Air Ambulances: Taking Healthcare Consumers for an Expensive Ride

Since 2000, the number of air ambulance companies have doubled to over 1000.  For profit companies are contributing to the growth.  The average air ambulance is about $32,900 in 2014.  The real cost for the trip ranges from $7000 to $10000.  Medicare and Medicaid pay about $200 to $6000 per trip.  Most operators must collect more from private insurance companies to make up the difference.  In a 2015 study, about 33% of air ambulance rises were medically unnecessary.  If medically unnecessary, the consumer gets stuck!!!!!!

Most medical emergency events are stressful…try to do the following:

Make sure the doctor or first responders are convinced the air ambulance is the best option versus ground and is medically necessary.   Have a family member ask the question.

Ask f the company is in your insurance network.

If your insurance denies the bill appeal.  If necessary, negotiate the bill.  Remember the company’s costs are $7000 to $10000.



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