It was in the May of this year that Senator Claire McCaskill took up the issue of high air ambulance bills and decided to take it to the congress. The result was Air Ambulance Consumer Protection Act. After much opposition from some parts of the air ambulance industry, the bill has finally been passed in both houses of congress. All that the bill needs now is a signature of approval by President Donald Trump. Vital provisions of the legislation have been appended to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act. It is believed that it would take about eighteen months to two years for the bill to take enough effect so that people can actually see a change.
The Act Allows States to Intervene in the Matters of Air Ambulance Industry
Air Ambulance Consumer Protection Act will make room for states to intervene in the matters of air ambulance industry, especially when it comes to money matters. In fact, the bill was designed keeping in mind the air ambulance bills that often cross the $30,000 mark in spite of the patients being covered by health insurance. The matter had gained political attention, which ultimately resulted in this Act. Prior to the Act, states had no say in how much air ambulance companies charged as this aspect was shielded by a federal act.
Insurance Companies are Being Brought to the Table
The general opinion has been that it is not air ambulance companies alone that must be scrutinized. The insurance companies that often deny complete or partial claims pertaining to air ambulance transport need to be drawn into the picture too. Working towards this, all major health insurance companies are being called to the table and discussions are being held to strike a balance. The ultimate intention has been to take the patient out of the picture when it comes to payments.