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Cathy Carothers
Customer Service Representative
Nov 20 2018

Does Insurance Cover Air Ambulance?

We Will Accept Insurance If Your Provider Decides To Pay

We all enjoy deciding on a great vacation location and planning the trip. Usually the thought of a medical situation that would require an air ambulance to return home is not considered. When a loved one needs to come back home for medical care the first question usually asked is “will my insurance cover any of the expense of an air ambulance flight?” Medicare and other private health insurance policies usually do not cover air ambulance transports on fixed wing air ambulance aircraft.

That being said, it is a very good idea to check with your health insurance company to see if fixed wing air ambulance transportation is a covered event on your policy. Most insurance companies categorize fixed wing air ambulance transfer as a move of convenience rather that a move of necessity. They perform a “necessity and distance” test on each case. The “necessity test”, simply put, asks the question “can the facility, where the patient is currently, provide adequate care?” If the answer is “yes”, the insurance company will not pay to move the patient to another preferred facility. If the answer is “no”, then the distance test is applied. The distance test determines the closest facility to the patient that can provide adequate care.

The insurance company will pay to move the patient to this facility. Typically, a facility can be found relatively close to the patient’s current facility that can provide the patient with the necessary care that they need. If the patient is out of the country, Medicare rules do not allow payment to re-locate the patient back to the United States for treatment for any reason. Unfortunately most secondary insurance companies follow the same guidelines as Medicare so if Medicare denies they will deny as well.

Will Travel Insurance Pay For Air Ambulance?

When making vacation plans the thought of needing an air ambulance to return us home because of a medical emergency, normally, doesn’t cross our minds. Some travelers erroneously assume that their health insurance policy will cover the expense. Most of us do not even know what the potential cost might be to travel by air ambulance.

One way to have peace of mind that this expense would be covered is by purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance is one way to be covered in the event you or a loved one needs to be transported by an air ambulance. There are many travel insurance companies with many different policies, so, it is important to choose the best policy. When purchasing a travel insurance policy be sure that the policy you purchase ensures that it will cover the cost of transporting you to your desired destination.

Otherwise, the travel insurance company may only cover transporting you to an adequate facility, which may still be many miles from the your preferred facility. Also, be sure that the policy is for the dollar amount that will cover the total cost of an air ambulance transport. Feel free to call Global Air Ambulance for an estimate of the cost of medical transportation from your travel destination back to your home. With that you can choose the travel insurance policy that is best for you.

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