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.