The residents of Gulf Shores are now the first in the United States to get free air ambulance as well as ground ambulance coverage. In a landscape, where governments are trying hard – to no avail – to regulate the cost of medical flight services, Gulf Shores seems to have found a way out. It is a unique public-private partnership where the area would get free medical flight services for its permanent residents. Any amount that exceeds the personal coverage would now be borne by the air ambulance service provider and the patients would no longer get ‘surprise’ bills or balance bills.
Baldwin County has Partnered with an Air Ambulance Provider
The county defines permanent residents as ones who reside in the area at least six months in a year. The money which amounts to $160,000 will be paid to the air ambulance service provider annually from the funds of the county. With this, the residents get free coverage by the service provider anywhere within the county. For a small fee that amounts to $45 per year and $35 for seniors, they get a wider coverage that includes other parts of the country too. The county is elated by the move and feels quite secure with this brilliant plan.
It is a Good Plan by the City
Earlier, individual bills were ranging anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 but not any longer. The air ambulance service provider has revealed that they get about 30 calls for help every month in the area. In a year, over 550,000 people benefit from their services throughout the country and this is just one service provider. Imagine if such schemes were implemented throughout the country. The problem of balance billing would simply cease to exist. All it takes is a bit of planning and the involvement of the community that stands to benefit hugely.