Will Congress Bring Sky-High Air Ambulance Bills Down To Earth?

September 27, 2018, KHN, Jackie Fortier, StateImpact Oklahoma- A Air ambulance rides are literal lifesavers. But how much should they cost? In the ongoing, crowdsourced “Bill of the Month” investigation, Kaiser Health News and NPR received more than a dozen bills from people around the country on the hook for medevac helicopter rides that ranged from $28,000 to $97,000.What gives? Why should a lifesaving flight come with a life-altering bill? If an air ambulance service is not part of a patient’s insurance network, the operator can charge the patient for the portion of the bill the insurance company won’t cover - meaning the patient is on the hook for the undiscounted rate that the air carrier decides to charge.

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