Getting a Loan for Air Medical Transport
Unfortunately, even in instances where they are medically necessary, air medical flights can sometimes be incredibly costly depending on the operator, the distance, and the medical staff required to be on hand for the duration of the flight. When a physician or surgeon recommends an air transport for a patient, it’s usually not an optional expense.
In a situation where normal health insurance will not cover the cost of the flight in whole or part, it’s common for patients and their families to need to borrow money to pay the air ambulance service provider.
Paying for a Flight with a Medical Loan
Apply for a loan through a medical lender. It’s recommended to speak on the phone if at all possible. Explain your situation to them, and that you would like to take out a loan for an “air ambulance transport.” Due to the expensive nature of all types of health care, hospitals today generally have connections with medical lenders and should be able to point you in the direction of some.
Whether or not you can take out a loan for an air medical transport will depend on the individual lender. If the first company you try is not willing to grant you a loan to cover the flight, don’t give up. Medical loans are often taken out for purely cosmetic surgeries that are not covered by normal health insurance (read: elective), so your need for an air transport to an advanced care facility will likely be more compelling to the lender than someone who wants a facelift or a third injection of botox.
There are several companies that specialize in medical loans. We will not list them here as we do not have personal experience with, nor wish to endorse, any particular lender. However, a quick Google search should yield some good results.
Make sure to do your research on a company you find on Google before actually taking out a loan with them. Bbb.org (the Better Business Bureau) is a good place to scope out the reputation of a lender. Look for a rating of A- or above.
There is also a special type of medical loan called a secured medical loan that involves placing personal property as collateral. This may sound like a risky proposition (and it is if you cannot pay back the loan in a timely manner), but it is an option for those with poor credit histories or who, for any other reason, cannot qualify through other lenders.
Before you take out a secured medical loan, make sure that: 1. you will be able to make the minimum payment each month, and 2. you truly require the flight. Definitely ask a physician for a second opinion on the necessity of an air medical flight if you are considering taking out this type of loan.
There may be special options available for low-income patients as well. Ask your physician or hospital staff to see if you qualify for medical assistance that may be able to help cover the transport and/or treatment.
If for some reason you cannot qualify for a loan from a medical loan company, don’t fret. If you truly need an air ambulance, there are other avenues by which you can get funding.
Air Ambulance Company
The air ambulance service you are arranging the flight through may have some type of payment plan available. Medical flights carry a potential to be extremely expensive, and therefore it’s not all that uncommon for patients to have trouble paying the entire bill all at once. Some air ambulance services may have options available for patients who cannot pay for the flight all at once via their primary health insurance and/or other methods.
If you are arranging the flight through a hospital or a trauma center, that facility may have additional options for financing the flight through them. Ask the hospital staff about financing for necessary medical transportation and they can point you in the right direction.
Friends / Family Members
It may seem intimidating to ask friends or family members to loan you some money for an air ambulance flight, but if the flight is medically necessary, it should not be. A major benefit of borrowing money from people you know personally is that the loan will be interest-free (depending on how good a friend you’re asking, of course).
If you can’t get a loan through any of the above methods, you should also consider applying for a conventional loan through a bank or other reputable lender. There are many popular lenders out there, and you’ve surely heard of most of them already, so we won’t bother listing examples here.
Homeowners may have the option to take out a home equity loan or a second mortgage. For those who own a vehicle, such as a pricy auto or boat, it may be possible to secure money for the transport through a loan on one or more vehicles.
Persevere. If you keep getting turned down for conventional loans, try another lender until you hit one that will lend you the money for the flight. Remember that when placing collateral aside in order to qualify for the loan, the same common-sense we discussed above revolving around secured medical loans applies.