The state of Wyoming, citing a 2019 law, will no longer allow air ambulance service providers to sell memberships. According to the law, medical flight companies will have to be registered as disability insurance providers if they are to be allowed to sell memberships. The court had earlier set a deadline of April 1 for the providers of such memberships to register as disability insurers. Not surprisingly, the medical flight companies have steered clear of doing so because it is simply not their domain. Moreover, medical flight memberships have little to do with disability and insurance. Memberships are just a shield against steep air medical transport bills.
What it Means for Air Ambulance Companies
The foremost thing is that air ambulance companies will no longer be able to sell memberships. They will have to rely on insurance providers and individuals to cover the costs. They will be compelled to send balance bills to the seekers of their services in the event that their health insurance refuses to cover the whole amount billed. The tussle of high charges is likely to push more air ambulance service providers out of rural Wyoming as they will find it untenable to run their operations. Currently, the idea is to get communities to come together and protect themselves through memberships.
What is Means for the General Public
The real losers again are going to be people in general. Air ambulance memberships can come as cheap as USD 100 a year for coverage by specific providers. People will again be exposed to the risk of balance billing in case of claim rejection. Air medical transport companies too might be discouraged to service rural areas, which makes the people vulnerable to the absence of adequate emergency transport, especially considering the fact that rural hospitals have been shutting down throughout the country.