Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

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new2bogle
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Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by new2bogle » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:14 pm

Recently there was a post about the cost of using a helicopter ambulance and such costs possibly not being covered by medical insurance. Since these costs seems to be pretty extreme for regular people ($25k -$50k for a medical helicopter transport?) I have a couple of questions:

1) What do I look for on my medical insurance to see how much is covered, if at all?
2) How about on my auto insurance?
3) Where can I find good supplemental coverage (good meaning they will pay out for legitimate claims)?

For now I'll assume this is just for domestic use, thought worldwide use would be great.

obgraham
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by obgraham » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:02 pm

Look at MedJetAssist for your long distance or international coverage.

Not sure how they would handle hauling you from a highway wreck to a hospital 4 miles away.

sawhorse
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by sawhorse » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:27 pm

The problem with the high bills from the helicopters is that sometimes the specific helicopter company might not take any insurance, or they might bill you for tens of thousands of dollars above what insurance pays (balance billing). They might also insist on transporting you when a road ambulance would have been as good an option. The biggest air ambulance company, Air Methods, uses very aggressive collection methods such as placing liens on houses. It's a racket. They are governed by the FAA, so a lot of laws regarding insurance don't apply to them.

Here are some articles.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/sky-rage-bill ... d=37669153

https://www.consumerreports.org/medical ... or-a-ride/

Iridium
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by Iridium » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:31 pm

Edit: Upon further research, the problem is apparently that air ambulance operators are charging more than reasonable and customary fees, so are balance billing people. I don't really have an answer for that. I am not sure what an 'unreasonable fee' insurance policy would look like.

Are you in the US? I have heard about this for Australia, but have never heard that this would be an issue in the US. Note: I am interpreting your request as taking an air ambulance because you got injured in a remote location and/or require specialized treatment not available where the ground ambulance dropped you off. I am excluding going for an air ambulance because you want treatment at a different hospital when you are already at a hospital that can offer in network treatment.
new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:14 pm
Recently there was a post about the cost of using a helicopter ambulance and such costs possibly not being covered by medical insurance. Since these costs seems to be pretty extreme for regular people ($25k -$50k for a medical helicopter transport?) I have a couple of questions:

1) What do I look for on my medical insurance to see how much is covered, if at all?
Your medical insurance summary plan description would let you know what is covered. It is a couple hundred pages long, but you should be able to search for ambulance or transport and see their policy.

new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:14 pm
2) How about on my auto insurance?
Not sure how it works in no fault states, but in states with liability, the med pay limits are laughably low. Whether it covers or not it's largely irrelevant.
new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:14 pm
3) Where can I find good supplemental coverage (good meaning they will pay out for legitimate claims)?
No idea. Part of the reason I would be surprised this is a major issue is that there does not seem to be a market for such insurance except when you are on travel. A lot of the policies won't even kick in until you are more than 150 miles from home.
new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:14 pm
For now I'll assume this is just for domestic use, thought worldwide use would be great.
There are a number of companies that would do supplemental insurance aimed internationally. There are two major types:

Medical evacuation insurance: This covers transport to the nearest suitable hospital. The hospital would be international class, but could be very far from home. These are offered by travel insurance companies. AMEX and Chase Sapphire Reserve also offer this coverage under certain conditions.

Medical transport membership: This does not cover the rescue at all. However, once you are at a hospital and stabilized for transport, they will take you to the hospital of your choice. This can be more pleasant given culture, medial billing rules, etc. Note how specific this is though: if you are mid heart attack, they aren't going to take you away from the hospital you are already in to be defibulated, nor would they risk taking you across an ocean in the immediate aftermath when you are under observation. However, if you end up in a coma, this type of plan could get you back to the states, rather than waiting it out in a foreign country.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:10 pm

obgraham wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Look at MedJetAssist for your long distance or international coverage.

Not sure how they would handle hauling you from a highway wreck to a hospital 4 miles away.
They wouldn't.

For MJA to "kick in", one must be already admitted as an inpatient (not even ER or Observation).
Getting to the hospital is not something they cover.

But once you are taken to a hospital - and admitted - then if you are at least 150 miles from home (USA policies), you can then request to be medevac'd to the hospital of your choice... near home or perhaps a specialty hospital elsewhere.

RM
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Ophiuchus
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:14 pm

I pay 50 bucks a year for it. Kinda the price you pay living in a rural area. I think it's worth it but I may be biased cause I send people away on the helicopter frequently

IMO
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by IMO » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:28 am

sawhorse wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:27 pm
The problem with the high bills from the helicopters is that sometimes the specific helicopter company might not take any insurance, or they might bill you for tens of thousands of dollars above what insurance pays (balance billing). They might also insist on transporting you when a road ambulance would have been as good an option. The biggest air ambulance company, Air Methods, uses very aggressive collection methods such as placing liens on houses. It's a racket. They are governed by the FAA, so a lot of laws regarding insurance don't apply to them.

Here are some articles.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/sky-rage-bill ... d=37669153

https://www.consumerreports.org/medical ... or-a-ride/
Posting to follow this topic.

Just got our final bill for a 12 min ride/air ambulance bill that was the only reasonable option. Honestly, when the crap hits the fan, you just take your chances on what you'll be billed. Took 6 months for our insurance and the air ambulance company to settle on the final billing. Started at $22,000, insurance ended up paying $9,000 and we got our balance billing amount of $2,000.

It was covered by our health insurance as it was the only reasonable means of emergency transport (was not auto accident related).

We do many activities outside that could result in injury and have heard about the option for air ambulance insurance, but will need to look into it further. The concern being on cost, even with insurance, what if the flight/distance was longer and we could get a bill get significantly larger than we experienced. A secondary insurance if not that much would be something to consider.

IMO
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by IMO » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:33 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:14 pm
I pay 50 bucks a year for it. Kinda the price you pay living in a rural area. I think it's worth it but I may be biased cause I send people away on the helicopter frequently
Can you provide any details about your plan?

Grasshopper
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by Grasshopper » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:28 am

Where I live in SE Arizona, EMT's call a copter in for heart, head, and rattlesnake bites. There are 3 services in our area I subscribe to all 3 costs $150 for Ms G and myself. We will be on Medicare soon and I understand that it will pay for our future rides.

ernieM
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by ernieM » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:52 am

in our area (East TX), we use CareFlite and Air Evac Lifeteam. I don't recall the cost off-hand, but both are IMHO quite reasonable (reasonable enough that we subscribe to both). They do have differing coverage maps, so you'll want to check that out for any of these services.

Grasshopper
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by Grasshopper » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:53 am

Call your local Fire/Rescue company ask them who gets used the most.

Ophiuchus
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by Ophiuchus » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:52 am

IMO wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:33 am
Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:14 pm
I pay 50 bucks a year for it. Kinda the price you pay living in a rural area. I think it's worth it but I may be biased cause I send people away on the helicopter frequently
Can you provide any details about your plan?

It is with the main airflight services covering mine and the surround states. They do however say specifically it is not insurance but essentially after they try to collect from my insurance they will not bill me for the remainder. The coverage includes myself and family.

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:28 am

mistake
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mw1739
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by mw1739 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:15 am

My son and I were transported last year on separate helicopters about 45 minutes away. Before we even got a bill, Air Methods (I understand they’re the largest company in this business) sent me a blank personal financial statement they wanted filled out. I called the company and made sure they had my health insurance info and left it at that. Luckily they accepted the amount that insurance paid. The billed amount was $65k each (130k total). I believe insurance paid something like half that price.

I briefly looked into the membership plans after that but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by nisiprius » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:20 am

I think this is just a special case of a general problem, and I think the general problem is insoluble as things stand.

The problem isn't "air ambulances," the problem is "surprise bills." (And crazy 'chargemaster" charges that are two to five times as high as insurers pay).

More generally the problem is "how do I know what's covered, and what can I do about any of it when I am in the middle of an emergency?"

It seems to me that in all likelihood, insurance for medical evacuation is like "dread disease insurance." You're scared about air ambulance surprises, so you buy insurance that covers air ambulance surprises and only air ambulance surprises. And then, life being what it is, what hits you might be something completely different, like a $94,031 "neuromonitoring" surprise or a $67,957 antivenin surprise (in this case, in addition to a $55,577 air ambulance surprise). (The next time you get snakebit, be sure to shop around for your antivenin <--- note: sarcasm).

There's also the "infinite regress" issue. The problem is that you aren't completely sure what your existing insurance will really cover. So you buy extra insurance to armor-plate what might or might not be a soft spot. In all likelihood your coverage is improved, but... just how sure are you what the additional insurance will really cover? They all have exclusions and limits. Taking a very quick glance at MedJetAssist, for example, they say they cover you if you are "hospitalized..." What is "hospitalized?" The quickest peek at one of their plans says "Subject to limitations on services described herein, when a Medjet Member becomes hospitalized as an inpatient due to illness or injury..." Hospitalized "as an inpatient?" Uh-oh.
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TravelGeek
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:24 am

In our area there are two helicopter ambulance companies operating: AirLink and LifeFlight Network. Both offer membership programs. The problem is, you don’t know and can’t choose which company gets dispatched if you are in a car crash or other emergency out in the boonies. So you can gamble and pick one or buy memberships with both. I think they are about $60 per family per year. Each. I actually contacted my medical insurance company and asked if they would cover emergency medical transport, and they said yes. I should probably look into this more closely. Or hope that I get rescued by either a coast guard or air national guard aircraft... (no charge, though they tend to only pick people out of the sea or off a mountain).

For international travel we have an annual medical medical plan that includes medical evacuation, currently from GeoBlue.

btenny
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by btenny » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:19 pm

My wife and I both have Air Care insurance for emergency transport. I think we pay about $60 per year. It covers a lot of small towns all over the US. We live in Tahoe part time and buy insurance in case we need a helicopter ride of 50-100 miles to a big hospital. A few of our friends have used the service and it is great. One friend broke her leg in February and needed a 200 mile ride from a small town hospital in Arizona to a major hospital in Phoenix for surgery. The bill was over $50K. She paid zero.

Good Luck.

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by delamer » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:10 pm

btenny wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:19 pm
My wife and I both have Air Care insurance for emergency transport. I think we pay about $60 per year. It covers a lot of small towns all over the US. We live in Tahoe part time and buy insurance in case we need a helicopter ride of 50-100 miles to a big hospital. A few of our friends have used the service and it is great. One friend broke her leg in February and needed a 200 mile ride from a small town hospital in Arizona to a major hospital in Phoenix for surgery. The bill was over $50K. She paid zero.

Good Luck.
Very timely topic for us, as we will be moving to a small town in the near future.

There is a decent local hospital but for critical care we might need to go to the nearest big city hospital, which is about 1 1/4 hour drive if all goes well (65 miles or so).

I have wondered whether we could/should get the type of insurance that you mention. Can you provide a link to the website (I found something with a similar, but not identical, name.)?

Thanks.

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new2bogle
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by new2bogle » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:51 pm

Thanks for the replies. From the names in posts listed above, it seems like most of them are somehow related to Air Methods.

I have yet to find a way to buy their insurance product "Air Methods Advantage". I may have to call a few independent agents to see if they sell it.

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willthrill81
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:02 pm

Consumer Reports had an article on this topic in 2017. It seems to very often be a big racket, and the benefits for most patients appear to be minimal to non-existent. I would decline air ambulance service for myself or any family member in all but the most timely circumstances.

From the CR article:
Being taken by air ambulance may actually increase the risk of something else going wrong. They crash more often than other air taxis, research shows. That’s partly because of poor decisions pilots may sometimes make when they feel pressure to transport patients quickly, says Ira Blumen, M.D., medical director of the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network, who researches air-ambulance accidents.
FWIW:
My grandparents and, at the time, 4 year old cousin were involved in a serious auto accident in the mid-1990s. They airlifted my grandfather to the nearest hospital. A minute or so later, my father and I drove at a pretty high rate of speed to the same hospital. We beat the helicopter to the hospital by at least a couple of minutes.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by southerndoc » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:40 pm

Travel insurance does not cover domestic rotor wing transports. Most won't cover rotor wing (helicopter) anyhow. They only cover long distance fixed wing transport.

"Usual and customary" is not the same as the usual reimbursement rate by most insurers. Remember, insurance companies are also in it for a profit. The majority of air ambulance services in the US are also for profit. Even if operated by a hospital, many contract with private companies (Air Methods being the most often utilized).

Nearly all rotor wing transport companies offer memberships that range from $50-150/year on average. It covers anything that the insurance company refuses to pay.

Rotor wing transport is expensive. You can't have their constant readiness and have it budget friendly. It costs a lot to maintain the aircraft, flight crew, etc. Insurance companies purposefully refuse to negotiate with them because they can pay a lot less with them being out-of-network. This is not to justify the aggressive billing tactics that Air Methods has utilized in the past. Air Methods is a subsidiary of American Securities, a private equity fund.

Off topic, but someone mentioned antivenin. CroFab is expensive. There is another manufacturer on the market. It's use is so infrequent that they must charge higher fees to support its manufacturing. This -- along with a risk of anaphylaxis -- is why we rarely give it unless absolutely necessary.

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by sawhorse » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:52 pm

southerndoc wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:40 pm
Rotor wing transport is expensive. You can't have their constant readiness and have it budget friendly. It costs a lot to maintain the aircraft, flight crew, etc. Insurance companies purposefully refuse to negotiate with them because they can pay a lot less with them being out-of-network. This is not to justify the aggressive billing tactics that Air Methods has utilized in the past. Air Methods is a subsidiary of American Securities, a private equity fund.

Off topic, but someone mentioned antivenin. CroFab is expensive. There is another manufacturer on the market. It's use is so infrequent that they must charge higher fees to support its manufacturing. This -- along with a risk of anaphylaxis -- is why we rarely give it unless absolutely necessary.
Air transport is expensive, but it's not as expensive as the companies are charging. The average Air Methods bill quadrupled from 2007 to 2016.

For-profit air ambulance companies are also squeezing out non-profit companies which traditionally provided the service for a much more affordable amount. On top of that, the safety record of for-profit air ambulance companies is quite a bit more inferior to non-profit companies as discussed in the second link below.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/06/busi ... -bill.html

https://www.consumerreports.org/medical ... or-a-ride/

https://www.ems1.com/air-ambulance/arti ... cret-deal/

As far as CroFab antivenin, the list price is $3198 per vial. In the article from nispirius, the patient was charged $67,957 for 4 vials which works out to $16,989.25 per vial.

They charge that much because they can.

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by southerndoc » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:37 am

sawhorse wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:52 pm
southerndoc wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:40 pm
Rotor wing transport is expensive. You can't have their constant readiness and have it budget friendly. It costs a lot to maintain the aircraft, flight crew, etc. Insurance companies purposefully refuse to negotiate with them because they can pay a lot less with them being out-of-network. This is not to justify the aggressive billing tactics that Air Methods has utilized in the past. Air Methods is a subsidiary of American Securities, a private equity fund.

Off topic, but someone mentioned antivenin. CroFab is expensive. There is another manufacturer on the market. It's use is so infrequent that they must charge higher fees to support its manufacturing. This -- along with a risk of anaphylaxis -- is why we rarely give it unless absolutely necessary.
Air transport is expensive, but it's not as expensive as the companies are charging. The average Air Methods bill quadrupled from 2007 to 2016.

For-profit air ambulance companies are also squeezing out non-profit companies which traditionally provided the service for a much more affordable amount. On top of that, the safety record of for-profit air ambulance companies is quite a bit more inferior to non-profit companies as discussed in the second link below.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/06/busi ... -bill.html

https://www.consumerreports.org/medical ... or-a-ride/

https://www.ems1.com/air-ambulance/arti ... cret-deal/

As far as CroFab antivenin, the list price is $3198 per vial. In the article from nispirius, the patient was charged $67,957 for 4 vials which works out to $16,989.25 per vial.

They charge that much because they can.
You make it overly simplified. Do you think the CroFab is sitting around not being used for 10 years and is still usable? They charge that much because of expiring medications.

As an EMS physician, I am well aware of the safety records of rotor wing services. Thank you for the article. One of the reasons why my paramedics cannot request air transport except in very few circumstances.

As mentioned earlier, Air Methods is owned by a private equity firm. Private equity firms aren't known for their generous giving to society.

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new2bogle
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by new2bogle » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:10 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:02 pm
Consumer Reports had an article on this topic in 2017. It seems to very often be a big racket, and the benefits for most patients appear to be minimal to non-existent. I would decline air ambulance service for myself or any family member in all but the most timely circumstances.

From the CR article:
Being taken by air ambulance may actually increase the risk of something else going wrong. They crash more often than other air taxis, research shows. That’s partly because of poor decisions pilots may sometimes make when they feel pressure to transport patients quickly, says Ira Blumen, M.D., medical director of the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network, who researches air-ambulance accidents.
FWIW:
My grandparents and, at the time, 4 year old cousin were involved in a serious auto accident in the mid-1990s. They airlifted my grandfather to the nearest hospital. A minute or so later, my father and I drove at a pretty high rate of speed to the same hospital. We beat the helicopter to the hospital by at least a couple of minutes.
Yeah, I saw that article as well.

From what it seems like, the premium is pretty much insignificant at $75/family/year. That's what insurance is for.

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by willthrill81 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:13 pm

new2bogle wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:10 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:02 pm
Consumer Reports had an article on this topic in 2017. It seems to very often be a big racket, and the benefits for most patients appear to be minimal to non-existent. I would decline air ambulance service for myself or any family member in all but the most timely circumstances.

From the CR article:
Being taken by air ambulance may actually increase the risk of something else going wrong. They crash more often than other air taxis, research shows. That’s partly because of poor decisions pilots may sometimes make when they feel pressure to transport patients quickly, says Ira Blumen, M.D., medical director of the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network, who researches air-ambulance accidents.
FWIW:
My grandparents and, at the time, 4 year old cousin were involved in a serious auto accident in the mid-1990s. They airlifted my grandfather to the nearest hospital. A minute or so later, my father and I drove at a pretty high rate of speed to the same hospital. We beat the helicopter to the hospital by at least a couple of minutes.
Yeah, I saw that article as well.

From what it seems like, the premium is pretty much insignificant at $75/family/year. That's what insurance is for.
At that rate, it could easily be worth it.

My concern with air ambulance services is that we may not have a real choice in the matter but will still incur the cost of the service. If we're unconscious after a car wreck, for instance, we obviously cannot tell the EMTs that we want ground transportation.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by Arlington2019 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:17 pm

southerndoc wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:37 am

As an EMS physician, I am well aware of the safety records of rotor wing services. Thank you for the article. One of the reasons why my paramedics cannot request air transport except in very few circumstances.
As a former paramedic in the Seattle area, I am bound and determined to not be transported via air unless in the gravest of circumstances for myself or my family. Of course, this goes out the window in the event of an accident or medical incident in which I am not able to control my method of transport. AirLift Northwest is the primary air ambulance service in this area. Most laypeople think it is a non-profit service; it was started by a group of physicians at the University of Washington as a profit-making venture, and make profits for them it does.

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new2bogle
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by new2bogle » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:37 am

Arlington2019 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:17 pm
southerndoc wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:37 am

As an EMS physician, I am well aware of the safety records of rotor wing services. Thank you for the article. One of the reasons why my paramedics cannot request air transport except in very few circumstances.
As a former paramedic in the Seattle area, I am bound and determined to not be transported via air unless in the gravest of circumstances for myself or my family. Of course, this goes out the window in the event of an accident or medical incident in which I am not able to control my method of transport. AirLift Northwest is the primary air ambulance service in this area. Most laypeople think it is a non-profit service; it was started by a group of physicians at the University of Washington as a profit-making venture, and make profits for them it does.
Looks like Air Methods is not partnered with AirLift Northwest so even getting the $75 insurance would not help when in WA.

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:31 pm

new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:37 am
Arlington2019 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:17 pm
southerndoc wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:37 am

As an EMS physician, I am well aware of the safety records of rotor wing services. Thank you for the article. One of the reasons why my paramedics cannot request air transport except in very few circumstances.
As a former paramedic in the Seattle area, I am bound and determined to not be transported via air unless in the gravest of circumstances for myself or my family. Of course, this goes out the window in the event of an accident or medical incident in which I am not able to control my method of transport. AirLift Northwest is the primary air ambulance service in this area. Most laypeople think it is a non-profit service; it was started by a group of physicians at the University of Washington as a profit-making venture, and make profits for them it does.
Looks like Air Methods is not partnered with AirLift Northwest so even getting the $75 insurance would not help when in WA.
And that's the problem. We travel all over. If I could pay $75 for coverage of excess costs anywhere in the US, I'd do that. The current system really feels like some kind of special cancer coverage -- only good if you get lung cancer, not kidney cancer. :annoyed

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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:18 pm

GreenGrowTheDollars wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:31 pm
new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:37 am
Arlington2019 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:17 pm
southerndoc wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:37 am

As an EMS physician, I am well aware of the safety records of rotor wing services. Thank you for the article. One of the reasons why my paramedics cannot request air transport except in very few circumstances.
As a former paramedic in the Seattle area, I am bound and determined to not be transported via air unless in the gravest of circumstances for myself or my family. Of course, this goes out the window in the event of an accident or medical incident in which I am not able to control my method of transport. AirLift Northwest is the primary air ambulance service in this area. Most laypeople think it is a non-profit service; it was started by a group of physicians at the University of Washington as a profit-making venture, and make profits for them it does.
Looks like Air Methods is not partnered with AirLift Northwest so even getting the $75 insurance would not help when in WA.
And that's the problem. We travel all over. If I could pay $75 for coverage of excess costs anywhere in the US, I'd do that. The current system really feels like some kind of special cancer coverage -- only good if you get lung cancer, not kidney cancer. :annoyed
That's my concern as well. The fees people talk about paying aren't even insurance at all. They are just agreements with a single provider. I certainly wouldn't want health 'insurance' that was only good at a single healthcare provider.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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F150HD
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by F150HD » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:06 pm

NPR - The Air Ambulance Billed More Than The Lung Transplant Surgeon, November 6, 2019

When Saputo opened a letter from Anthem, he discovered the helicopter company, which was out of his network, had charged the insurance company $51,282 for the flight. Saputo was responsible for the portion his insurance didn't cover: $11,524.79.

By contrast, the charges from the day of his transplant surgery totaled $40,575 — including $31,605 for his surgeon — and were fully covered by Anthem.

rivercrosser
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by rivercrosser » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:40 pm

About 60 miles from St. Louis here. They do a lot of air transfers from local small town hospital to St. Louis if necessary. They even have a landing pad at the plant where I retired from. Two different air ambulance services in my area. No way to know which one will be used in an emergency so I have a membership for each one. Too many horror stories about big bills for me to take the chance. After next year wife and I will both be on medicare with a medigap plan. I'll probably drop both memberships after that.
Last edited by rivercrosser on Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

justbpatient
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by justbpatient » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:49 pm

https://www.airmethods.com/patientspage ... iprequired

Seems the largest company has discontinued their “membership” program which was known as “air methods advantage”. They sell this is a positive.

tj
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Re: Emergency medical insurance (Helicopter transport, etc)

Post by tj » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:06 am

Grasshopper wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:28 am
Where I live in SE Arizona, EMT's call a copter in for heart, head, and rattlesnake bites. There are 3 services in our area I subscribe to all 3 costs $150 for Ms G and myself. We will be on Medicare soon and I understand that it will pay for our future rides.
What are the 3 services?

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