Air Ambulance Memberships: Worth It?
Welcome to the fourth installment in our Air Medical Resource series about the Air Ambulance. Today, we’re going to take a look at subscriber-based air ambulance services as a whole, and help decide whether or not they’re worth the cost for you.
In some parts of the world, there are medical air transport services that offer subscriptions for local residents. These membership plans are a way for air ambulances to make additional money to cover the operating costs of their expensive services.
It’s easy to see the benefit in signing up for one of these plans. If the day comes where you require a medical air transport, you won’t have to worry about being stuck with an extraordinarily large bill and no way to pay for it.
On the other hand, just like insurance, with an air ambulance membership plan most of the time you’re paying for something you’re not actually getting. Something you may only ever need once.
But when that day comes — whether a year later or next week — you’ll be very glad you’ve been paying for it all along.
The peace of mind you receive by knowing you’re covered by one of these services is something you’ll be receiving for your money every day, but depending on the cost of the membership, this may or may not be worth the cost. Still, hindsight being 20-20, it’s difficult not to say that in the bulk of situations, having air ambulance coverage is completely worth the cost. Those who’ve had their lives saved by these services can vouch for the worth (and are often rather vocal about doing so).
Naturally, these services located all over the world are run by completely different entities, and hence, they’re not all equal. Some may use helicopters and operate only short distances while others may use planes to transport patients to facilitiess further away. In addition, providers of air ambulance membership services may charge an annual fee or they may charge by the month.
If you’re thinking of signing up for an air ambulance coverage plan, here are some important things to look for:
- What distance does the membership cover you for? If you need a transport in another state or foreign country, will the air ambulance service cover your transport in part or full?
- Does the air ambulance service allow you to choose which hospital or facility you want to be taken to, or do they make the decision for you?
- Does the subscription include specific health conditions, illnesses, or injuries that are, or are not, covered for an air transport under the plan?
- Do your research on the company, including checking reviews of their service. What things do past or current subscribers mention when they talk about the service? Does the company promise coverage for an air transport, but hit their members with “hidden” costs when the day actually comes?
With the last checkmark, we’re not implying that any coverage providers are dishonest. These are simply the kind of checks you should make when considering any type of membership, coverage plan — a warranty, an insurance policy — or researching a business in a field you’re not 100% knowledgeable about.
If an air ambulance subscriber plan seems right for you, we definitely recommend it. When it comes to the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll be covered in the event that you need an air ambulance crew to save you or a loved one’s life, and that you’ll be spared the huge cost of an unanticipated transport, it’s nearly impossible to recommend against signing up. Just make sure you’ve checked out the company’s fine print (and answered the list of questions included above) before you sign your name.
With reputable air ambulance service coverage, you can trust that you’ll be financially covered if you ever need the life-saving services of a highly-trained, professional air medical team. For more information on air ambulances, see our other articles.