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Consumer Guide: Medical Flight Services and No Surprises Act


One thing is clear – the No Surprises Act bans balance billing for almost all emergency treatments and related services. This includes medical flight services. However, there are certain things that you must know before jumping to any conclusions. The foremost of this is: your health insurance must cover emergency expenses with no prior authorization. If this is true, then balance billing would not be allowed even for availing out-of-network medical flight services in case there is an emergency. The out-of-network medical flight service would be treated as if it is in-network.

Consent for Medical Flight Services

If you are in an emergency situation and are not in a position to give consent to avail medical flight services and the care providers opt for medical flight services that are out of your insurance network, you do not have to worry anymore. Any balance amount that results from it will be a matter to settle between health insurance providers and the medical flight services.

However, if you have insisted on a particular air ambulance service, then you might have to bear the balance amount if you give written consent.

Waiving Off the Rights

Giving written consent that you wish to opt for out-of-network medical flight services should be a deliberated decision. If you have been given oral information about the repercussions, it will not hold good. You will still have to be given written information and you will have to waive off your right through written consent. Of course, all this comes into the picture only if you are in a position to give your consent. Often, medical flight services are availed in very serious circumstances and the call for an air ambulance is given by the medical professional at the scene. In conclusion, the No Surprises Act is quite effective in insulating patients from balance billing.

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