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Montana insurance regulators have told state residents that they could end up facing huge air ambulance service bills, even if they have air ambulance benefits, or even if they have no intention of ever using an air ambulance.

Regulators talk about the rules governing air ambulance bills in a new guide aimed at consumers.

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Air ambulance services can help people in remote areas get to hospitals quickly.

“But air ambulance transports are also very expensive,” officials warn. “A typical air ambulance charge runs into the tens of thousands of dollars.”

Even if a patient who needs air transport has benefits for in-network air ambulance services, the emergency care provider at the scene will probably be in charge of choosing which transportation option to use, officials say.

An ambulance service can send a bill for the full cost to the patient or the patient’s family, and an out-of-network service provider can bill the patient or the family for the difference between what the patient’s plan pays and the full cost of the transport, officials say. 

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