While air ambulance flights are often a life-saving service, they can also be a costly one. That's why it's important to determine how an air ambulance will be paid for prior to transporting yourself or a loved one. Aero Med Express will assist you in every way we can with obtaining funds for the flight.
Most insurance plans will cover air ambulance services, however it's important to contact your provider to determine if there are air ambulance benefits available and if you meet your plan's eligibility criteria. Aero Med Express understands that ascertaining this information can be time consuming and, sometimes, confusing, therefore we are happy to contact your insurance provider on your behalf prior to your medical flight. In many cases, there will also be a case manager who represents the insurance company and is following your case. The case manager will be helpful in getting your air ambulance flight preauthorized.
When making the determination on whether or not to pay for air ambulance transportation services, many insurance companies will look to see if the flight is considered "medically necessary." This generally begins with inquring as to why the patient is being transported via an air ambulance. One common criteria in most policies is that the patient is being transported to the closest facility that can adequately care for their needs, and, due to the time and distance involved, an air ambulance was imperative. If a patient or family wish to go to a higher level of care that the insurance company would deem as a facility of personal preference, charges may be denied.
Aside from the more common insurance plans, such as Cigna, Aetna, United HealthCare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, there may be other resources for air ambulance coverage. These include workman's compensation for those who were injured in the workplace and vehicular insurance for those involved in motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, some credit cards may have a travel benefit that could apply to the cardholders should they be injured while traveling.
In the event that insurance will not be responsible for transport and it becomes an out of pocket expense for the patient and family, there are a number of ways Aero Med Express utilizes to secure the funding for an air ambulance flight. The most common form of payment we use is major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Many times family members will distribute the cost of a flight over a credit card or two of their choice, especially if it's a joint effort among family members.
Bank wires are also used frequently for those who prefer to do so or are perhaps managing the funds of a patient who is incapacitated and unable to handle their own affairs, such as a professional manager or medical power of attorney. A simple exhange of bank information between Aero Med Express and the appropriate parties can secure these arrangements. Corporate entities sometimes prefer this form of payment as well.
Aero Med Express also accepts personal checks for payment of air ambulance services, but will wish to contact the bank for which the check is being issued to insure that the funds are available to cover the amount required for the flight. Corporate checks may also be accepted.
For any additional questions regarding insurance coverage or payment for an air ambulance flight, call us at 800-842-8555 or email us at