Medicaid wishes to provide clarification to avoid misinformation and confusion—that it re-affirms to all patients, escorts and non-medical passengers, that the charter flight on Oct. 23 is a ONE-WAY flight—just like the July charter flight.
All patients and non-medical passengers travel with the understanding and agreement that there is no return flight currently being planned by Medicaid.
Patients must understand and agree to travel on the charter, knowing that they are not able to return back to American Samoa until the American Samoa Government re-opens up the borders or approves a repatriation flight.
Currently, there is no return charter flight being planned to return referral patients—as was the policy in the July charter.
In the July charter—ALL patients and non-medical travelers were informed that there is no return flight being planned for referral patients—they must wait and rely on returning home on the next available commercial flight when borders re-open.
Medicaid is only providing the departure of a charter flight for the sole purpose of sending patients off-island for medical treatment as requested by the LBJ hospital—with the full understanding that the American Samoa Government’s policy of closed borders shall be maintained and respected.
Thus, all patients and passengers travel at their own risk of staying in the US for an unknown time period—and must understand and agree to this condition to be approved to depart from American Samoa on the medical charter flight.
Again, the only option open to referral patients and non-medical passengers to return home once they travel, is to wait until the government re-opens its borders to commercial flights into American Samoa or the Governor approves a special repatriation flight.
This was explained as a condition for the last July charter—and is now still a condition for travelers for the October 23rd charter.
For further information, please contact the Medicaid State Agency at 699-4777.