No one expects to need a helicopter flight to the hospital but when time matters the most, helicopter emergency transportation may be the difference between life and death.
The trademark term “Life Flight” was created when the service began, at Memorial Hermann Health Care System in Houston, Texas during 1976. Founded by James “Red” Duke, M.D., medical director for Life Flight. Memorial Hermann Health Care System had the second helicopter air medical program in the United States.
In most areas of the country Life Flight, or a similar service, is now available to transport critically ill or injured patients to trauma hospitals as quickly as possible.There are situations where any family might need helicopter transportation following an accident or due to illness.
Life Flight or similar services are used under the following conditions:
- When time is of the essences and helicopter transport improves the odds of survival or recovery.
- When weather and road conditions make ground transportation more risky, cause delays and decrease access to advanced levels of medical care.
Insurance rarely covers the full cost for emergency transportation and a helicopter flight generally costs thousands of dollars. Even with health insurance plans, there is usually a balance that needs to be paid by the patients.
In many areas of the United States a Life Flight membership program may be available. Typically, a Life Flight membership is available at a cost of $50.00 per year for one person or $75.00 per year for a family. To find out if a Life Flight program is offered in your area you might contact your nearest trauma hospital or find their website. I have found three different examples of Life Flight Membership programs:
Life Flight memberships usually apply to transportation services provided for critical care. With a membership if Life Flight is needed for a member first their insurance company/companies are billed and pay under the policy terms. The amount the insurance pays is accepted as full payment.
Glossary of Insurance Terms:
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