Top Up Plan (if joining for less than a year) or have your own medical insurance policy with a different provider. Crew serving one year or more are required to provide evidence of medical coverage prior to joining.

Health Insurance Requirements

If serving less than one year:

If you would like additional coverage besides the benefits listed in the table above, you are encouraged to consider additional health insurance while you are on board. If you would like to purchase additional medical and non-medical coverage, we suggest two options:

1. Purchase the Mercy Ships Top Up Plan from TTc which includes these extra medical and non-medical benefits. To add this additional coverage, go to TTc website and apply for the standard Outreach program. As long as you mention that you are with the Africa Mercy and Mercy Ships, you will automatically be given the special Top Up rates.

OR

2. Purchase short-term travel insurance. Short-term Travel insurance is available in most countries and is often offered when you purchase your tickets through a travel agent. Cost is variable depending on the product you choose and the level of coverage.

If serving more than one year:

Mercy Ships requires all crew serving one year or more to obtain health insurance before arrival that includes adequate coverage of medical costs worldwide, including pre-existing conditions.

Mercy Ships’ preferred provider is Talent Trust Consultants (TTc), which specializes in insurance for missionaries and meets all of our requirements. If you enroll with TTc, you will be billed through Mercy Ships on a monthly basis. However it is required that you sign up/enroll for coverage before you leave your home country. Details of their products can be found on the website at www.talent-trust.com.

TTc does not cover pre-existing conditions; therefore, if you have a pre-existing condition, you will need to find another insurance company or buy an additional policy.

Other options to consider are as follows (though not an all-inclusive list):

Whatever policy you obtain, it is important that you confirm your coverage by sending a copy of the policy validation to your Placement Facilitator before your arrival.

Evacuation and repatriation FAQs

When does coverage begin and end?
Coverage begins when the crew member starts travelling by air to the ship and ends once they arrive home.
If a crew member takes a side trip on the way to or from the ship, are they covered?
No, a side trip would not be covered by this policy. It would start when the crew member travelled from this secondary destination to the ship or from the ship to this secondary destination.
Does this policy cover crew when they go on vacation?

No, any leave of absence would not be covered by this policy. Coverage would resume when the crew member travelled to the ship or from the ship to their destination.

Does this policy cover crew when they take an official Leave of Absence (LOA)?

No, an LOA would not be covered by this policy. Coverage would resume when the crew member travelled to the ship or from the ship to their destination.

Does the TTc policies offered by Mercy Ships fulfil the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) requirements to have health insurance for all US citizens through December 2018?

No, the TTc policy does not meet the ACA’s MEC requirement. However, many of our US crew will qualify for an exemption from the requirement.

What are the exemptions from the requirement to have minimum essential coverage (MEC)?

1. Living abroad, You are a U.S. citizen who was physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during any period of 12-consecutive months.

2. Health Insurance: You already have health insurance coverage from another provider or healthcare sharing ministry.

3. Income below the income tax return filing requirement. Your income is below the minimum threshold for filing a tax return. The requirement to file a federal tax return depends on your filing status, age and types and amounts of income.

4. Short coverage gap. You went without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year.

5. Affordability. You cannot afford coverage because the minimum amount you must pay for the premiums is more than the 8.5% of your household income. For example, if you ‘re household income while serving with Mercy Ships is $1000 and your month premium is more than $80.50.

If you do not qualify for any of these exemptions, you may be required to pay the tax penalty (Shared Responsibility Payment) as outlined in the U.S. tax code. For more information, consult a tax advisor or visit irs.gov.

Does the standard policy cover pre-existing conditions?
The Mercy Ships policy will cover new incidences of a pre-existing condition. It will not provide cover for ongoing medical treatment for a condition for which you may be currently seeking treatment.
What determines if a crew member needs to be evacuated and where they will be evacuated to?
In the case of evacuations, the evacuation will be done for emergency situations where appropriate medical care cannot be found at the member’s location. This will be done in consultation with medical services on the ground/ship and with the emergency evacuation providers. The definition of an emergency does require that the treatment is necessary on an in-patient basis.
How much medical/health coverage is included?
In the event that the crew member needs to be evacuated from the ship, US $250,000 is the standard coverage. This is further limited to US $150,000 for emergency cover in the event of an evacuation or repatriation to the member’s home country.