Tag Archives: air ambulance insurance

Status Report of North Dakota Medical Air Services Law

We have seen far too many medical air services bills going unapproved by insurance carriers. It is sometimes hard to point a finger whether the insurance companies should be held responsible for payment or the medical air services. The state of North Dakota, however, has been trying hard to pass a legislation that ensures the burden is off the shoulders of the patients. However, medical air services seem to be up in arms against this legislation, and they seem to be making a valid point. Here, we look into this law and also the factors that are preventing its implementation.

Medical Air Services and Insurance

People who are not a part of Blue Cross Blue Shield are often left to fend for themselves when a huge medical air services bill comes knocking on their door. The reason is simple: most private insurance carriers do not cover the full air ambulance bills and only pay a part. Also if an air ambulance company is not a participating provider of your particular insurance provider, you might have to bear most of the costs yourself. But choosing the participating medical air services is not always possible when life is at stake.

The Government of North Dakota has realized this and is trying to force medical air services to become participating providers with all major insurance companies. The legislation also is trying to set cost limits, where the air ambulance companies cannot charge more than the upper limit set with the insurance providers.

Medical Air Services are Against the Legislation

Federal laws state that states cannot regulate medical air services. Certain air ambulance companies are vehemently opposing this legislation stating that the law would amount to interference that is beyond the purview of the state governments. In fact Valley Air Med has openly challenged this legislation in US District Court in Bismarck. The US Department of Transportation too seems to be siding Valley Air Med’s argument as it feels medical air services should only be guided by federal laws.

As things stand currently, Valley Med Flight has become a participating provider but has voiced its dissatisfaction with Blue Cross Blue Shield payments.

Pills over dollars, signifying cost of air ambulance transport

Guide to Ensure Air Ambulance Transport Coverage in Various Circumstances

There are certain non-emergency situations which can warrant air ambulance transport as apposed to other means of medical transportation. This could even be for diagnostic purpose. If the insurance is to cover this amount, the statement delineating the necessity for air ambulance transport must come from the treating physician. The amount would then be covered by the insurance provider of the patient.

What if you don’t have insurance? This is when you really need to start thinking about the cost. Typically air ambulance transport utilizing a twin-engine airplane would cost about $2500 for a 55-mile flight. The amount can go up to $50,000 for longer distances within the country and international flights can cost above $200,000. The cost is most of the times unavoidable.

Having Air Ambulance Transport Membership Can Help

Air ambulance memberships come in various forms. Some memberships are specifically designed for international travel. They give you the security of travelling abroad without worrying about air ambulance transport costs to your home country in case of emergencies. There is usually a nominal annual fee involved.

Certain other type of memberships give you the liberty of paying only such amount that is not covered by the insurance company. For instance, if the cost of air ambulance transport was $100,000 and the insurance pays only $80,000, you would have to pay out of pocket in case you don’t have a membership. Having a membership rids you of this worry.

Things to Keep in Mind to Ensure Adequate Air Ambulance Transport Coverage

Most of the memberships are provided by individual air ambulance service providers. One needs to check out whether the provider you choose has a good network in your region. Checking whether your insurance provider has a tie up with any air ambulance transport company is also vital. If you are travelling abroad, check your travel insurance, and if need be, buy separate coverage, especially if you are going for a high-risk adventure-filled vacation.

A Real-life Guide to Air Ambulance Insurance Coverage

Shauna Laswell recently suffered chest pains and was taken to a local hospital; however, she was diagnosed as having a heart attack. She had to be emergently flown via air ambulance to a Las Vegas hospital. Shauna did get great care and survived the medical emergency. When she received the bill, she was just short of having another heart attack – it was a whopping $38,800! Thanks to her insurance provider who did not cover the air ambulance cost, she got a reimbursement of only $6,200.

Why Was Shauna’s Air Ambulance Bill Not Covered?

Anyone would wonder why air ambulance bill was not covered, as heart attack is a life-threatening situation and definitely warrants an air ambulance flight. For one, the nearest medical facility was not the one she was taken to. Insurances only cover the distance to the appropriate nearest medical facilities. So, the vital question is, “What can I do to avoid a situation like this?”

Few Tips to Ensure Adequate Air Ambulance Insurance Coverage

Remember that only travel to the nearest medical facility is covered by insurance. Also, you are better off hiring the services of the air ambulance attached to the hospital, rather than hiring an independent medical flight service. The ones attached to the hospital are usually cheaper.

Look at the kind of coverage that your insurance provider provides. If there are clauses that keep you from getting full air ambulance cost coverage, steer away from such providers. Most air ambulance services have membership programs. Being a member of such a program gives you immunity against the amount not covered by insurance company. The air ambulance company itself would cover such amount.

Be prepared for eventualities. Air ambulances are being increasingly used these days. So, request for the air ambulance provider that you prefer. Know the air ambulance services that are affiliated with your insurance provider.

Most of the time, insurance companies do not cover 100% of the charges for air ambulance services. The Utah State Insurance Department has even issued a warning to the public in this regard.

Guide to Air Ambulance Cover during Extreme Sports Trips

If you are going on an extreme sports trip, the chances of needing medical care and air ambulance cover are naturally more. So, you need to question yourself, “Is mere travel insurance enough?” In fact, there are special travel insurance designed just for the purpose and you must look into them. However, before that, you must know certain facts.

Classifying Extreme Sports before Looking at Air Ambulance Cover

Going for a swim in calm waters or ruffling some waves by the beach does not count as extreme sports. Extreme sports are those where there is a high likelihood of mishaps, even after safety precautions, and can warrant emergency medical treatments including air ambulance evacuations. Some of these are:

  • Deep sea scuba diving
  • River rafting
  • Skiing
  • Paragliding
  • Snowboarding
  • Motocross
  • Rock climbing
  • High altitude mountaineering
  • Hand-gliding
  • Parachuting
  • Bungee jumping
  • High-speed or cross-country biking

Air Ambulance Cover and Insurance are no Substitute for Reasonable Precautions

Most extreme sporting companies will not even entertain your request unless you have adequate extreme sports insurance. They might also demand that you have enough extreme sporting experience and practice behind you. The reason is simple; the eventualities in such sports can even mean death or disability. Having adequate insurance and air ambulance cover increases your chances of survival drastically. You are assured of immediate medical care in any foreign countries. One must note in this context that most countries outside the US demand assurance of payments before the treatment is initiated.

Choosing the Air Ambulance Cover and Insurance

Here are a few points that you need to consider:

  • Your sports insurance might cover air ambulance evacuations. If that’s the case you don’t have to worry at all. However, it is vital to look whether there are limitations to this cover.
  • Compare the costs. Sometimes buying a separate air ambulance cover is more economically viable. So check whether the travel insurance company is charging you exorbitant rates.
  • Compare between various travel-insurance providers and compare the prices and the kind of facilities being provided. You would not only need air ambulance evacuation cover, but also coverage for medical consultation, hospitalization, and treatment.
  • If you are going as a couple or a group, look for discounts. Never hesitate speaking to the company’s representative.

You need to fill your forms for extreme sports travel insurance clearly and mention the kind of activities that you would be involved in to avoid confusion later.

Does Your Travel Insurance Cover International Air Ambulance Evacuation?

The holiday season is here! This is the time of the year when most people head to exotic locations all over the world. Travel insurance is today part of every individual’s holiday planning. You choose to cover minor risks such as losing your belongings that essentially have no financial consequences. You even buy flight insurance to cover your death incase the airplane crashes within the short duration that you travel in it. But have you thought about international air ambulance evacuation coverage? Missing this vital coverage could result in bankruptcy or at least leave you with a huge financial burden.

Why Purchase International Air Ambulance Evacuation Cover?

The exotic places that you travel to might not have the same standards of medical care that your home country provides. According to one estimate only 5 out of every 100,000 tourists ever need international air ambulance evacuation, but when you consider that over 60 million American citizens travelled abroad last year, the number does not seem so small all of a sudden. The need for international air ambulance evacuation actually seems extremely essential.

International Air Ambulance Evacuation Cover is Not as Expensive as You Imagine

One can buy international air ambulance evacuation cover through travel insurance for about $200 to 300. Seems expensive? Think again. Getting back through a commercial airliner with a nurse to accompany you can alone cost about $25,000. A full fledged international air ambulance evacuation can cost you up to $100,000. Also, keep in mind that Medicare does not cover you outside the United States. When you consider the financial risk, spending additional couple hundred dollars for your own safety and wellbeing does not seem all that expensive. Frequent overseas travelers can avail international air ambulance evacuation cover for roughly the same amount through annual plans. With a little thought and adequate cover, you can enjoy this holiday season without any worries at the back of your mind.

NAIC Issues an Air Ambulance Consumer Alert

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has recently issued an alert with regards to air ambulance insurance coverage. The alert goes on to point out that more and more people are getting buried under the air ambulance cost burden when insurance providers fail to cover the costs. It estimates that an average air ambulance flight is about 52 miles and the costs can vary between 12 to 15 thousand dollars and in some cases can exceed 100,000 dollars.

Why is Air Ambulance Transport so Expensive?

People often wonder why air ambulance transport is so expensive. One of the reasons is, unlike countries such as UK where air ambulances are usually run by charities, in the US, these are mostly run commercial operators. The initial cost of an air ambulance itself is a whopping 6 million dollars on average. The companies obviously want to cover the cost quicker. When you add the cost of medical supplies, aircraft maintenance, and air ambulance specialists, the amount goes even higher.

Getting to Know Your Air Ambulance Transport Coverage is Vital

For one, international air ambulance services are not covered by Medicare. It is almost impossible to negotiate the rates when medical experts suggest that air ambulance services are a must for patient survival. However, it is wise to know some things beforehand. Learn about the air ambulance service providers that your insurance covers. Know that there is a cost attached when a family member or members accompany the patient. Also some policies only cover certain types of aircrafts.

Simple Steps to Ensure Adequate Air Ambulance Transport Coverage

The best time to think about air ambulance transport coverage is now, when you have no medical emergency. Read your health insurance policy closely and find out about the coverage that it provides. If your insurance company has provisions for extra coverage, pay an additional amount to get such facilities. If your insurance company fails to offer you adequate air ambulance transport coverage, it is wise to look for another company that does. In the end, you don’t want to get into a financial obligation that you cannot carry.

Air Ambulance Transport, Medical Insurance and Travel Overseas

We have already discussed previously that air ambulance transport can cost up to $100,000 when it involves crossing international borders. Now, add this amount to the medical expenses you incur overseas and your trip can turn out to be a physical and financial nightmare. Your Medicare and Medicaid will not cover you in a foreign country unless you have purchased supplemental coverage. However, they have no provisions to cover for air ambulance transport overseas whatsoever. Most health insurance policies like Aetna and Blue Cross too won’t cover you for air ambulance transport in situations like these, although they do cover emergency care. You might have to first pay out of pocket and ask for reimbursement later.

Look for Options that Cover Air Ambulance Transport Overseas

As a matter of caution, it therefore becomes necessary that people travelling abroad look at options that actually cover air ambulance transport back home. Let’s explore some of these:

  • Travel Guard by AIG is one such option. This includes medical evacuation, which means you have medical insurance along with air ambulance transport charges covered through the policy.
  • Med Jet Assist is another option. The only requirement here is that you are 150 miles away from your home. The membership allows the patient to fly back to the hospital of choice once medically stable. Med Jet Assist charters air ambulance transport for this purpose.
  • Air Med is also an option which gives you the same benefits as Med Jet Assist does. The only difference here is that Air Med owns its own fleet for air ambulance transport.
  • Air Ambulance Card is another company that offers similar services as Med Jet Assist and Air Med.

Never Travel Overseas without Air Ambulance Transport Coverage

It is impossible to compensate for the unfortunate hardships you suffer overseas sometimes. However, having adequate air ambulance transport coverage ensures that you get the best medical care in your home country. Often, the exotic locations that you travel have unhygienic and inadequately staffed hospitals. You do not want to be compelled to seek treatment in such conditions. Good air ambulance transport coverage insulates you from such situations. Plus the amount you pay for such coverage is negligible considering the cost of overseas air ambulance transport.

“Medical Necessity” for Air Ambulance Services According to Medicare

Medicare demands that certain criteria are met in order to get coverage for the air ambulance services. The information delineated below has been summarized from what has been published by the Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Department has a few basic coverage requirements, perhaps the most important of these is the one that says, “the service is medically reasonable and necessary.” Here, we try to understand this requirement in greater detail.

Air Ambulance Services Transport Requirements

  • The patient’s medical condition demands rapid and immediate air ambulance services.
  • Air ambulance services are required because ALS or BLS can potentially adversely affect the patient’s health or can be a threat to patient’s survival.
  • The POP or point of pickup is inaccessible through ground transport. This can be especially true in areas such as Alaska and Hawaii.
  • The distance to the closest and medically appropriate facility is so much that it demands travel greater than 30 to 60 minutes via ground transport.
  • The instability of ground transport

Medical Conditions that Justify Air Ambulance Services

The list given below is a broad classification and can be further expanded depending on the location and other aspects.

  • Intracranial bleeding (bleeding inside the skull) that warrants the medical intervention of a neurosurgeon.
  • Shock caused by cardiac arrest (cardiogenic shock)
  • Burns that warrant admission of the patient to a burn unit or burn center
  • Medical condition that warrants treatment in a HOU or hyperbaric oxygen unit.
  • Severe and multiple injuries
  • A trauma that can be a threat to patient’s life

Also, facilities such as critical care, burn care, cardiac care and trauma care might not be available at the facility that the patient is first taken, and can be a reason for utilizing air ambulance services.

Understanding these conditions helps people gauge in advance whether Medicare would cover the cost of air ambulance services or not.

Ultimate Air Ambulance Guide: Everything you Need to Know!

1. Understanding Bed to Bed Air Ambulance Services

The goal of bed to bed air ambulance service is to maintain the continuity of care. Here the air ambulance specialists would meet the patient in the hospital, transport him/her to the airport in an ambulance and be with the patient until the patient safely reaches the receiving medical facility. This type of air medical transport ensures that the patient is in qualified hands throughout the journey and serves as a reassurance to both the patients and their loved ones. The team even keeps the receiving hospital informed about the medical status of the patient so that necessary measures are already in place.

2. Getting Your Doubts about Medical Flight Services Clarified Firsthand

Most air ambulance companies would have a flight coordinator assigned to you. One of the responsibilities of this individual would be to give you a complete picture about the service being provided from start to end. The person would be qualified enough to answer any queries that you may have and would also accommodate any special needs that you specify. He would ultimately come to you with a written proposal ensuring that you incur minimum costs.

3. Keeping the Cost of a Medical Flight Low

There is no doubt that medical flights are usually expensive; however, taking certain precautions can bring this cost down to a great extent. One of the important factors that decide the cost is the proximity of the treating facility to the aircraft. Lesser distance translates into lesser costs. Another factor is the urgency of transfer. If you can manage to give a few days’ notice in advance, the air ambulance service provider would be able to give you a connecting flight which can bring the costs down significantly.

4. Payment Checks Before Availing Air Ambulance Services

If you are dealing with a reputed medical air transportation service provider, you will always get a written proposal beforehand. You need to exercise caution to verify that all the costs are included in this proposal. You can ask your flight coordinator and confirm this. Ask straight up whether any “hidden costs” are involved. You might be expected to pay before you avail the services regardless of it being domestic or international air ambulance service. If you have any particular preference when it comes to payment modes such as payment through credit cards, debit cards, checks, etc., make them known.

5. Using a Broker to Avail Air Ambulance Services

Using a broker is not a bad thing. However, there are certain precautions that you must take. Since the broker does not actually own the air ambulances, he might not be in the know of everything about the service. Also, since he might be brokering for different air ambulance service providers, there might be a bit of inconsistency in services. Also, you might need to pay a bit extra as the broker would obviously charge a commission for his or her efforts. While paying a commission should be okay, you should insist that all the necessary information be provided to you to avoid any nasty surprises at the last minute. The best thing however is to take a bit of time and look for the best air ambulance service provider yourself and arrange an air ambulance. Moreover, there are several US air ambulance services available today and finding the right one for you will not be all that tough.

6. Insurance Coverage of Air Ambulance Costs

Several insurance plans cover air ambulance services but not all. It is therefore imperative that you check with your insurance provider beforehand. The insurance companies usually lay down certain criteria which are to be met by the patient for the coverage. The foremost of this would be the certification of the physician that the patient has a “medical necessity” for air ambulance and that any other means of travel could adversely impact the health of the patient. The insurance may have a clause which specifies that the patient has to be transported to the nearest medical facility. You also need to check the maximum benefit that the insurance would provide, as you might have to personally fund the remaining amount.

7. Understanding “Medical Necessity” for Air Ambulance Transport Coverage

In order to prevent misuse of air ambulance services that can cause a financial burden, insurance companies have clearly defined what constitutes a medical necessity. In fact, the American Medical Association has laid down a “Model Managed Care Contract” for this very purpose. It says that a qualified medical doctor can – for the purposes of diagnosing, preventing, or treating a disease, illness, or any symptoms – suggest air ambulances provided, the need is:

  • In agreement with the widely accepted medical care standards
  • Medically viable in terms of extent, frequency, site and duration
  • Not merely for monetary benefit of purchasers or health plan, or only for convenience of the doctor, medical care provider or patient.

8. Medicare and Air Ambulance Costs

Most air ambulance service providers will offer billing Medicare directly. However, the cost coverage would be limited to what Medicare actually agrees to reimburse, and you might have to pay the rest out of pocket. Also, there are specific situations in which Medicare covers the cost of medical air services.

9. Help with Ascertaining Insurance Coverage of Medical Flight Services

Most air medical transport service providers will assist you in knowing the coverage you can expect from your insurance provider. In fact, a good organization would have reimbursements specialists at their end. They would not only help you get the pre-authorization but also go a step ahead and take the responsibility of submitting letters of medical necessity, claims forms, and other such relevant documents.

10. Cost of Air Ambulance Services in the Absence of Insurance

Fortunately, the United States has some of the best medical care facilities in the world. So, in most instances the medical travel is within the country. A typical US air ambulance service can cost you just under $10,000. However, this is just an average estimate and the price can vary depending on the distance that the critically ill patient has to travel. Again, factors like pre-scheduling the flight can play a major factor in bringing down the expenses. Also, eliminating a medical flight broker can save you some money. The cost of international air ambulances services can be significantly higher.

11. Alternatives that Can Save Money as Opposed to Air Ambulances

While an

air ambulance service

is the easiest way to organize things, it is not always the cheapest. Some companies also offer you more cost-effective alternatives such as:

  • Boarding the patient on a commercial airliner with qualified medical staff and equipment
  • Utilizing commercial airline stretcher service where the last few seats are removed in order to accommodate the patient and the medical equipment
  • If the time involved in arranging the air ambulance flights is too long, you can choose ground travel with enough number of drivers to cover the distance along with the right medical personnel and equipment.

12. Understanding Air Ambulance Cards

Air ambulance cards are best described as membership programs that enable medical air transport domestically and internationally with just a single phone call. These can be ideal for people who frequently travel beyond their borders into countries where there are communication barriers and inadequate medical facilities. The carriers of air ambulance cards can rest assured that in case of any health eventuality, they can safely board air ambulance flights and return to their home country for quality treatment. The air ambulance card providers usually have worldwide air ambulance networks that enable them to provide a facility like this to their clients.

13. The Need for Air Ambulance Cards

Air ambulance cards act as an additional layer of protection beyond travel health insurances. While the best that travel health insurance can do is provide you with very limited medical evacuation coverage, air ambulance cards give you the complete solution. Most importantly, these cards bring with them the peace of mind that you are safe all the time. However, it must be noted that these cards are not intended to be a replacement for travel health insurance.

14. Check Whether Travel Health Insurance is as Good as Air Ambulance Card

Your credit card or travel health insurance might offer you evacuation through air ambulances to the nearest hospital in the country you are travelling or the nearest hospital in your home country. Air ambulance cards, however, go a step further. These cards will allow you to be air lifted to the hospital of your choice. Most importantly, you will not have to go through the approval and evaluation process which is a must with most medical insurances. You are also freed from the tedious claims process. Although the treating physician is consulted by the air ambulance card to verify the health criteria for transport, the ultimate decision of availing the air ambulance service is taken by the member.

15. Understanding the Cost Advantage of Air Ambulance Cards

While domestic air ambulance transport can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000, international air ambulance services can be quite expensive going up to a $100,000. Moreover, you would have little time to arrange the money as the entire cost would have to be borne upfront. In stark contrast, when you have an air ambulance card, all you pay is a membership fee. You can also include your family in the membership depending on the plan that you choose.

16. Checks to Ensure Quality Care when Choosing an Air Ambulance Service

With the health of your loved one at stake and considerable cost involvement, it is natural for you to wonder whether you are in good hands. Therefore, before zeroing down on a particular air ambulance service, check whether:

  • The medical air transportation service is licensed by Federal Aviation Administration or FAA
  • The air ambulance service company has a medical director
  • The medical air transport company has malpractice and liability insurance
  • You are dealing with a broker or a company, which offers an air ambulance service that has a wide enough network
  • The medical flights are licensed in the state as air ambulance
  • There are enough qualified and trained air ambulance specialists in the medical flight
  • The air medical transport company provides bed to bed service

These simple questions to your flight coordinator will afford you peace of mind and ensure safety of the patient.

17. Ensuring that the Aircraft is Safe for Medical Air Transport

There are two aspects to reliable air ambulance companies. The first is qualified staff and the second is the safety of the aircraft itself. Ensuring that the air ambulance service that you choose is FAA licensed is the first step. The regulations laid down by the FAA ensure that the operation and maintenance of the aircraft are of a certain standard. It also ensures that you have a well-trained pilot at your service. In addition to this, you might want to inquire about the kind of annual training the pilot is given. You would also want to look at their safety track record.

18. Evaluating the Quality of Medical Care on the Air Ambulance

Check whether the air ambulance companies that you choose give a full disclosure about their staff and their experience. You do not want less experienced, minimum wage employees working multiple shifts taking care of you. Ensure that you have registered nurses and critical care flight paramedics on-board. Never shy away from asking your flight coordinator such questions.

19. Check Number of Personnel that Accompany the Patient on the Medical Flight

A standard team usually consists of at least two medical professionals one of whom is a nurse and the other a medical doctor. This can increase depending on the medical needs of the patient and the presence of paramedics might also be warranted.

20. Medications and Equipment On-board the Medical Flight

Medical emergencies have a way of making their way to patients without warning. Ask your flight coordinator whether basic equipment such as defibrillators, stretchers, heart monitors, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, equipment for resuscitation, and intravenous drug administration equipment would be readily available in the air ambulance. The medical flight also needs to carry the essential drugs that are vital for the health of the patient.

21. Health Precautions When Traveling Abroad

While air ambulance services would be available to you through most parts of the world, there are certain precautions that you need to take so that you have immediate quality medical care at hand. Looking at your insurance coverage must be your top priority. Your domestic insurance will not cover your expenses in case you are injured or ill overseas. You might also want a list of nearest hospitals that are easily accessible to medical flights.

22. Insurance Coverage When Travelling Overseas

The social security Medicare does not cover your health eventualities overseas. Not just that your private insurance provider too might not cover you internationally. Hospitals in many countries demand that you pay the treatment costs upfront. So, the first step would be to evaluate your insurance coverage and check how well you are covered when you are travelling abroad. Depending on the coverage, you can then seek additional insurance. Remember, the air ambulance services will carry you back to your home country, but until then, you may need to fend for yourself.

23. Travel Insurance and Travel Medical Insurance

You invest a certain amount when you travel abroad such as expenses for travel, stay, etc. These expenses are covered by your travel insurance depending on the coverage limit. Travel medical insurance on the other hand insures you against illnesses and injuries when you travel overseas. Most countries demand that tourists have both travel insurance as well as travel medical insurance. A good idea would be to check whether your travel medical insurance covers air ambulance services so that you are assured of quality medical care in your own country in case the need arises.

24. Check Whether the Air Ambulance Service has Centralized Flight Operations

Having centralized flight operations has several advantages. The main one being that the scheduling automatically becomes more efficient. This efficiency translates into quicker transit and lower costs. Such air ambulance companies would be able to check the status of air ambulance worldwide and set you up with one that suits your location and medical necessities best.

25. Assistance You Can Expect from the US Government if Disabled Abroad

If locating appropriate medical services is an issue, the US Consulate would help you with that. It would also assist you with quick transfer of funds if the need arises. However, the responsibility to pay your expenses incurred on medical care and transfer such as air ambulance transport would entirely rest on your shoulders. The US Embassy website too has a lot of useful information to safeguard your health when travelling abroad.

26. Flying with a Medical Escort Service instead of Air Ambulance

While you might need to travel utilizing an aircraft for medical necessities, an air ambulance service as such may not be warranted. In a situation like this, you can save money and time by utilizing the service of a commercial medical escort. This specialist would be able to provide you services like sedation, oxygen, cardiac monitoring, pain management, and would take care of the patient’s other essential medical needs. The medical escort would accompany the patient throughout the journey until he or she safely reaches the desired destination. To qualify for a service like this, your doctor will have to approve that you would be able to sit for the duration of the flight without adverse health repercussions. Most companies that offer air ambulance services also offer medical escort services.

27. Understanding Critical Care Air Ambulance Services

There are times when a patient needs facilities that are as good as an intensive care unit when travelling through air ambulances. This is where critical care air ambulance services come into picture. This service virtually can transform an aircraft into a flying intensive care unit with equipment like intra-aortic balloon pumps, newborn incubators, saturation monitors and other high-technology medical equipment. The flight would also have onboard air ambulance specialists who are well-versed with tackling any eventualities that the patient’s medical condition can cause. The care coordination in such instances has to be very precise as there is little room for delay or error.

28. Understanding Medical Repatriation with International Air Ambulance Services

Returning to the home country or medical repatriation is often a complex procedure. You need experienced personnel who can arrange the repatriation on time so that the health of the patient remains unaffected. At times, this can mean going through complex procedures. Having an in-depth understanding of international rules and regulations is a must. An international air ambulance service that employs bilingual individuals helps in such situations. The repatriation may demand that the service provider is well versed with procedures such as preparing citizenship papers, coordinating with foreign consulates, and taking care of clearances and customs issues.

29. Organ Procurement through Medical Air Services

Organ recipients usually have to wait for months or years together on the waiting list to receive an organ donation such as kidneys, liver, or eyes. The transit time from the donor’s location to the recipient’s location is always critical to keep the organ viable. Then, there are issues such as maintenance of the organ in the right medical environment. Air ambulance services play a major part in this live-saving effort which is extremely time sensitive. Communication, coordination, ground staff and equipment play a huge role in such situations.

30. The Affiliations that Matter when Choosing Air Ambulance Services

The fact that the air ambulance service is affiliated with either all or several of the organizations listed below ensures that the patient is in safe hands. These affiliations demand that the air ambulance services maintain certain standards in order to be accredited. The major ones are:

Will My Insurance Cover an Air Ambulance Flight?

During a medical emergency, no one wants to worry about money. However, medical care can be very expensive. Air ambulances typically transport the sickest, most critical patients. Air ambulances are operated by highly-trained personnel. Therefore, the costs for air ambulance transport can be astronomical.

Not all insurance companies will pay for air ambulance transport. With almost no exceptions, they will have strict requirements for payment. Typically a patient would need to be in the middle of a severe medical emergency with no other options for the company to pay. Since such situations most often occur unexpectedly, it would be a smart idea to ask you insurance company ahead of time if they will cover transport by air ambulance.

Also, before you decide on a medical flight company, check out the air ambulance company’s ratings and reviews online.  I would also ensure that the air ambulance company is properly accredited and has the appropriate insurance and licenses.