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Air Ambulance Surprise Bills amid COVID-19


The story of a 60-year-old Philadelphia woman who was presented with a whopping air ambulance bill of over USD 50,000 is making the headlines, and with that, the practice of surprise billing has come to the forefront again. The woman was seriously ill due to COVID-19 infection. The treating physicians deemed that she needed better critical care support, and it was decided that she would be flown to the nearest appropriate facility. An air ambulance was called to make this possible. The timely intervention ensured that she recovered well and soon, she was out of the hospital. Little did she know at the time that her problems had just begun.

A Huge Air Ambulance Bill was Presented to the Woman

The woman was flown a mere 20 miles but received a bill of over USD 50,000. The woman was critical at the time that the air ambulance was ordered and had no say in choosing the service provider. It turned out that the air ambulance company was out of her insurance network. Ultimately, her insurance provider refused to cover her for the air ambulance service, and she is now obliged to pay off the massive bill.

The Problem is Not Just with Air Ambulance Service

Most often, air ambulance companies are blamed for the huge bills without proper insights into the cost of running such a service. In this context, it must be noted that insurance companies deny coverage when doctors and diagnostics too are not in their network. The problem of surprise billing was all set to be banned and the state and federal governments were working towards a solution, but then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, and the solution was put on the backburner. Now, with more people suffering the consequences of surprise billing, the issue may soon get enough traction with the lawmakers and see the light of the day.

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