Island Air Ambulance or Airlift NW?
Posted November 28, 2016 at 5:51 am by Tim Dustrude
Recommendation: Sign up for both med-evac services
As island residents consider which of two med-evac services to pay for, the answer given unanimously at last week’s public hospital district board meeting was “Both.”
Commissioner Michael Edwards likened it to wearing both suspenders and a belt, saying “not to have the support of both is folly.”
Dr. Michael Sullivan, the county medical program director, told the board he has many factors to consider when determining how to transport a patient in an emergency situation, and adding in the question of which service they have paid for is just one more complication.
Sometimes Island Air’s fixed-wing plane is best, and in other circumstances Airlift Northwest’s helicopter is preferable. It depends on weather, and where the patient is going, and several other factors which cannot be predicted.
Airlift Northwest offers its services for $79 a year for a household. Island Air which formerly did not charge residents of the hospital district, will have to begin charging on January 1st. Its rate will be $55 a year for a household but if paid before the end of 2016 it will be $39.
Both services are offered only to those covered by private insurance or Medicare. Individuals on Medicaid or uninsured are not eligible for either coverage, but commissioner Barbara Sharp pointed out that both have charity care programs “and they will work with you.”
And commissioner Monica Harrington suggested that with the holidays coming up “the best gift you can give your family is to be sure they’re covered by both services.”
Representatives of the two services will attend the December meeting of the board to answer questions. For information or to sign up, email them at:
membership [@] islandairambulance.com
membership [@] airliftnw.org.
By Louise Dustrude
You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.
Categories: Health & Wellness