August 26, 2013

Much Going On at Travel Assurance Promise

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

As a letter-winning fullback at Northern Illinois University, Chris Montgomery would pave the way for the ball-carrier behind him. Now as the CEO of Travel Assurance Promise, he and his staff are opening up new pathways for travelers, offering a premium membership plan that offers its members medical transportation to their hospital of choice or the medical facility in their home state that can best take care of them. The TAP team continues to expand and the game plan for growth is strong.

Montgomery outlined what separates Travel Assurance Promise from other travel membership programs. "What other companies do that we don't do is they'll bid out the process, they'll go through an affiliate. So if you go to another company, say one through a major credit card, and you need an air ambulance flight, they'll send a fax or an email and take the lowest bidder they can find to get you to an adequate hospital,"  says Montgomery.  "That doesn't allow the patient to know who's flying them, where the crew came from and what quality of care they'll get." 

When a member uses Travel Assurance Promise for a medical evacuation, the company calls upon its preferred air ambulance provider, Angel MedFlight, which provides continuity of care. "You know from beginning to end, the Bedside-to-Bedside® logistics will all be handled by one company," says Montgomery.

Montgomery says another feature of  a Travel Assurance Promise membership that's compelling is you're taken back home. "You've heard the saying before, 'There's no place like home?' If you're in a hospital for an extended period of time, you'd much rather be closest to loved ones. And it saves you time and money. Because if you're in a foreign hospital or a hospital five states away, how much time does your family spend trying to reach out to you? How about your job trying to reach out to you? Or consider that you're out of network, your insurance doesn't cover you as much as it would when you're back at home."

Montgomery became TAP's CEO in April and says right away he met with experts in the insurance and travel industries to gain a better feel for what the traveler wants. "I think I did 12 lunches in 10 days, "says Montgomery.  What he found was that travelers do not want to deal with deductibles and tons of paperwork when they're sick or injured far from home.

Time is a huge commodity and Montgomery says that with a Travel Assurance Promise membership, their preferred air ambulance provider Angel MedFlight handles all the details of the patient's medical flight. Montgomery says he did a test with a major credit card company and "it took us a couple of calls before we could get to the person who could get us the ambulance service. Imagine being frantic, in a far away hospital, you call your vaunted special card service that you know you're covered with and it takes you two or three hours to get this done."

With a Travel Assurance Promise membership you are  immediately connected with a flight coordinator who manages the whole task for you. Montgomery says, "Imagine one phone call and being able to get this all done. It creates that worry-free feeling that we all want and secondly, it's a secure feeling that it's going to get done."

Montgomery says that his team's research showed the bulk of today's travelers are couples -- but when it came to looking at other medical evacuation coverage plans, he saw a shortage of plans available for couples. "So we added the couples plan in all the different terms we have." A Travel Assurance Promise membership starts at only $100 for an individual and $175 for couples/companions. For families that travel regularly, Montgomery recommends an annual family plan that covers as many as five for $495.

Travelers are covered at a minimum of 200 miles from home, so people driving a couple of states away should consider a Travel Assurance Promise membership. "If I'm traveling, I don't want to be stuck in Mexico. If I live here in Arizona, I don't want to be stuck in Virginia. I don't want to be stuck anywhere, I want to have options," says Montgomery.

The CEO sees unlimited growth for Travel Assurance Promise. "We're building our brand and creating an awareness campaign," says Montgomery. "We'll be sponsoring a Boston Pops event and also the PBS television show 'Travel With Kids.' We'll also be in the USA Today travel magazine."
Montgomery sees Travel Assurance Promise aligning with insurance companies, travel groups and teachers who travel and students studying abroad. He sees future affiliations with sports leagues and teams.

"In terms of growth, the future is very bright," says Montgomery. Bright as that clear path to daylight he used to open up as a Northern Illinois Huskies fullback.

Angel MedFlight is proud to be the preferred air ambulance provider for Travel Assurance Promise.

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