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Air Ambulance

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The high cost of medical air transport has been making the news in Montana recently. The good news is State Plan members have access to in-network air ambulance options (see chart below) all over the state. To avoid big balance bills, it’s critical to tell medical staff you want an ALLEGIANCE IN-NETWORK AIR TRANSPORT PROVIDER. The vast majority of medical air transports are from facility to facility and in these cases, there is usually enough time to request an in-network provider. Please share this information with your loved ones and other members of the State Plan who may help make this decision in an emergency.

Here are five things to know if you find yourself in need of medical air transport.

  1. It’s up to you to REQUEST AN ALLEGIANCE IN-NETWORK AIR TRANSPORT PROVIDER, even in an emergency.
  2. If you use an in-network air ambulance, you will only be responsible for your in-network deductible and coinsurance. 
  3. Your hospital or provider won’t necessarily check to make sure your transport is in-network. 
  4. If you use an out-of-network transport, even in an emergency, you could be left paying tens of thousands of dollars because the out-of-network provider may charge over what the plan allows and pays.
  5. When in doubt, call the number on your Allegiance card (855) 999-1057 for assistance arranging in-network air transport. In most situations, there is time to secure an in-network transport.

As always, remember to check to make sure all of your providers are Allegiance in-network providers.

Allegiance Participating Medical Air Transport Providers


Allegiance In-Network Providers
Phone Number Fixed Wing Rotary Wing NICU Transfers Based out of
Billings Clinic Hospital  (800) 325-1774 X   X Billings
Bismarck Air Medical, LLC  (800) 441-1310 X     Bismark, ND
Kalispell Regional Healthcare (866)302-2767 X X X Kalispell
Benefis Mercy Flight (800) 972-4000  X X   Great Falls
Montana Medical Transport   (406) 442-2190  X     Helena
NE Stat Air (800) 992-7828 X     Glasgow
St. Vincent’s Healthcare (800) 538-4357 X X X Billings
Valley Med Flight, Inc. (800) 828-0168 X X   Sidney, MT & Williston, ND
American Aerovac Inc. (800) 423-5993 X X   Transfer any place in the US
AMR Air Ambulance (800) 424-7060 X   X Transfer any place in the US

Cost Example
Emergency air transports are a covered benefit of the State Plan when provided due to medical necessity regardless of network participation, but keep in mind, what you pay can vary widely depending on if your transport is in-network or not.  
For example, if a member is transferred from Glasgow to a facility in Seattle, Washington, the table below shows an example of what you might pay.  This example is based on a real case, but numbers will vary for individual circumstances.

  In-Network Out-of-Network
Charge $22,000 $95,000
State Plan Pays $18,000*-$22,000 $18,000*-$22,000
Member Responsibility *Up to $4,000 annual max out-of-pocket Up to $4,000 annual max out-of-pocket + up to $73,000 balance billing

Conclusion
The State Plan takes its responsibility to protect our members from this financial hardship, and resulting stress, very seriously; which is why we are communicating with our members to inform them that if they have the opportunity, they should always request an in-network provider to avoid balance billing.