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Is it the End of Air Ambulance Transport Surprise Billing in Florida?


In a development that could be welcomed by the people residing in Florida, a new bill was recently passed that puts an end to surprise billing when it comes to air ambulance transport. Previously, the medical flight companies would hold the patient liable to pay any balance amount that is left unapproved by the insurance companies. As insurance companies were not offering reasonable claim reimbursements, people where being forced to pay huge air ambulance transport bills. The scenario was so bad that several people had gone bankrupt due to this. The issue had gained a lot of political significance in recent times.

Air Ambulance Transport Companies Still Allowed to Charge a ‘Reasonable Amount’ to Patients

In the past, the air ambulance transport service providers would offset all the arrears to anyone availing their services. These arrears would include the losses incurred due to non-payment by others who avail their services. The insurance companies would, however, refuse to foot this burden. The law allowed air ambulance companies to recover the remaining amount from the people who availed their services. This practice was widely popular as balance billing. However, the bill introduced by Rep. Jayer Williamson and Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. sought to end this practice.

A Middle Path Was Found

The Florida Association of Health Plans rallied the stakeholders during the 2020 legislative session, taking into the fold health insurers and HMOs so that reasonable reimbursements can be provided to the air ambulance transport companies. This includes both emergency as well as non-emergency services involving medical flights.

After the final passage of the bill, the patients will not be liable to pay anything to the air ambulance transport companies beyond co-insurance, co-pays and deductibles. This move comes as a huge relief to the people of Florida, making them invulnerable to surprise billing.

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