Author Topic: Large air ambulance bill post retirement  (Read 21272 times)

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2016, 09:17:30 AM »
Im on vacation so answer will be short - first if accdent was not your fault you should get an attorney. A personal injuty attorney will help with this issue. I have fought Rocky Mountain holdings multiple times on behalf of injured clients and never paid anywhere near the full price. Ever.

Even if you dont have a personal injury claim, you could look for a good injury attorney in your area to help with the negotiations. If they are good they can negotiate from a much stronger position thsn you can. They could charge you by thr hour. 41k buys a lot morr attorney time than helicopter time. !aybe we can start making EMT jokes instead of lawyer jokes.... :)

Right now you need to focus on your health. Look for a professional to take this off your plate. If the attorney is good, it will save you tens of thousands of dollars of the billed amount.

PM if you want any additional info.

This could be a good route if they do try to balance bill us and we will definitely consider it. Thank you.

ohmylookatthat

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2016, 11:06:54 AM »
don't pay it.  they will continue to the lower the bill until and amount that is much lower.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #52 on: December 24, 2016, 01:21:09 AM »
Did  you sign anything before they picked you up?  My guess is that you did not.  You did not agree to their charges.  You may have even opted out of the flight knowing what it would cost.

I would work out a payment plan for $25 a month.  Or just ignore them.  They cannot garnish your wages if you do not have a job.

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2016, 07:50:04 PM »
I am glad you are recovering. Your story was the final push I needed to sign up for coverage with lifeflight. $50 a year for two people who live in a very rural area seems like a pretty good deal; just needed to get past the procrastination.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2016, 07:14:38 AM »
I am glad you are recovering. Your story was the final push I needed to sign up for coverage with lifeflight. $50 a year for two people who live in a very rural area seems like a pretty good deal; just needed to get past the procrastination.

Along those lines....  My dad was a paid "member" of the local ambulance service for years.  Earlier this year he needed transport from a hospital 2 hours away (2 hours one way... so 4 hour trip by a crew of 3).  It required a ventilator and pretty constant monitoring.  I was surprised -- 100% covered by their plan.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #55 on: December 29, 2016, 08:42:12 AM »
I am glad you are recovering. Your story was the final push I needed to sign up for coverage with lifeflight. $50 a year for two people who live in a very rural area seems like a pretty good deal; just needed to get past the procrastination.

Thats as much as two $500k life insurance policies for our family (30 & 28).  I would have a hard time justifying air ambulance insurance especially since it seems like this thread may be going in the direction of the OP not needing to pay the remainder...

I'm a red panda

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #56 on: December 29, 2016, 09:23:15 AM »
I am glad you are recovering. Your story was the final push I needed to sign up for coverage with lifeflight. $50 a year for two people who live in a very rural area seems like a pretty good deal; just needed to get past the procrastination.

Thats as much as two $500k life insurance policies for our family (30 & 28).  I would have a hard time justifying air ambulance insurance especially since it seems like this thread may be going in the direction of the OP not needing to pay the remainder...

Because of the contract this company has with his insurance company that disallows balance billing.  Not everyone will have that same insurance.

Also- who do you have your life insurance through? DH and I shopped around and got what we thought were good rates (and are both very healthy, normal weight, no smoking etc)- and we pay a bit more than $200ish each a year. How are you paying $50 a year for two policies?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 09:26:48 AM by iowajes »

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #57 on: December 29, 2016, 11:49:21 AM »
I am glad you are recovering. Your story was the final push I needed to sign up for coverage with lifeflight. $50 a year for two people who live in a very rural area seems like a pretty good deal; just needed to get past the procrastination.

Along those lines....  My dad was a paid "member" of the local ambulance service for years.  Earlier this year he needed transport from a hospital 2 hours away (2 hours one way... so 4 hour trip by a crew of 3).  It required a ventilator and pretty constant monitoring.  I was surprised -- 100% covered by their plan.

This sounds like a good deal to me. I was in a rural area—on a trail in the woods of a state park—when I had my accident, but not very far from the hospital. Knowing what I know now, if I were in a rural and less populated part of the country, I would get the air insurance. Where I live is probably one of the areas where the advantages of going by air vs. ground are less clear.

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #58 on: December 29, 2016, 12:12:51 PM »
I am glad you are recovering. Your story was the final push I needed to sign up for coverage with lifeflight. $50 a year for two people who live in a very rural area seems like a pretty good deal; just needed to get past the procrastination.

It's pretty cool to think my story might have helped someone. Thank you.

Master of Coin

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2017, 10:41:15 AM »
Sorry for your ordeal, mara, and glad to hear you are recovering.

First, disclaimer, this is not legal advice.  I do not play lawyer on the internet.

It sounds like you are in Massachusetts, or at least have coverage through a MA insurer, so you should be aware that there are some protections against bills resulting from out-of-network services.  Some applicable regulations are copied below, and if you are interested, this lengthy report by the Health Policy Commission discusses out-of-network billing issues: http://www.mass.gov/anf/budget-taxes-and-procurement/oversight-agencies/health-policy-commission/publications/2015-ctr-out-of-network.pdf

These laws don't prohibit the air ambulance company from balance billing you, but they do require that your insurance carrier protect you from paying more than you would have been responsible for had the air ambulance company been an in-network provider.  If your insurance does not have any in-network air ambulance companies, then these laws might not be helpful.

If your insurance refuses to pay any more, and the ambulance company keeps balance billing you, I would call the insurance company and point out that they are required to cover emergency services as if they were in-network.  If that doesn't get any traction, you could say you are going to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.  Again, air ambulance seems like a special case, so this may not work the same way it would for other emergency services.

Good luck!

Mass General Laws, Chapter 176I (Preferred Provider Arrangements):
"Section 3. Organizations, but not an insurer as defined in paragraph (7) of section one of chapter one hundred and fifty-two, may offer health benefit plans which provide for incentives for covered persons to use the health care services of preferred providers. Such health benefit policies or plans shall meet at least the following minimum requirements:
.
.
.
(b) If a covered person receives emergency care and cannot reasonably reach a preferred provider, payment for care related to the emergency shall be made at the same level and in the same manner as if the covered person had been treated by a preferred provider; provided, however, that every brochure, contract, policy manual and all printed materials shall clearly state that covered persons shall have the option of calling the local pre-hospital emergency medical service system by dialing the emergency telephone access number 911, or its local equivalent, whenever a covered person is confronted with a need for emergency care, and no covered person shall in any way be discouraged from using the local pre-hospital emergency medical service system, the 911 telephone number, or the local equivalent, or be denied coverage for medical and transportation expenses incurred as a result of such use of emergency care;"
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter176I/Section3

Mass General Laws, Chapter 176O (Health Maintenance Organizations):
"Section 6. (a) A carrier shall issue and deliver to at least one adult insured in each household residing in the commonwealth, upon enrollment, an evidence of coverage and any amendments thereto. Said evidence of coverage shall contain a clear, concise and complete statement of:
.
.
.
(4) the locations where, and the manner in which, health care services and other benefits may be obtained, including: (i) an explanation that whenever a proposed admission, procedure or service that is a medically necessary covered benefit is not available to an insured within the carrier's network, the carrier shall cover the out-of-network admission, procedure or service and the insured will not be responsible to pay more than the amount which would be required for similar admissions, procedures or services offered within the carrier's network; and (ii) an explanation that whenever a location is part of the carrier's network, that the carrier shall cover medically necessary covered benefits delivered at that location and the insured shall not be responsible to pay more than the amount required for network services even if part of the medically necessary covered benefits are performed by out-of-network providers unless the insured has a reasonable opportunity to choose to have the service performed by a network provider."
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter176O/Section6

v8rx7guy

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #60 on: January 07, 2017, 10:57:23 AM »
I am glad you are recovering. Your story was the final push I needed to sign up for coverage with lifeflight. $50 a year for two people who live in a very rural area seems like a pretty good deal; just needed to get past the procrastination.

Thats as much as two $500k life insurance policies for our family (30 & 28).  I would have a hard time justifying air ambulance insurance especially since it seems like this thread may be going in the direction of the OP not needing to pay the remainder...

Because of the contract this company has with his insurance company that disallows balance billing.  Not everyone will have that same insurance.

Also- who do you have your life insurance through? DH and I shopped around and got what we thought were good rates (and are both very healthy, normal weight, no smoking etc)- and we pay a bit more than $200ish each a year. How are you paying $50 a year for two policies?

Oh. I was mistaken.  I thought the air ambulance insurance was  $50/mo not per year.

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2017, 08:05:34 PM »
Sorry for your ordeal, mara, and glad to hear you are recovering.

First, disclaimer, this is not legal advice.  I do not play lawyer on the internet.

It sounds like you are in Massachusetts, or at least have coverage through a MA insurer, so you should be aware that there are some protections against bills resulting from out-of-network services.  Some applicable regulations are copied below, and if you are interested, this lengthy report by the Health Policy Commission discusses out-of-network billing issues: http://www.mass.gov/anf/budget-taxes-and-procurement/oversight-agencies/health-policy-commission/publications/2015-ctr-out-of-network.pdf

These laws don't prohibit the air ambulance company from balance billing you, but they do require that your insurance carrier protect you from paying more than you would have been responsible for had the air ambulance company been an in-network provider.  If your insurance does not have any in-network air ambulance companies, then these laws might not be helpful.

If your insurance refuses to pay any more, and the ambulance company keeps balance billing you, I would call the insurance company and point out that they are required to cover emergency services as if they were in-network.  If that doesn't get any traction, you could say you are going to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.  Again, air ambulance seems like a special case, so this may not work the same way it would for other emergency services.

Good luck!

Mass General Laws, Chapter 176I (Preferred Provider Arrangements):
"Section 3. Organizations, but not an insurer as defined in paragraph (7) of section one of chapter one hundred and fifty-two, may offer health benefit plans which provide for incentives for covered persons to use the health care services of preferred providers. Such health benefit policies or plans shall meet at least the following minimum requirements:
.
.
.
(b) If a covered person receives emergency care and cannot reasonably reach a preferred provider, payment for care related to the emergency shall be made at the same level and in the same manner as if the covered person had been treated by a preferred provider; provided, however, that every brochure, contract, policy manual and all printed materials shall clearly state that covered persons shall have the option of calling the local pre-hospital emergency medical service system by dialing the emergency telephone access number 911, or its local equivalent, whenever a covered person is confronted with a need for emergency care, and no covered person shall in any way be discouraged from using the local pre-hospital emergency medical service system, the 911 telephone number, or the local equivalent, or be denied coverage for medical and transportation expenses incurred as a result of such use of emergency care;"
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter176I/Section3

Mass General Laws, Chapter 176O (Health Maintenance Organizations):
"Section 6. (a) A carrier shall issue and deliver to at least one adult insured in each household residing in the commonwealth, upon enrollment, an evidence of coverage and any amendments thereto. Said evidence of coverage shall contain a clear, concise and complete statement of:
.
.
.
(4) the locations where, and the manner in which, health care services and other benefits may be obtained, including: (i) an explanation that whenever a proposed admission, procedure or service that is a medically necessary covered benefit is not available to an insured within the carrier's network, the carrier shall cover the out-of-network admission, procedure or service and the insured will not be responsible to pay more than the amount which would be required for similar admissions, procedures or services offered within the carrier's network; and (ii) an explanation that whenever a location is part of the carrier's network, that the carrier shall cover medically necessary covered benefits delivered at that location and the insured shall not be responsible to pay more than the amount required for network services even if part of the medically necessary covered benefits are performed by out-of-network providers unless the insured has a reasonable opportunity to choose to have the service performed by a network provider."
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter176O/Section6

Hi Master of Coin, thank you for your research and information; it's much appreciated. I just did a little search and could not find an in-network air ambulance provider for BCBS MA. Since my transport was medically necessary, if indeed they do not have an in-network provider, it seems your statement that they (BCBS) are required to provide service as if it were in-network would apply to what happened in my situation. This good news and BCBS's supportive attitude to date make me feel hopeful.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2017, 07:18:32 AM »
Hi Master of Coin, thank you for your research and information; it's much appreciated. I just did a little search and could not find an in-network air ambulance provider for BCBS MA. Since my transport was medically necessary, if indeed they do not have an in-network provider, it seems your statement that they (BCBS) are required to provide service as if it were in-network would apply to what happened in my situation. This good news and BCBS's supportive attitude to date make me feel hopeful.

Just be prepared for a fight. I had no in-network provider available for a medically necessary procedure and I was denied my appeal.  I didn't have the energy in me to keep up appeals though.

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2017, 10:34:00 AM »
Hi Master of Coin, thank you for your research and information; it's much appreciated. I just did a little search and could not find an in-network air ambulance provider for BCBS MA. Since my transport was medically necessary, if indeed they do not have an in-network provider, it seems your statement that they (BCBS) are required to provide service as if it were in-network would apply to what happened in my situation. This good news and BCBS's supportive attitude to date make me feel hopeful.

Just be prepared for a fight. I had no in-network provider available for a medically necessary procedure and I was denied my appeal.  I didn't have the energy in me to keep up appeals though.

I'm sorry about your troubles. You do seem well-informed about the insurance industry, and I was wondering if you had an insurance job, from your earlier posts. Were you stuck with a big bill?

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2017, 10:38:07 AM »

I'm sorry about your troubles. You do seem well-informed about the insurance industry, and I was wondering if you had an insurance job, from your earlier posts. Were you stuck with a big bill?

No, just a lot of time appealing out-of-network charges. Plus am very analytical so I do a lot of research.

We did end up paying about $10,000 of a $12,500 bill.  I was too emotionally drained to fight longer.

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2017, 10:59:35 AM »

I'm sorry about your troubles. You do seem well-informed about the insurance industry, and I was wondering if you had an insurance job, from your earlier posts. Were you stuck with a big bill?

No, just a lot of time appealing out-of-network charges. Plus am very analytical so I do a lot of research.

We did end up paying about $10,000 of a $12,500 bill.  I was too emotionally drained to fight longer.

That is a big bill.

I still work part-time, but am hoping to retire from that this year, a hope that has grown since the accident. I suppose I could work one more year. Or two. If I had to. Sigh.

Livingthedream55

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2017, 12:18:17 PM »
Mara

Also consider reaching out to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office Health Care Division. You can call them and they will tell you if they can advocate on your behalf. (No cost to you.)

http://www.mass.gov/ago/bureaus/hcfc/the-health-care-division/

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2017, 12:24:40 PM »
Mara

Also consider reaching out to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office Health Care Division. You can call them and they will tell you if they can advocate on your behalf. (No cost to you.)

http://www.mass.gov/ago/bureaus/hcfc/the-health-care-division/

Thanks!

thebattlewalrus

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2017, 11:31:24 AM »
I volunteer at a medic company and I have heard a couple scenarios play out in the past when a company has called in a life flight when it really wasn't needed.

Scenario #1: The patient legitimately didn't meet the requirements that justified a flight and should have been transported via ground ambulance. This individual disputed it (ended up in court) and ended up not paying anything. I was not involved in this but my understanding is that the patient was unconscious when the helo was dispatched and became conscious when it landed. The ground team determined that the patient was not in the right state of mind to refuse and transported via air.

Scenario #2: The patient met the criteria for a life flight but could have been transported to the trauma center faster via ground ambulance. This patient I think had most of the $25k wiped out and basically paid what the cost of the ground transport would have been. I have read about this scenario a few times throughout the US and the patient seems to win most of the time in court.

If you could have been transported to the hospital in less time than the air flight you might argue that. We sometimes transport via ground to a level 2 center to stabilize and then if deemed necessary the medical team at the hospital will then transport via ground to a level 1 center. Where I volunteer we sometimes have a 30 min drive to a level 2 center and if I came up on your situation I would have the bird airborne ASAP since you likely needed level 1 trauma care (1 hr drive for us). Air flights are brutally expensive anywhere in the country and you can do a search and see how aggressive the companies will get to have the bill paid. Not that it likely will help your situation but there have been a couple studies that show the increased survival rate with an air ambulance over a ground ambulance is only 1.5% and there is increased scrutiny on using them... I am glad you are on the mend and wish you the best of luck fighting this. 

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2017, 05:16:43 PM »
Hi Walrus,

It was interesting to read your insider point of view; thank you for that and your good wishes. I think the flight was justified, as it likely saved some needed time over ground transport. And I am deeply grateful to all of the people who pulled together to save me.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2017, 11:59:28 PM »
I volunteer at a medic company and I have heard a couple scenarios play out in the past when a company has called in a life flight when it really wasn't needed.

Scenario #1: The patient legitimately didn't meet the requirements that justified a flight and should have been transported via ground ambulance. This individual disputed it (ended up in court) and ended up not paying anything. I was not involved in this but my understanding is that the patient was unconscious when the helo was dispatched and became conscious when it landed. The ground team determined that the patient was not in the right state of mind to refuse and transported via air.

Scenario #2: The patient met the criteria for a life flight but could have been transported to the trauma center faster via ground ambulance. This patient I think had most of the $25k wiped out and basically paid what the cost of the ground transport would have been. I have read about this scenario a few times throughout the US and the patient seems to win most of the time in court.

If you could have been transported to the hospital in less time than the air flight you might argue that. We sometimes transport via ground to a level 2 center to stabilize and then if deemed necessary the medical team at the hospital will then transport via ground to a level 1 center. Where I volunteer we sometimes have a 30 min drive to a level 2 center and if I came up on your situation I would have the bird airborne ASAP since you likely needed level 1 trauma care (1 hr drive for us). Air flights are brutally expensive anywhere in the country and you can do a search and see how aggressive the companies will get to have the bill paid. Not that it likely will help your situation but there have been a couple studies that show the increased survival rate with an air ambulance over a ground ambulance is only 1.5% and there is increased scrutiny on using them... I am glad you are on the mend and wish you the best of luck fighting this.

Wow. I would like to see this study; that small of a survivability difference is pretty shocking. Of course, most of the time it's already decided if the patient will live or die by the time EMS arrives, so I can see how it makes sense.

thebattlewalrus

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2017, 06:54:53 AM »
I volunteer at a medic company and I have heard a couple scenarios play out in the past when a company has called in a life flight when it really wasn't needed.

Scenario #1: The patient legitimately didn't meet the requirements that justified a flight and should have been transported via ground ambulance. This individual disputed it (ended up in court) and ended up not paying anything. I was not involved in this but my understanding is that the patient was unconscious when the helo was dispatched and became conscious when it landed. The ground team determined that the patient was not in the right state of mind to refuse and transported via air.

Scenario #2: The patient met the criteria for a life flight but could have been transported to the trauma center faster via ground ambulance. This patient I think had most of the $25k wiped out and basically paid what the cost of the ground transport would have been. I have read about this scenario a few times throughout the US and the patient seems to win most of the time in court.

If you could have been transported to the hospital in less time than the air flight you might argue that. We sometimes transport via ground to a level 2 center to stabilize and then if deemed necessary the medical team at the hospital will then transport via ground to a level 1 center. Where I volunteer we sometimes have a 30 min drive to a level 2 center and if I came up on your situation I would have the bird airborne ASAP since you likely needed level 1 trauma care (1 hr drive for us). Air flights are brutally expensive anywhere in the country and you can do a search and see how aggressive the companies will get to have the bill paid. Not that it likely will help your situation but there have been a couple studies that show the increased survival rate with an air ambulance over a ground ambulance is only 1.5% and there is increased scrutiny on using them... I am glad you are on the mend and wish you the best of luck fighting this.

Wow. I would like to see this study; that small of a survivability difference is pretty shocking. Of course, most of the time it's already decided if the patient will live or die by the time EMS arrives, so I can see how it makes sense.

Here is the JAMA article covering the difference:

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1148152

Metric Mouse

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2017, 10:41:36 AM »
Thanks for the link. Added to my reading list.

runewell

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2017, 12:13:35 PM »
Did they get some sort of consent from you?  Or did they kidnap you?

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2017, 01:30:52 PM »
Did they get some sort of consent from you?  Or did they kidnap you?

Depending on the extent of the emergency, there is often what is called 'implied consent'.

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #75 on: January 18, 2017, 03:32:17 PM »
Did they get some sort of consent from you?  Or did they kidnap you?

Not sure if this is a serious question or a challenge.

My chest was crushed and my only thought was on my next breath. I assume the nurse practitioner and EMTs made all the decisions.

former player

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #76 on: January 18, 2017, 03:47:41 PM »
There's something called an "agency of necessity" - you are legally allowed to assume that the dying person wants you to save their life and they will take responsibility for what you do as though they had authorised you to do it.

MishMash

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #77 on: January 18, 2017, 04:20:57 PM »
Mara,

I went through this with my mom last year, same deal, horrible car accident, my father didn't make it through and my mother was jaws of life'd out of the car and helicoptered from the scene.  They had Horizon BC/BS and the air copter bill was 135k.  Are you in a no fault car insurance state (it looks like you are in Mass so that is a yes if you are)?  If so your car insurance should be paying first, then the health insurance.  If they try to balance bill (which considering in moms case the insurances only covered 29k of the bill) re file it with the insurance company or companies, they will generally fight it off.  If the air company calls you refer them back to the insurance companies without saying anything about fault.  They called me every day for a month almost (I was PoA while mom was incapacitated).  In the end we didn't pay a dime.

It was harder to deal with the out of network ambulance that kept billing for showing up to the accident to take my fathers body away since it wasn't "an emergency" I ended up just paying them so I didn't have to keep rehashing it.

Salim

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #78 on: January 18, 2017, 06:43:24 PM »
Did they get some sort of consent from you?  Or did they kidnap you?

Depending on the extent of the emergency, there is often what is called 'implied consent'.

Thank you, Iowajes.

I think we have covered this topic very well. My original questions were:

<<Has anyone else on the forum had a similar air ambulance experience? Is it possible that the insurance company might pay more or Rocky Mountain might adjust the fee? We don't qualify for Medicaid. Any suggestions?>>

There has been an outpouring of kind advice and support, and I am grateful for your help. To date, there has been no attempt to balance bill, but, if it comes, I now have tools to negotiate and research from you and me to back it up. Yay!

Recovering from major trauma has an emotional component, and I am still struggling with that. It comes for me in waves of flashbacks, fear, and awful dread. I can't watch violence on TV or read about frightening things. And yet, everyone who hears my story wants to tell me about something horrible that happened to someone they know. This is a normal and natural response, but every time it shakes me to the core. It's already happened twice today.

I need to stay positive while my body and soul continue to heal. This thread has served its purpose for me. If there are any more posts, I may or may not respond, and I hope you will understand. Thank you, all!

Mara

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #79 on: January 18, 2017, 07:14:43 PM »
Sorry to hear about the emotional trauma.  I hope your recovery from it is fruitful.
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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #80 on: January 18, 2017, 07:21:07 PM »
Mara, if you do check this thread, I suggest looking for a therapist who practices EMDR. It has been invaluable to me to get past PTSD from two past traumatic events and being able to live my life again.

Your event was very recent. It is normal to still be in distress, but don't feel ashamed to seek help if you need it.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #81 on: January 18, 2017, 08:28:19 PM »
Mara,

I went through this with my mom last year, same deal, horrible car accident, my father didn't make it through and my mother was jaws of life'd out of the car and helicoptered from the scene.  They had Horizon BC/BS and the air copter bill was 135k.  Are you in a no fault car insurance state (it looks like you are in Mass so that is a yes if you are)?  If so your car insurance should be paying first, then the health insurance.  If they try to balance bill (which considering in moms case the insurances only covered 29k of the bill) re file it with the insurance company or companies, they will generally fight it off.  If the air company calls you refer them back to the insurance companies without saying anything about fault.  They called me every day for a month almost (I was PoA while mom was incapacitated).  In the end we didn't pay a dime.

It was harder to deal with the out of network ambulance that kept billing for showing up to the accident to take my fathers body away since it wasn't "an emergency" I ended up just paying them so I didn't have to keep rehashing it.

I am so sorry for your loss... very very sad. I hope your mom is okay now.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #82 on: January 18, 2017, 08:37:28 PM »
Hey Mara, I was in a cataclysmic auto wreck 24 years ago. I still get hot and woozy if I see a wreck on the TV, especially if it catches me by surprise. Otherwise, all the little triggers have faded away. It does get better, given time. Probably 2 years for 80%, and another 3 to get to 95%.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #83 on: May 09, 2017, 08:10:47 AM »
Hi Mara,

Just wondering if this was ever resolved? (the money part at least)? I hope you are on the mend physically and emotionally.

((((((Hugs))))))


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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #84 on: May 09, 2017, 08:28:30 AM »
Perhaps attempt to settle for under $10k on your own. If they say no way, I would get an attorney to get a settlement.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #85 on: May 09, 2017, 09:13:06 AM »
Hi Mara,

Just wondering if this was ever resolved? (the money part at least)? I hope you are on the mend physically and emotionally.

((((((Hugs))))))

Hi LTD55,

Thanks for the thoughtful note. It appears, so far, the air ambulance company has accepted the BCBS payment as final. We've had no further word from them.

BCBS PPO has been wonderful. Our co-pay for two weeks in the hospital was only $1,200. I heard recently about someone with a similar accident who didn't have insurance and had a bill of $150,000. The PPO also allows unlimited physical therapy anywhere with a co-pay of $20 per visit.

We have been very fortunate with the money part. The harder part has been the physical and emotional recovery, but it's coming along. The bones and lungs seem to have healed well and my heart is back to its normal rhythm. Even after 6 months, I still need to rest a lot and I've been having significant arthritis pain. Walking is good for me.

As some posters suggested, the doctor said I have PTSD. I believe the worst of it is over. No nightmares for a while and my startle reflex is muted. SailorSam's description of recovery rings true. Sometimes I am happy and chatty. Other times—when pain or fear is bad, I'm exhausted, or my brain won't work—I think maybe I was meant to die that day and wonder why I am still here. I am considering going to counseling, just having a hard time making the call.

On the lighter side and as a member of this community, being "reborn" has interesting implications. I have been looking at everything in a fresh light—choices made in the past and currently—about everything. All decisions can be made anew: where I want to live, what I want to do, and how I spend money. The execution of decisions is tricky because I am still so tired. The PT thinks I will feel a lot better in another 6 months.

Sending hugs back to you.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #86 on: May 09, 2017, 09:17:31 AM »
Hey Mara, I was in a cataclysmic auto wreck 24 years ago. I still get hot and woozy if I see a wreck on the TV, especially if it catches me by surprise. Otherwise, all the little triggers have faded away. It does get better, given time. Probably 2 years for 80%, and another 3 to get to 95%.

Hi Sailor Sam,

Sorry I wasn't up to responding earlier. It was kind of you to share your experience and grounding for me to get a better grip on what I was in for. It's hard sometimes to contemplate years of recovery, but being realistic helps me be more patient with myself. There's no point in beating myself up for being tired! I find I do apologize a lot to my husband, though. He's been a rock.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #87 on: May 09, 2017, 09:40:19 AM »
Can you provide some basic details around the "accident" (e.g. was it in a car?)

Only one poster mentioned this but if an auto accident you should also look at your auto insurance policy to see what they may cover. I know I pay some negligible amount to cover up to $10K of personal injury costs associated with an accident (my way to help cover an ambulance transport if needed).

Likely not going to get you to $45K but may help none-the-less.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #88 on: May 09, 2017, 11:16:32 AM »
Can you provide some basic details around the "accident" (e.g. was it in a car?)

Only one poster mentioned this but if an auto accident you should also look at your auto insurance policy to see what they may cover. I know I pay some negligible amount to cover up to $10K of personal injury costs associated with an accident (my way to help cover an ambulance transport if needed).

Likely not going to get you to $45K but may help none-the-less.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #89 on: May 09, 2017, 01:10:21 PM »
Even though the contract says it is required for insurance billing, the provider, according to BC, did bill BC directly without a signed contract from me. It was a ruse! (And it feels like kicking me when I was down.) If I had signed and returned the contract, I would have become legally responsible for the full bill. So, if you should find yourself in a similar situation, it might be wise to pause, read the fine print, and avoid signing anything until you get some more information.         
Super shady! Sad...

This is utterly disgusting. Shameful behaviour from the provider.

Your healthcare system is broken.

We are well aware of it. If you want some (sick) entertainment, follow US politics for a while.

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Re: Large air ambulance bill post retirement
« Reply #90 on: May 18, 2017, 10:24:36 AM »


Meanwhile, the important thing I want to share is that I received an invoice from the air ambulance company before any paperwork from Blue Cross. The invoice, for the full amount (over $41K), was marked "Urgent Action Required". I also received a form, "Assignment of Benefits, Required for Insurance Billing". This form is a contract, requiring my signature, that says I would accept responsibility for any unpaid charges and any attorney fees incurred by the provider.

Even though the contract says it is required for insurance billing, the provider, according to BC, did bill BC directly without a signed contract from me. It was a ruse! (And it feels like kicking me when I was down.) If I had signed and returned the contract, I would have become legally responsible for the full bill.
I thought this (ruse) was so important I passed it along to my children.
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