Thread: Medical Air Lift Insurance in CA

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Default Medical Air Lift Insurance in CA

    Pardon me if this topic has already been talked about; did a search here and didn't find anything related to Medical Air Lift Insurance cost/coverage.

    Anyone have medical air lift insurance?

    If yes, which company do you use?

    A 4wheeling buddy brought it to my attention that a recent (2 years ago) medical air lift cost $37k which was not covered by his insurance. Oouch.

    So if you are into sports w/chance of serious injuries e.g. head injury from skiing, even our loved sports of 4wheeling e.g. serious roll-over, worth looking into IMO reason I am asking.

    And as careful as you can be, sometimes sh*t happens.

    Or not by fault, have a medical condition that warrants medical air lift service should problem arise outdoors.

    There is one company that was suggested to me:

    Cost is $50/yr for Medicial Air Lift Insurance vs $37k out of pocket sure makes financial sense to me.

    This carrier has a national plan including CA, AZ... but not all states.

    I live in San Francisco Bay Area which I think being near major hospitals, medical air lift is not necessary. I am thinking when I am out playing skiiing in Lake Tahoe, wheeling in El Dorado County...

    I contacted Phil Air and looked at the contract and the coverage is by County. I don't see the counties where I freq wheel so this might not be the right carrier for me.

    Was told that if "a Phi Air" member, ended up in an emergency and a diff carrier is used and not Phi Air, I will not be reimbursed. Suppose you can request Phil Air if conscious, but what if not... or Phi Air for example, doesn't cover that area. Another concern of mine.

    Anyone w/experience looking into the cost benefit, coverage and pros/cons of Medical Air Lift Insurance!

    Or any recommendation on Ins carrier that you use, and specifically in the El Dorado/Placer County where my family and I ski (snow and water), wheel, and Mtn Bike during our vacations.

    Last edited by Ronct110; 02-03-2010 at 02:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Area Code 916
    Ron, perhaps we can get a club group rate for the NCLR? At least get members coverage during NCLR outings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Eureka, CA
    We’re a bit isolated on the North Coast / Southern Oregon Coast and major medical facilities are a minimum of 100 air miles away in Redding. After Redding, distances get farther fast transporting to Portland or SF Bay Area and beyond. For $40.00 a year Cal-Ore Life Flight agrees to accept my insurance copay as payment in full and picks up the cost of air transport as well as ground transport. You might contact Cal-Ore and ask about statewide or national services.


    24 Hours a day / 7 days a week

    Response Time
    - Flight ready in 20 minutes

    "Bedside to Bedside" service
    - Our medical team accompanies you to the destination hospital.

    CAMTS accredited Medical Transport provider.

    FAA Certified Part 135 Commercial Air Carrier.

    Six Aircraft- 5 Piper Cheyenne II Jet Props, pressurized, all weather
    - 1 C-421 twin engine, turbo charged, pressurized, all weather

    Equipment-State of the Art Advanced Life Support (ALS)

    - Experienced FAA approved Airline Transport Rated (ATP) pilots

    Aeromedical Team-Trained in Critical Care and ALS

    Primary Service Aeas:
    - Curry County to/from the destination of your physician's choice
    - Del Norte County to/from the destination of your physician's choice.
    - Humboldt County to/from the destination of you physician's choice.
    - Other transport locations throughout California, Oregon, and the


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Portland OR, W Bragg Creek AB

    Default MEDEVAC insurance

    Many programs have "membership" plans as described earlier - usually $45-$55 a year. Most also have coverage maps that show other services in the area that will honor their memberships.

    For those in Oregon - they pretty much have it made as long as they stay in the NW. Check the CALSTAR website, click on "Memberships and Donations" then on "Membership brochure and application" and enlarge the map on page 1. Unfortunately not much coverage in southern CA, NV or AZ.

    As part of AAMMP (The Association of Air Medical Membership programs), CALSTAR membership includes reciprocal relationships with other nonprofit air ambulance providers. This means your CALSTAR membership travels with you to Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington and Montana. If one of our reciprocal partners transports you, they will honor your CALSTAR membership subject to the reciprocating program’s rules.
    note: there are many more bases in the program than those shown on the CALSTAR map

    Enloe Flightcare
    Lifeflight Network
    Air St Lukes
    Wyoming Lifeflight
    Airlift Northwest
    NorthWset Medstar
    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is
    You don't inherit the world from your parents, you borrow it from your children

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Sunnyvale, CA
    I've use air lift once, a short flight from San Jose to Palo Alto cost $15k. When I know the cost I was then I start to check the coverage of my health insurance. In the insurance it's called "Air Ambulance" if it's a real emergency depends on your policy it might cover 80% or 100%. The catch is there are some activity are not covered under normal health insurance, ex. motorcycle race track riding, sky diving, scuba diving and etc. Not sure about off road driving. Back in my track riding days, most rider buy Cal-One life flight coverage just in case.
    My 06 Tacoma with ATC Bobcat

    Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. - Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    mercy air is a good flight service. i fuel a few of there helicopters on a daily basis and are really good people. also what most people dont know is that u can request chp air and they will take u to the hospital and its free. yep thats right its free. only problem is u have to be awake to tell whos making the call to have em get chp out there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Airlift insurance is $8/year when added to your SPOT package. I've seen it action.
    "Occupy National Parks!" - gabepari
    TreadLightly! Trainer
    Wilderness First Aid certified
    Off Road Photography:
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Back in SC
    Just as a clarification, PHI stands for Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. not Phil Air.
    05 Tacoma TRD, SR5, V6, etc

    You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help. -Calvin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Quote Originally Posted by robert View Post
    Just as a clarification, PHI stands for Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. not Phil Air.
    Spelling corrected in my post; thanks for letting me know.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Thanks everyone for information.

    I need to look into the carriers folks suggested included Calstar, and also look into the SPOT insurance. I have the SPOT device/service, and will check that out.

    This exercise actually forced me to look into my medical benefits in detail w/Aetna PPO.

    Found out that my family and I are covered for Air Ambulance Services. Need to pay a $350 deductible and then my health plan will cover 80% of the air lift cost.

    If I do the math, $350 + 20% (let's use $20k is the bill for sake of example) or $4000. My out of pocket cost would $4350. Compared to the 15k+ some had to pay directly for example, less painful in the pocket book.

    But if I can find an air lift insurance charges an annl small fee e.g. 50/yr and it netwoked with other medical airlift providers (so I am out of their footprint, I can be covered), worth looking into. $50 vs my potential out of pocket cost e.g. $4500 is certainly much less.

    Even if I stretch out the e.g. $50/yr annl fee over est 40 more years left of my good life on earth (lol - maybe hire the air lift provider to spread my ashes in the forest), still not to bad of cost vs out of pocket.

    Thanks! Will post back comparison/details of my findings.
    Last edited by Ronct110; 02-03-2010 at 03:06 PM.

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