A bill that would bring into picture reciprocity has been vetoed by the state of Texas. If passed, the bill would have made it easier for air ambulance services to honor membership agreement across companies offering similar services. However, this is now not to be as it was shot down by the lawmakers. Currently, most medical flight companies offer membership services so that any balance bill is not thrust upon members availing medical flights. In other words, any amount that is left uncovered by the insurance provider is taken care of by the air ambulance company itself. The memberships usually cost a few dollars annually.
Air Ambulance Coverage Awareness was Low among Members
It was seen that despite having air ambulance memberships, people were still incurring huge bills. The reason behind this is that often medical flight services are availed not from companies with whom people have memberships. The result was that they invariably are compelled to foot the balance amount. Taking this fact into cognizance, Representative Drew Springer tried compelling medical flight companies to honor memberships through a reciprocal agreement. However, the bill did not find support with other lawmakers of the state.
Possibility of Conflict with Federal Law
A possible conflict with a federal law that prevents states from interfering in the matters of air ambulance companies was cited as the reason by lawmakers that opposed the bill. Governor Greg Abbott was among those who did not agree with the proposed bill. He stated that he understood the concerns of the author who proposed this bill but he as sceptical about it due to the conflict. In recent times, lawmakers, although unsuccessfully, have tried to regulate the existing air ambulance pay structure. The recent bill was among such efforts. Experts in the air ambulance industry, however, point out that insurance payouts are the main problem and must be looked into.