Bill: Leave air ambulance patients out of cost discussion

The hearing concluded that some air ambulance bills were too high and some insurance companies offered too little reimbursement


Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — Lawmakers are scheduled to take up a bill that would require air ambulance providers and insurance companies to negotiate payments for air ambulance services, even if the provider is not in network with the patient's insurance company.

Senate Bill 44, scheduled for its first committee hearing on Tuesday, would hold patients responsible only for their co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles.

The bill follows recommendations made by the Economic Affairs Interim Committee, which held hearings last year after the state Insurance Commissioner received numerous complaints about people being billed tens of thousands of dollars for out-of-network air ambulance services.

The interim committee heard from insurance companies, air ambulance providers and patients and the conclusion seemed to be that some air ambulance bills were too high and some insurance companies offered too little reimbursement.

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