Emergency air ambulance service can cost patients $50,000 or more per flight. (Photo: iStock)

State lawmakers want to see if they can do something about sky-high out-of-network air ambulance bills

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators has started an Air Ambulance Task Force.

Related: Montana warns of surprise air ambulance bills

Kentucky state Rep. Jeff Greer, a Democrat, will be the chairman. The task force also will include lawmakers from Louisiana, New York, Ohio and Vermont.

The task force will hold a conference call meeting by mid-July, and it will meet in person at NCOIL’s summer meeting. NCOIL is set to meet in Chicago from July 13 through July 16.

NCOIL is a Manasquan, New Jersey-based group for state legislators with an interest in insurance-related issues.

A scheduled air ambulance can cost $10,000 to $25,000 per flight, and emergency air ambulance service can cost $50,000 or more per flight.

Few consumers understand how much air ambulance service costs, and few know whether they have insurance coverage for use of air ambulance services.

Consumer groups and patient groups have complained in recent years that, even when patients involved in a medical emergency do have air ambulance benefits, they may have no practical ability to ask the people helping them for an in-network transportation provider. The groups have reported that balance billing for out-of-network flights often leaves patients with huge debt that they cannot pay.

Related:

Consumers Union pans health plan complaint process

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