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Old 01-08-2020, 11:10 AM   #1
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Medevac/Air Ambulance Services

The stories are legendary related to the high cost of air ambulance services to get us to a hospital and/or home. Here's just one example (sorry a bit graphic).

The problem is that when you need the emergency service, you're not typically in any sort of situation to negotiate or worry about costs. You just have to deal with the bill after the fact. This can be $50,000 or more!!

Health insurance providers might cover some transportation costs locally, but when you're RV'ing away from home (100 or 2000 miles away), you're out of "network" and likely out of luck in getting home to your local doctors, hospital, and family.

Some memberships (Family Motor Coach Assoc., Good Sam, etc.) indicate they cover air transport, but do they really? What are the limitations? What's the fine print? The fuzzy phrase "medical necessity" seems to be weasel words for insurance providers. What about pre-existing conditions...

Now that my wife and I are both retired and RV'ing for extended periods, we're concerned about how all this works. We have Anthem Blue Cross health insurance until we reach Medicare age next year, but neither appears to cover air ambulance services if we need it while RV'ing. Do any of you know anything about or have experience with any of the following services: "10 Best Medical Air Transport of 2020"?

Av8tor1 (now, RV8tor1)
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av8tor1 View Post
The stories are legendary related to the high cost of air ambulance services to get us to a hospital and/or home. Here's just one example (sorry a bit graphic).

The problem is that when you need the emergency service, you're not typically in any sort of situation to negotiate or worry about costs. You just have to deal with the bill after the fact. This can be $50,000 or more!!

Health insurance providers might cover some transportation costs locally, but when you're RV'ing away from home (100 or 2000 miles away), you're out of "network" and likely out of luck in getting home to your local doctors, hospital, and family.

Some memberships (Family Motor Coach Assoc., Good Sam, etc.) indicate they cover air transport, but do they really? What are the limitations? What's the fine print? The fuzzy phrase "medical necessity" seems to be weasel words for insurance providers. What about pre-existing conditions...

Now that my wife and I are both retired and RV'ing for extended periods, we're concerned about how all this works. We have Anthem Blue Cross health insurance until we reach Medicare age next year, but neither appears to cover air ambulance services if we need it while RV'ing. Do any of you know anything about or have experience with any of the following services: "10 Best Medical Air Transport of 2020"?

Av8tor1 (now, RV8tor1)
Any information out there on this question, it is a good one
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:31 AM   #3
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While the cost of FMCA membership just went up substantially the medical evacuation service alone is worth the cost of membership.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:55 PM   #4
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While the cost of FMCA membership just went up substantially the medical evacuation service alone is worth the cost of membership.
Mr. D., FMCA seems good and I will join for many of the benefits. While Medevacs are obviously not a primary function of the FMCA club, it has contracted with Seven Corners insurance company that may have more experience in this arena. Anyone have any experience with FMCAssist (i.e., Seven Corners) paying in such emergencies?

Here are some of the listed exclusions:
FMCA Exclusions
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:07 PM   #5
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Most will transport you to the 'nearest' medical facility so read the fine print.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:35 PM   #6
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Take a look at Sky Med. It was developed by Canadian RVers who saw limitations in other options.

As was suggested, read the fine print on all policies to see what is actually covered.
If you decide to go with them, PM me. With a referral, we both get a free month of coverage



https://skymed.com/
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by av8tor1 View Post
................... Anyone have any experience with FMCAssist (i.e., Seven Corners) paying in such emergencies?
Here are some of the listed exclusions:
FMCA Exclusions
I know of several instances that the Assist program came into play.

Friends wife had pancreatic cancer. They were in Iowa when she took a turn for the worse. She was flown back to WA with a flight nurse and put in hospice. She passed a couple of weeks later.

Another friend had a serious stroke while in Coos Bay,OR. He was transported back to WA to a rehab center.

Another person, who I do not know was at my rally telling the story of his wife. She passed away in FLA and her remains were transported back home.

Are there exclusions, yes but any program of this type has them
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:14 PM   #8
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Smile I have "free" FMCAssist but SkyMed is the better value for me

I am a FMCA member and I am also a SkyMed member. FMCAssist doesn't offer coverages that are important to me:

1. cost of ambulance transport TO the hospital. SkyMed offers this regardless of what ambulance company 911 dispatches. FMCAssist does not offer it at all;

2. transport by medically equipped aircraft to an appropriate hospital of my choice near my home regardless of medical necessity. SkyMed offers this by my choice. FMCAssist will transport me to the address on my driver's license by commercial air after I've been discharged from the hospital and FMCAssist administrators have decided that I am fit to fly;

3. protection while I am at home. About half of my FMCA chapter's monthly rallies are held less than 100 miles from my home. FMCAssist offers no coverage at all when I am less than 100 miles from home. SkyMed protects me wherever I am - even at home.

After reading the fine print I went with the plan that offers what is important to me. Even though FMCAssist is "free", SkyMed is a much better value for me - and many other FMCA members too.

I continue to be an active FMCA member; but I'll use SkyMed if I become ill or injured. That's good for FMCA because they get the $35 additional dues I pay annually for FMCAssist and I'm still in the FMCAssist risk pool even though I add no risk to the pool.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:15 AM   #9
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I am a FMCA member and I am also a SkyMed member. FMCAssist doesn't offer coverages that are important to me:

1. cost of ambulance transport TO the hospital. SkyMed offers this regardless of what ambulance company 911 dispatches. FMCAssist does not offer it at all;

2. transport by medically equipped aircraft to an appropriate hospital of my choice near my home regardless of medical necessity. SkyMed offers this by my choice. FMCAssist will transport me to the address on my driver's license by commercial air after I've been discharged from the hospital and FMCAssist administrators have decided that I am fit to fly;

3. protection while I am at home. About half of my FMCA chapter's monthly rallies are held less than 100 miles from my home. FMCAssist offers no coverage at all when I am less than 100 miles from home. SkyMed protects me wherever I am - even at home.

After reading the fine print I went with the plan that offers what is important to me. Even though FMCAssist is "free", SkyMed is a much better value for me - and many other FMCA members too.

I continue to be an active FMCA member; but I'll use SkyMed if I become ill or injured. That's good for FMCA because they get the $35 additional dues I pay annually for FMCAssist and I'm still in the FMCAssist risk pool even though I add no risk to the pool.
Dear elorig1, Good strategy! You have certainly done your homework and "read the fine print". I'm thinking about a similar approach. Anyone had experience with REACH Air Medical Services?
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:53 AM   #10
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Dear elorig1, Good strategy! You have certainly done your homework and "read the fine print". I'm thinking about a similar approach. Anyone had experience with REACH Air Medical Services?
Found this related LA Times article to share.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elorig1 View Post
I am a FMCA member and I am also a SkyMed member. FMCAssist doesn't offer coverages that are important to me:

1. cost of ambulance transport TO the hospital. SkyMed offers this regardless of what ambulance company 911 dispatches. FMCAssist does not offer it at all;

2. transport by medically equipped aircraft to an appropriate hospital of my choice near my home regardless of medical necessity. SkyMed offers this by my choice. FMCAssist will transport me to the address on my driver's license by commercial air after I've been discharged from the hospital and FMCAssist administrators have decided that I am fit to fly;

3. protection while I am at home. About half of my FMCA chapter's monthly rallies are held less than 100 miles from my home. FMCAssist offers no coverage at all when I am less than 100 miles from home. SkyMed protects me wherever I am - even at home.

After reading the fine print I went with the plan that offers what is important to me. Even though FMCAssist is "free", SkyMed is a much better value for me - and many other FMCA members too.

I continue to be an active FMCA member; but I'll use SkyMed if I become ill or injured. That's good for FMCA because they get the $35 additional dues I pay annually for FMCAssist and I'm still in the FMCAssist risk pool even though I add no risk to the pool.
We agree with you for all the reasons you posted...Sky Med is great peace of mind
The other factor to consider with the FMCA benefit is.....With FMCA the benefit you have TODAY ......Can be Eliminated TOMORROW.....They have had many benefits over the years....some fairly significant.....BUT ,they discontinued as many without much notice.....C
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:19 PM   #12
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Here's a good explanation of air ambulances and how they rated companies:

https://www.consumersadvocate.org/medical-air-transport
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:27 PM   #13
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I haven’t yet read all the posted links here, but I don’t see any distinction between emergency helicopter transport when there is an accident or medical emergency and you need to get to any trauma level hospital ASAP and medical air transport back home from a distant hospital. These are 2 really different situations.

FMCA arranged and paid for an air ambulance to transport a dear friend from Florida to Arkansas after 2 heart attacks while traveling. They also returned their Class A and 2 dogs at a later time. I’ll be an FMCA member as long as I am an RV traveler.

Will any policy cover both situations?
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:49 PM   #14
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FMCA arranged and paid for an air ambulance to transport a dear friend from Florida to Arkansas after 2 heart attacks while traveling. They also returned their Class A and 2 dogs at a later time. Iíll be an FMCA member as long as I am an RV traveler.

Will any policy cover both situations?

Yes, SkyMed.


https://www.skymed.com/assets/pdf/MSA1509ULT.pdf
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