The reports of insurance companies refusing to foot air ambulance bills are becoming increasingly a problem for people in the United States, especially those living in rural areas where hospitals are closing at a rapid rate. The insurance industry has maintained that medical flight companies charge an exorbitant amount, which is beyond their means to cover. On the other hand the air ambulance industry has always cited the fact that maintaining flights, paying for the hangar, crew, medical professionals, etc., is highly expensive. Considering the fact that medical flight services must keep such high value services on standby all the time, their plight rings true.
Community Memberships Can Bring Down the Air Ambulance Cost
Air ambulance memberships are nothing new. All that a subscriber has to do is pay a nominal annual fee for self or the entire family to get coverage from a particular medical flight service. The drawback, however, is that the person and his family is only covered for services by that medical flight company. In case, the service is availed by another air ambulance company, it becomes chargeable and hence the risk of non-coverage by insurance companies, eventually resulting in balance billing. This is not the case when community membership comes into picture.
Here’s How It Should Ideally Work
The community comes together and agrees to buy membership as a group. The membership must be such that it covers all the service providers in the area. Each community member will only have to pay a small amount to get this coverage. Moreover, the arrangement is likely to foster a healthy relationship with the service providers and the community. This is especially beneficial for rural communities where a few neighboring dwellings can come together and avail such memberships. As a collective force, people also get better bargaining power, which means they can get better coverage for a smaller membership fee.