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Out of Network Air Ambulance Service can Prove Expensive


Jessica, resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, had to recently get her daughter flown utilizing air ambulance service for emergency treatment. While her daughter got appropriate treatment on time, little did she know that an unpleasant surprise was in store for them shortly. The family was slapped with a $39,000 bill by the air ambulance service provider for the transport from Lincoln to Omaha.

Jessica’s initial response was that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield would cover the cost. However, she later learnt that only $10,000 would be covered. Upon calling up Blue Cross and Blue Shield she realized that the air ambulance service chosen by her was not “in-network” and hence only $10,000 would be covered.

When she contacted the air ambulance service provider, she was given two options either pay $18,600 in two days or $600 per month for the next four years. Jessica is now in unwarranted financial trouble. So what went so wrong?

Some Air Ambulance Service Providers aren’t in the Network

In plain words, some insurance providers and air ambulance service providers fail to come to an agreement. This invariably results in such an air ambulance service provider not being covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. As a result, the insurance carrier only pays a certain fixed amount when you opt for “out of network” air ambulance service. It might seem unfair that an individual has to pay huge amounts just because two entities that are instrumental in overall healthcare fail to come to an understanding, but that’s the truth. However, there are solutions.

Be Prepared for an Air Ambulance Service

The last thing that’s on the mind of a paramedic on the site when a medical emergency takes place is checking whether the air ambulance service being summoned is in the network or not. It is wise to opt for additional coverage from your insurance provider. You could also look at the air ambulance service providers in your area to check whether they offer annual membership programs. Until there is a concerted effort by the government to bring all air ambulance service providers under one umbrella for insurance coverage, this approach seems to be the best one.

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