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Old 08-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
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Lifeflight and insurance?

I have a question about life flight to you guys. As with track riding/racing comes injuries, that's part of the game.

I have good medical insurance and have been told by them that under any circumstances "if it is deemed necessary", that the insurance company will cover life flight expenses. A trip on one of those can run around $15,000.00 easy. With that being said I recently heard of an individual who had problems with their insurance company covering a life flight trip from a racetrack. The refused to pay it. Have any of you guys that have had to be life flighted ever had any issues with you insurance covering the expense when it came from a racetrack? Geez, I hope all of you that race or do trackdays have insurance, man if you step foot on a bike you should.

I also heard that you can get additional coverage with care flight but I haven't found out anything about that yet.
Thanks
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:47 PM   #2
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NOPE, I got lifeflighted around last september, I think, and it was around $15,000 just for the flight and another $5000 atleast for hospital expenses. Ive got BCBS and they covered everything minus my deductible which was about $500 for lifeflight and $500 for hospital. And yes this was coming from the race track at GSS during a normal trackday.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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, for 15 grand they didnt even let me look out the window. lol
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:53 PM   #4
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Thanks, that's good to know, I have the same insurance. Cool
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
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, for 15 grand they didnt even let me look out the window. lol
But you probally got strapped down and played with. Hope it was atleast a woman as your flight nurse/paramedic.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
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, for 15 grand they didnt even let me look out the window. lol
For $15k they better let you fly the -
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:57 PM   #7
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But you probally got strapped down and played with. Hope it was atleast a woman as your flight nurse/paramedic.
The only woman nurse was the incompetent one that couldn't even find a back board to stabilize me. But luckly I had my woman, tim and brena fighting for me while I was unconscious. The flight crew were all guys about 3 or 4 if I remember correctly. Man that was a day but the pain pills made it better
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Thanks, that's good to know, I have the same insurance. Cool
You can PM DustinJ as well. He got lifeflighted from MSRH earlier this year I believe. He can give you his story as well.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:11 PM   #9
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Glad to hear your story wasn't too bad! Atleast you are here to share with us now.

I've been a paramedic for almost 7 years. I worked at HRP for a couple of them... we had a girl on a drag bike go down one night and she crashed pretty hard. We had to cut off her leathers and boots. She was very at us (the safety safari and HRP) after she was released from the ER. Ruining her leathers = $800, Ruining her boots = $300, Heli flight = $15,000, Finding out her only injury was a broken third toe =PRICELESS!!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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Glad to hear your story wasn't too bad! Atleast you are here to share with us now.

I've been a paramedic for almost 7 years. I worked at HRP for a couple of them... we had a girl on a drag bike go down one night and she crashed pretty hard. We had to cut off her leathers and boots. She was very at us (the safety safari and HRP) after she was released from the ER. Ruining her leathers = $800, Ruining her boots = $300, Heli flight = $15,000, Finding out her only injury was a broken third toe =PRICELESS!!!
Thank you. Glad to still be here even if I was only discharged with a sprained back. lol That was one thing Tim (godsuki) made very clear with all of the EMT's, NOT TO CUT MY LEATHERS OFF. lol Thank for that. That would've taken the cake if they had.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:18 PM   #11
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In my experience there have been a ton of incompetent paramedics and EMTs making poor judgments on flights. I try to visit with the crews at each of our events to get a feel for their treatment styles; and I've also had to do a bunch of coaching to get them to change their minds about flying a person who doesn't need it.

There are plenty of cases of insurance companies refusing to pay LF bills due to the poor decisions made by the medics. It's an unfortunate thing.

99 times out of 100 it's the medics on private or volunteer EMS that do these standbys and make poor decisions. Comes down to a lack of skill in pt assessment, poor understanding of signs/ symptoms, and poor medical guidance or mentors.

Out of all the flights I've seen, it's very, very rare that air med is medically necessary. Most of the time, a level III ER can handle what they fly folks for.

If you're lucid enough or have friends there, ask the medics to cut on the seams so the leathers can be repaired If you're in bad enough shape to be evaluated, you're bad enough to have your leathers cut.

'Tis a pity.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:20 PM   #12
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^ Well spoken. there was no need for them to call life flight for me. the doctors couldn't even tell me why I was life flighted in. But in the end, I guess better safe than sorry!
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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^ Well spoken. there was no need for them to call life flight for me. the doctors couldn't even tell me why I was life flighted in. But in the end, I guess better safe than sorry!
That's the misnomer that most medics rely on. You were lucky, there are a lot of folks that don't get their bills paid and then more than that don't have that type of medical insurance and get stuck with the bill. Swallow that bill... that's a life-long issue there.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:25 PM   #14
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In my case I am a paramedic...yes. But on that note I was not working on the ambulance and the medics, 1 LP and 1 Basic, were complete tards. (I definately would not have wanted them working on me.) With a crash over 200mph, the severity of the crash, the distance the rider was thrown from the initial wreck and unseen possible injuries. There was NO other choice except to fly her from Baytown to Houston. Its called making a decision based on MOI -mechinisim of injury. Just my .02 ...and no regrets from me about the decision that was made that night.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:28 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info Tom, have you heard of a care flight membership that will cover the expenses too. It's like a $150 deal for a year or something? I think it was posted at Cresson awhile back.
Rob
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:42 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info Tom, have you heard of a care flight membership that will cover the expenses too. It's like a $150 deal for a year or something? I think it was posted at Cresson awhile back.
Rob
Yeah, it was something Hermann was looking at too- I don't think they implemented it.

Care Flight has some deal that is basically air medical insurance, like you mentioned. I never really looked in to it though for myself, I'll just take my chances that I'll be lucid enough to make my own decisions and not have to rely on incompetence flying me for no reason.

I better find some wood to knock on...
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:48 PM   #17
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Syvan had United Health Care- NOT an HMO - Her lifeflight ride was NOT covered by our insurance- I think they paid $8k of the $12k bill, leaving me with a $4k bill. The ambulance took her around the corner (less than one mile) to meet the helicopter and that wasn't completely covered by insurance, either.

Everybody used to tell me all the time that UHC was great insurance- they were wrong. They still (three+ years later) send me questionaires about the accident and who can they blame.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:02 PM   #18
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Syvan had United Health Care- NOT an HMO - Her lifeflight ride was NOT covered by our insurance- I think they paid $8k of the $12k bill, leaving me with a $4k bill. The ambulance took her around the corner (less than one mile) to meet the helicopter and that wasn't completely covered by insurance, either.

Everybody used to tell me all the time that UHC was great insurance- they were wrong. They still (three+ years later) send me questionaires about the accident and who can they blame.
Yup, cases like this all over the place. It's one of our targets as pre-hospital providers to look at ways to treat and transport to appropriate facilities and NOT incur incredible bills to our patients.

Unfortunately, there are still woodchucks out there who could care less or are just not educated enough out there. I think a lot of them just like to see helicopters and think it's a bit glorious. Most of it stems from current education for Paramedics and EMTs these days and the lack of personal confidence or proper mentoring when they arrive "on the streets".

I could go on and on... it's very unfortunate.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:07 PM   #19
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There are a few things that are going in everyone's favor though, it's not all doom and gloom out there.

For the majority of 911 services out there this is not a problem (in the more urban areas in and around Houston). Also, I personally observe and often affect treatment decisions working with the medics at our events, it's a relationship I cultivate before the event gets going.

There are folks looking out for you, but this is a growing problem.

All that said, when in doubt, listen to sound medical advice and assume you're getting the proper care. There are always instances where you may *think* you're competent to make a decision but really aren't. Most of the time you won't recall that anyway...
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:08 PM   #20
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Here's an interesting tidbit told to me by a lifeflight pilot ... that only 1 in 20 life flighted people actually pay the fee. So in the end, the 1 pays for the other 19.
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