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Medical Flight Bills – The Past and the Present

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Sean Deines was gainfully employed as a bartender and leading a fulfilling life, but then, the pandemic hit, and he lost his job. It was when he was visiting his grandfather in Wyoming that he suddenly started feeling down and visited the local emergency department. There, after a test, he was told that he had an abnormally high white blood cell count and was told to visit the University of Colorado Hospital for further treatment. He was transported to the facility via a medical flight. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with blood cancer and appropriate treatment was begun.

Sean was Assured He Would Not Have to Foot the Medical Flight Bill

The medical flight service that Sean had used was through Angel MedFlight. However, when it came to the approval of his medical charges, his insurance company denied some of the charges. It included the medical flight bill. The medical flight company then appealed against the decision taken by the insurance provider.

The surprising fact was that a whopping $70,000 land ambulance charge was first approved and when Sean passed this amount on to the medical flight company, the insurance provider demanded that the amount be returned. It was only after the involvement of the media that Sean was no longer held liable for the pending amount.

Things Would Have Been Different If the Medical Flight was Availed in 2022

With the passing of the No Surprises Bill in 2022, insurance and medical flight service providers can no longer hold patients liable for any charges. In fact, if the medical flight service cannot be covered, it becomes the responsibility of the service provider to let the patient know about it beforehand. Any payable service can be provided only after the prior written consent of the patient. In the absence of such consent, the payment becomes a matter that has to be sorted out between insurance and medical flight service providers.

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