Does Insurance Cover Air Ambulance?

If you are hurt while traveling, require care for an emergency, or have a condition that needs specialist care that is not provided by your local hospital or healthcare facility, air ambulance coverage can be helpful. Air travel may be employed in an emergency or to get certain services.

Health or travel insurance may both contain this coverage. Consider your travel or medical insurance plan in advance to select the one that provides the lowest deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses and the coinsurance terms that are most convenient for you.

What Exactly Is an Air Ambulance?

Another name for an air ambulance is “medical air transport.” Any type of aircraft that will provide mobile care while being transported is one that is outfitted with supplies, equipment, and qualified medical personnel.

Both helicopters and airplanes can be used for air travel. Its goal is to ensure you receive the best care while being transported to a hospital that can handle your condition, injury, or illness.

When time is of the essence, air ambulances are deployed. It is helpful if you get hurt while traveling and would prefer to get treatment close to home, when you need to travel to a far-off hospital for specialized care or need to be moved to a rehabilitation facility for specialized care.

Does insurance cover air ambulance services?

In general, air ambulances are not typically covered by standard medical insurance;

  • You need to have air ambulance coverage for your medical flight to be funded by insurance.
  • Some travel insurance policies provide coverage for air ambulances.
  • Carefully review your insurance policy or inquire with your provider regarding air ambulance coverage.
  • Even if you don’t have air ambulance coverage, it can be arranged via on-flight.

What is the cost of an Air Ambulance?

During medical transport, patients’ demands and requirements differ substantially. The price of medical supplies and medications is very high.

In general, the following variables affect how much an air ambulance costs:

  • The request’s urgency;
  • Distance and time;
  • Condition of the patient
  • Transport via private jet, helicopter, or air ambulance;
  • Specialized medical supplies and drugs.

The Health Care Cost Institute estimates that between 2017 and 2022, when the most recent thorough study was conducted, the cost of helicopter air transport grew by 205%. In 2022, the average cost was $57,894, but for aircraft, it rose by 196% to $71,674 the following year.

The price of an ambulance plane, whether a medical aircraft, a private jet, or a helicopter, is an essential factor. Aspects like planning landing slots and transport to and from the airport also matter. Time and distance should also be considered because longer flights typically need more fuel and crew time.

Finally, the patient’s medical condition determines the complex nature of the medical equipment and the makeup of our medical team.

As mentioned earlier, the criteria collectively demonstrate that various variables influence how much an air ambulance costs.

Does Insurance Cover Air Ambulance
Image by Hans Benn from Pixabay

Does Insurance Always Cover the Cost?

Many people covered by their employer’s insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or a commercial health or travel insurance plan don’t give an ambulance cost a second thought.

They believe the insurer will cover it, but given the terms of health and travel insurance plans, such as deductibles and coinsurance, they may still be stuck with a significant charge even when coverage is offered.

Never presume that the cost of flight travel will be fully covered. If you don’t contact your insurance company immediately, you could spend hundreds of dollars out of pocket. The cost of air travel depends on the airline utilized, the services rendered, and the distance traveled.

Air Medical Transport Guidelines – Key Point & Tools

The practice is called air medical transport when a patient is transported in a specifically constructed air ambulance with adequately qualified and licensed medical personnel. As a result, whether patients are sick or injured, aware or unconscious, aeromedical transports offer full-service acute care to everyone on board.

Air ambulances are an excellent option for patients who need to travel a long way to get medical attention and for the other medically acceptable reasons covered in this article.

The following are the most important considerations for long-distance air medical transportation:

  1. International medical repatriation and evacuation are both possible with the use of air ambulances. The onboard medical supplies and the skilled medical personnel enable the treatment of a wide range of ailments and wounds in the air.
  2. Before choosing an air ambulance firm, there are many things to consider. Ask about their fleet of air ambulances, their staff of medical professionals, and the typical cost of a medical flight.
  3. Many medical air services meet the numerous requirements of a trustworthy air ambulance provider, making them potential partners you can rely on to plan your air medical transport.

Depending on the kind of aircraft, the intensive care equipment in air ambulances can be modified before the flight to meet the patient’s individual needs. This makes it possible for the team to deliver first-rate intensive care throughout the journey.

Among the standard medical supplies found aboard air ambulances are the following:

  1. Blood gas analyzer that is portable
  2. Miniature defibrillator and monitor
  3. Satellite phones for international communication
  4. Monitor for multiparameter intensive care transport.
  5. A 6,000-liter central oxygen tank and an optional spare tank
  6. Respirator for complex artificial respiration patients in intensive care
  7. Vacuum mattress and patient loading system in a life port intensive care unit

How much does Angel Medflight cost?

If no insurance is involved, they can be expensive; for MedFlight, the cost typically ranges from $12,000 to $25,000 but can reach $6,000,000.

For instance, an air ambulance used to carry a patient named Cunningham would cost Medicare $8.65 per mile instead of the $275 per mile Angel MedFlight will be charging Cunningham.

What is the Helicopter medical transport cost?

The average anticipated authorized (in-network) amount for base fixed-wing air ambulance transport, according to AJMC, increased by 76.4% from $8,855 in 2017 to $15,624 in 2022 (excluding mileage charges).

This was part of a broader increase in air ambulance transport expenses during this time, including increases in average billed prices, estimated authorized amounts for patients with private insurance, and Medicare payments.

How to Ensure You Have Coverage?

To find out if you have any air transportation coverage, contact your agent, insurer, or employee benefits plan administrator. Whether you don’t think you have adequate coverage, find out whether you can add more for an air ambulance.

You can also determine if you qualify for domestic partner benefits or coverage under your spouse’s health insurance plan. In these situations, you can consider adopting benefit coordination to reduce expenses. You might need to check into a different insurance provider if you still need more coverage.


There are numerous private air transportation options. They are frequently designed for tourists who want to be able to fly back to their local hospital or doctor in case they require medical attention while away from home.

Although these are excellent services, they might not meet all needs. Before making any decisions, get in touch with your insurance since otherwise, your claim might not be accepted.

Ask whether they can assist you with your insurance and provide details on what expenditures will or will not be paid. Private air ambulance providers frequently offer an insurance-coordination service. Asking plenty of inquiries is the best course of action. Before signing anything, carefully read the deal.

FAQs about Does Insurance Cover Air Ambulance

  • What does Medicare cover in terms of air ambulance services?

Typically, Medicare Part B covers 80% of the air ambulance services’ Medicare-approved expenses. Once you have met your Part B deductible, this coverage becomes effective.

  • How quickly does a life-flight helicopter fly?

Depending on the particular helicopter, speeds can vary, although they often fall between 150 and 170 miles per hour. Emergency aircraft can travel far farther and faster, reaching nearly 270 miles per hour.


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