Teacher Slapped With $40,000 Air Ambulance Bill: A Lesson in Coverage


When your child’s life is in danger, the last thing on your mind is whether your insurance will cover the cost of the ambulance.

Joseph Penrod, an Assistant Professor at Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, learned this the hard way when his son accidentally swallowed prescription pills earlier this year. He and his wife didn’t think twice about giving the go-ahead to airlift him to a facility providing the specialized care the boy needed.

“The first hospital wasn’t appropriately equipped to deal with that particular age of patient in that particular condition,” Penrod explains. 

While his insurance covered the emergency room care, the air ambulance was out of network, as it often is. The cost was not small potatoes for a family living on a teacher’s salary. 

As Penrod says, “I didn’t have $40,000 lying around.” 

He spent nearly a year fighting the bill while a new Virginia law went into effect on March 1 to help clarify the costs and options of emergency transport to patients and their families.  

Fortunately, there’s a more preventive approach. A pre-paid plan from Medical Air Services Association (MASA) covers best-in-class emergency transportation 24/7, 365 days a year, anywhere in the world. MASA can also arrange to transport your vehicles, small children, grandchildren and even your pets, with no additional costs. There are no premiums, deductibles or other hassles.

Let an expert from AMBA help you find a medical transport policy that works for you.

“An accident can happen any time, any place, and you could be the one who’s having that decision made for you,” says Doug Gray, executive director of the Virginia Association of Health Plans. “And your livelihood, and your savings, can be on the line.”

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/family-left-with-unexpected-40000-bill-for-sons-air-ambulance-2019-04-02/

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