Island Air Ambulance or Airlift NW?

Posted November 28, 2016 at 5:51 am by

An Island-Air Ambulance flight crew - Island Air photo

An Island-Air Ambu­lance flight crew — Island Air photo

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.

Airlift NW chopper - Tim Dustrude photo

Air­lift NW chop­per — Tim Dus­trude photo

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

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0