There are many situations where air ambulance services are the only option for getting access to vital medical treatment. Air ambulance services are called to the rescue when typical medical travel or regular non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services won’t work.
Air ambulances are not emergency services, like the Medivac helicopters that transport critically ill or injured patients to an emergency room after an accident, for example. Those services are provided by state and local authorities, similar to services provided by local fire departments or paramedics. Medivac services are provided free of charge.
Air Ambulance services are used when a patient needs to or wants relocate to another medical facility that’s far away, but they can’t travel commercially or by car because of their medical condition.
Air ambulance services provide access to care for those unable to sit upright during flights. It makes it possible for people to fly who require in-flight medical care from a trained medical professional. For people in the most remote regions, air ambulance services can also afford the necessary link to getting the help and medical care they need.
Because of the specialized nature of air ambulance services, specialized equipment and trained medical professionals, the costs of air ambulance services are very high. In most cases, the cost of air ambulance services are not covered by typical health insurance policies.
The Cost of Air Ambulance Services
Anyone who needs to lie down or requires medical care during a flight typically requires air ambulance services. According to recent government data, the average cost of air ambulance services ranges between $36,000 and $40,000. If you need to have scheduled, chartered transport for medical care, that equates to a bill that will largely fall on the patient.
Booking a chartered air ambulance is as easy as looking up air ambulance services. However, there are a few keys to finding the right air ambulance service for your NEMT needs. It is worth checking with multiple air ambulance services to find transport providers with a proven track record and fair prices.
Those seeking medical travel services will also want to ensure the air ambulance service provides the proper medical personnel and equipment necessary for your medical condition. A copy of the patient’s medical records will normally be requested by the transporting service.
Low-Cost Air Ambulance Options
The high cost of air ambulance services also begs the question, are there more affordable air ambulance or medical travel options? The good news is there are a few options patients have when needing non-emergency medical transportation services.
You can request a free air ambulance flight from Charity Air Ambulance (http://charityairambulance.com/request-flight/). Charity Air Ambulance is a privately funded organization that was created to assist patients in their critical times of need and provide a new source of funding for patients who meet certain criteria.
Grace on Wings (www.graceonwings.org) is not a free service, but offers air ambulance flights at a significant discount as a charitable service.
Another option for more affordable medical travel is to fly commercially using a medical airline escort. Provided the patient can sit during take-off and landing, is a considerably more affordable option versus normal air ambulance services. One such organization is Flying Angels.
Just because you are ill or need to fly to distance medical treatment, you may not need an air ambulance. Charitable organizations like Angel Flight West can offer potential medical transport solutions for patients who do not require air ambulance services. Contact Angel Flight West for more information or to learn more about NEMT services.