Q: Where are AirLink’s bases?
A: The helicopter is based onsite at St. Charles – Bend and the fixed-wing airplane is based at the Bend Airport.
Q: What is AirLink’s service area?
A: AirLink provides service to central, eastern, and southern Oregon and also transports patients to Portland and other hospitals in the United States. View the maps to the right to determine if AirLink provides service in your area.
Q: Is it true I need two memberships to be covered throughout the area?
A: Yes. At this time, AirLink cannot offer reciprocity with air medical programs (other than those in the AirMedCare Network). When Medicare is accepted as payment, there are strict rules that must be followed. AirLink is strongly committed to complying with all applicable healthcare rules and regulations governing its participation in both Medicare and state Medicaid programs. Therefore, AirLink cannot honor other unaffiliated air medical provider memberships due to Medicare's current regulations. If Medicare/Caid program guidelines change, AirLink will adjust accordingly.
Q: Do I have to be a member to be transported?
A: No, patients are transported based on medical need and not membership status, but membership offers several important benefits: First, as a member of a network with more than one million members, we have the resources to work on your behalf with your benefits provider to secure payment for your flight, with any uncovered amounts considered to be fully paid. As such, members who are transported by any AirMedCare Network provider will not receive a bill for the flight. Plus, your membership is valid across 28 states with more than 200 base locations, so you are covered while traveling beyond the boundaries of home.
Becoming a member is a good way to support the health care needs of your local community, too. Our membership base—the largest of its kind in the United States—helps us operate in rural areas where having a quick response time to critical medical situations can save lives.
Q: How do you choose where a patient gets transported?
A: Patients are transported to the closest appropriate medical facility. An onboard medical professional determines the closest appropriate facility to handle medical conditions that are considered to be threatening to life or limb or that could lead to permanent disability. During an inter-hospital transport, the sending physician is the one to determine which medical facility is appropriate.
Q: Do you offer business memberships or gift memberships?
A: We offer both: Call the office at 800-353-0497 or 541-706-6305. You can also email Joshua Grossman, Membership Sales Manager, for more details Joshua.Grossman@amgh.us.
Q: Do you offer monthly payment plans?
A: Yes—for both household and business members.
Q: What if I need to be flown right after I enroll?
A: Generally, AirLink has a 15-day waiting period; however, this may be waived for unforeseen events occurring during such time. This excludes hospital-to-hospital transfers, though.
Q: What if I need a non-emergency flight like a hospital transfer?
A: Members may receive a 25% discount on planned, non-emergency flights.
Q: How can a membership be so inexpensive and yet still be able to cover the costs of the flights?
A: An individual's membership fee covers only a small fraction of the cost of a flight. Our membership support helps subsidize our program, but our primary revenue is derived from our transports, the vast majority of which are non-members.
Q: Can I cover all of my family on the membership?
A: With a household membership, all individuals who reside at your residence can be covered by the membership. College students can be covered by the household membership if their primary address is the same as your residence.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of flights a member can have in a year?
A: There is no limit to the number of flights a member may take in a year. Each flight is handled the same way and must be medically necessary.
Q: What if I forget to renew my membership?
A: You’ll receive annual renewal notices, plus a phone call as it gets close to your renewal data. Additionally, you’ll also get a 90-day grace period which ensures you won’t go without coverage.
Q: If I am a member and end up being transported by a ground ambulance or another air ambulance service, who is responsible for the bill?
A: If you are transported by a ground ambulance in Oregon that is part of the FireMed reciprocal network and are not a FireMed member, you will be responsible for the bill. If, however, you purchased a FireMed ground ambulance membership, your membership will be honored by more than 80 participating FireMed ground agencies in the state. If you are transported by an air ambulance other than those in the AirMedCare Network, you will be responsible for payment of the bill. Our membership program only covers flights by air ambulance in this network.
Q: Is a membership considered insurance?
A: No. AirLink is not an insurance company. Our membership is not an insurance policy and cannot be considered as secondary to insurance coverage or as supplemental coverage to any insurance policy. Membership provides protection against air ambulance transportation costs that are not covered by a member's health insurance or medical benefits.
Q: Does my primary insurance cover the cost of a flight? If so, how much?
A: This answer varies, with each insurance company offering different plans and coverage. It is up to your individual insurance company as to whether they will cover the cost of a flight, as well as to the amount of economic burden placed on the patient via a co-pay or deductible. We recommend that you contact your insurance company directly to obtain detailed coverage information.
Q: My insurance company says they will cover 100%, so why do I need this membership?
A: Most insurance companies will pay 100% of what they deem an allowable amount for air ambulance, which does not necessarily mean the total cost of the flight will be covered. Additionally, people frequently change insurance companies and plan designs. You will want to check with your individual insurance company to find out exactly how much they will cover in the case of an air ambulance transport.
Q: If I have Medicaid, do I need a membership?
A: No. Some state laws prohibit Medicaid beneficiaries from being offered membership or accepted into membership programs. As part of our application process, members certify to us that they are not Medicaid beneficiaries.
Q: If I have Medicare B and a supplemental policy, do I need a membership?
A: This answer varies, depending upon the nature of your transport and your supplemental insurance provider. In many cases, Medicare and the supplemental insurance coverage should pay for the cost of air ambulance transport if it is medically necessary and if Medicare believes you were taken to the closest appropriate hospital. We have seen cases where the supplemental insurance provider does not cover a remaining balance after Medicare has paid its portion. Many seniors have said they want a membership even if they have complete coverage, in the event that their insurance coverage changes in the future or if the claim is denied.
Q: If I have a medical emergency, who do I call?
A: Call your local 911 service. The 911 dispatchers are trained to get specific information about the medical emergency from the caller and determine what type of medical transportation best fits the situation, so the best option is always to call the local 911 service first. The local service is more familiar with your location, as well as the availability of the local emergency resources.
Q: How would emergency personnel know that I am a member?
A: You may make the 911/ground ambulance service aware that you are a member so that, in the event they plan to request an air ambulance, they know your preference. As a member, you will receive with your membership an identification card and decals for your vehicle and front door. All of these items allow emergency personnel to identify that you are a member. That said, we would never delay transport to first determine member status; we transport anyone requiring emergency medical care.
Q: Who determines if and when I will be flown?
A: If your medical emergency meets certain criteria, such as a heart attack, stroke or a traumatic injury and the 911 dispatcher determines you would benefit from air medical transport, they will dispatch an air ambulance to your emergency, as well as a ground ambulance. If you require an inter-hospital transfer, the sending physician will make that determination.
AirLink CCT is a “DBA” for Med-Trans Corporation. All AirLink CCT aircraft and flights are conducted by, and operational control is exercised solely by Metro Aviation, Inc. Metro Aviation, Inc is a FAA Part 135 certificate holder and operator.