AirMedCare Network Program Explained

We have reported recently about the Town of Seabrook Island’s (TOSI) participation with AirMedCare Network, a provider of air medical transportation for emergencies that threaten life, limb or permanent disability.

AirMedCare logo Jun 2018

Tidelines editors attended the public drop-in sessions held on July 27 and 30, 2018 at the TOSI Town Hall to get some clarification about the program from its representative, Wes McAden. This is what they learned:

  • If you have an accident or an emergency, you always call 911. The first responders will evaluate you and decide if you need to go to the hospital and how you will get there.
  • If the first responders decide you need to be transported somewhere, they make the decision whether it will be by road or air. Many factors play into this decision, including weather, time of day, and type and severity of the patient’s condition. Whether you are enrolled in the AirMedCare Network is not a factor in this decision.
  • If you are transported by air, either you or your insurance will be billed for the flight. Many insurance companies, including Medicare, may not pay the fee or only pay a small portion of it. With flight bills averaging $30,000 this can leave patients with significant out-of-pocket expense for transport.

This is where membership in the AirMedCare Network Program comes in. The Town of Seabrook Island has purchased a Municipal Site Plan with AirMedCare Network which eliminates any out-of-pocket expense for emergency air transport service if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are a resident, property owner, or full-time renter in Seabrook Island. Visitors and family members who do not reside with you are not eligible for this coverage.
  • You have medical insurance.
  • Your emergency transport originates in Charleston County, SC.

After an emergency air transport, the AirMedCare Network service provider will bill your insurance company. Whatever the insurance company pays is regarded as final payment with any balance considered pre-paid in full leaving you with no out-of-pocket expense.

Participation in the Municipal Site Plan is free to you as long as you are a resident, property owner, or full-time renter and have health insurance. You do not have to take any action in order to take advantage of this benefit provided by TOSI.

There is an additional option if you are interested in coverage for a medical emergency that occurs beyond the borders of Charleston County. The TOSI contract with AirMedCare Network provides residents, property owners, and full-time renters of Seabrook Island the option to upgrade to full membership for a discounted rate of only $35 per year for an entire household. Note: Visitors and family members who do not reside with you are not eligible for this coverage. Purchasing the full membership extends your household’s AirMedCare Network coverage beyond Charleston County to all of their service areas—over 320 locations in 38 states.

Continuation of this benefit is subject to the annual contract renewal by TOSI. The current contract runs through December 2018.

If you wish to secure and/or ensure multi-year coverage of this benefit in the event that TOSI does not renew their contract, the membership options are:

  • Annual $85
  • 3 Year $240
  • 5 Year $395
  • 10 Year $765

If you are over the age of 60 or receive electricity through Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Inc., the following discounted membership rates apply.

  • Annual $65
  • 3 Year $185
  • 5 Year $300
  • 10 Year $575

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the AirMedCare Network?

According to their website: “The AirMedCare Network is an alliance of affiliated air ambulance providers – the largest of its kind in the United States. An AirMedCare Network membership automatically enrolls you in all the participating provider’s membership programs, giving you membership coverage across a combined 38 state service area.” Click here to visit their website. Through membership, you are provided a layer of financial protection in the event you or a member of your household require emergency air transport.

Is this an insurance program?

AirMedCare is not an insurance program.  It is a membership program that functions like insurance.

Who is covered by membership in the AirMedCare Network?

The Town of Seabrook Island has purchased a Municipal Site Plan with AirMedCare Network, which eliminates out-of-pocket expense for emergency air transport service if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are a resident, property owner or full time renter on Seabrook Island.
  • You have medical insurance.
  • Your emergency transport originates in Charleston County, SC.

If you upgrade to full membership, you do not need to have medical insurance and coverage extends to a medical emergency that occurs anywhere in their national network, not just Charleston County.

Are family and friends who are visiting me in Seabrook Island covered by this plan?

No. Only those who are residents of the household are covered.

How does payment for an emergency air transport work under this plan?

AirMedCare Network files a claim with your health insurance company. Whatever insurance pays they accept as payment in full. You do not have any out-of-pocket expense for this service.

How much does Medicare cover when I require emergency air transport?

This depends on a number of variables so it is determined on an individual basis. Medicare can either pay in full, pay partially or deny payment.

What helicopter is used and where is it hangered?

Meducare Air is the carrier for our area. You might have seen this blue and white helicopter in the air. It is branded as MUSC, but it does not belong to MUSC; it is part of the AirMedCare Network.  It is hangered at Charleston International Airport.

Where does the helicopter land near Seabrook Island?

There are several designated landing areas between Seabrook Island and Kiawah. In Seabrook Island the two locations are at the gate near Landfall Way and at the Club off Seabrook Island Road.  In Kiawah, the locations are at the soccer field at Night Heron Park, Governor’s Drive by the fire station, the Kiawah Island Parkway before the gate, and the area behind Freshfields.

In order to land, the helicopter needs an area of 100 x 100 feet with no overhead wires or other obstruction. It is possible a helicopter could land on a golf course if appropriate. In all likelihood, you will be transported by first responders to the helicopter wherever it lands.

How many helicopters are available?

The AirMedCare Network service provider in South Carolina is Med-Trans Corporation and they operate seven helicopters and one airplane based throughout the state. Click here to view a map of their locations. Two aircraft are based locally providing service to Charleston County and the coastal region; MeduCare Air hangered in Charleston and Care Flight based in Walterboro.

Is there a guarantee that a helicopter will be available for me when needed?

This program does not guarantee access to the helicopter; it provides financial protection if you receive emergency air transport on an AirMedCare helicopter. Many factors might prevent a helicopter from being available including weather and already in use providing service to another patient. In this case, you would be transported by ground.

Where will the helicopter take me? Can I request a specific hospital?

You will be taken to the closest medical facility appropriate for your condition and medical needs. This will be determined by medical staff.  If possible, patient preference is taken into account.

How many times can I use an emergency air transport through AirMedCare Network?

There is no limit to the number of times you can be picked up by an AirMedCare Network emergency air transport. This includes the initial transport as well as facility-to-facility transport.

How can I sign up for full membership?

Through the Municipal Site Plan provided by TOSI, you are already covered for emergency air transport if you are a resident, property owner, or full-time renter in Seabrook Island and the emergency originates in Charleston County.

If you wish to sign up for full membership online, go to the website. Click “Join Today”, which is found at the bottom of the page, input your information and include the Coupon Code: 11367-SC-SIT.

You can also contact our representative Wes McAden by phone at 843-708-6192 or email at wes.mcaden@airmedcarenetwork.com.

If you have any other questions and/or require additional information, contact Wes McAden.

Tidelines Editor

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