Montana Air Ambulances: What You Need to Know
It’s important to know that air ambulance services can also be very expensive.
Air ambulances provide a vital service to Montanans and are an integral part of Montana’s health care system. From rescuing an injured hiker in the wilderness to quickly transferring an ill child to a specialty care hospital, air ambulance services make all the difference when time is of the essence. Air ambulances provide Montanans with timely, quality medical treatment when it’s needed most.
A typical air ambulance bill can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and while insurers have network agreements with most air ambulance carriers, there are some that remain out-of-network, which could result in a balance bill delivered to your mailbox.
Montana’s “Air Ambulance Hold Harmless” statutes, found at § 33-2-2301 of the Montana Code Annotated (MCA), work to protect many of our residents when they receive a balance bill from an out-of-network air ambulance provider. These laws require insurers to assume responsibility of the balance bill, and work with the air ambulance carrier to come to an agreed upon amount. While you’re still responsible for your regular cost-sharing (copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles) you won’t be held responsible for the balance bill.
This law only applies to out-of-network air ambulance providers that aren’t owned or controlled by a Montana hospital. The law doesn’t apply to certain health plans if the Commissioner’s office doesn’t regulate them. Some of these plans include:
- Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Program
- Medicare Advantage Plans
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Self-Funded Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans; and
- State of Montana Health Plan
The following FAQ provides more information.
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