Air ambulance companies have recently faced a lot of flak from people who become the recipients of enormous bills that often pushes them towards bankruptcy. The medical flight service providers on their part have not come out openly presenting their side of the story always. The air ambulance industry stalwarts took the opportunity to express their opinions without any inhibitions in the recently concluded Legislature’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee. The meeting shed a lot of light on why the costs are often high and why air ambulance service providers are often helpless to reduce the bills.
The Tussle between Air Ambulance Companies and Insurance Providers
Last year alone Montana’s State Auditor’s office received over 20 complaints pertaining to huge air ambulance bills. Many of these bills amounted to more than $100,000. When people have health insurances and are still forced to pay such huge bills, it naturally causes a lot of discontentment.
The air ambulance service providers on their part blamed the insurance providers for not covering the costs and arbitrarily deciding on the payment that they would cover. The industry experts said that they are forced to recover the remaining amount from the people who use the services. They further said that no air ambulance company can stay afloat if they simply confine themselves to the payments decided by insurance companies.
Type of Air Ambulance Services Out There
Air ambulance mainly fall under three categories
- For-profit medical flight services
- Non-profit medical flight services
- Hospital-based medical flight services
The last two categories are said to cost less. Hospitals keep very little margins while non-profit organizations rarely charge more than what is incurred delivering the service. Saying that for-profit organizations charge a huge amount would be unfair but the problem is that most of them do not disclose the associated costs.
If a common understanding is reached between air ambulance companies and insurance providers, people can breathe free of financial concerns.