To the editor:

After reading “Ruling Stops Operation of Air Ambulance Service” in the Thursday, April 16, 2020, Cody Enterprise, I was quite upset to learn that changes by the Wyoming Department of Insurance (DOI) has resulted in air ambulance memberships being now considered “insurance” and that I would no longer be able to renew my AirMedCare Network membership. 

In my opinion the AirMedCare Network was a great and affordable means of assuring that, in an emergency, air transport would be available to myself and my family without that service “costing an arm and a leg.” I have known three individuals who have had to be transported by air ambulance and the costs were staggering. 

By becoming a member of the AirMedCare Network, or any similar air ambulance network, these costs could have been avoided for what amounts to, in this day and age, a pittance in membership costs. AirMedCare Network membership is not an insurance policy although the DOI has deliberately made it such.

I was curious as to why I was suddenly receiving advertisements in the mail for air transport insurance coverage which included premiums and deductibles and was a lot more costly than the membership that I had. Now I understand.

Why did the DOI believe that they needed to fix something that was not broken? I am very displeased with the actions taken by the DOI and with the legislators for agreeing with these changes. I hope that others will join me in making their opinions on this subject known to their legislators.

(s) elaine tabacinski

Cody

(4) comments

Whatsup

Our hospital employees were given this as a benifet so for our hospital what you going to offer oh yes layoffs

Gunrunner Auctions

For some unknown reason, our Wyoming HD 24 State Representative Sandy Newsome voted YES in the last legislative session to classify AirMedCare as a "disability insurance company" and therefore drove this business out of the state! When we contacted AirMedCare, they said they did NOT want this classification and lobbied against it down in Cheyenne. They felt they were already providing the correct services at a very reasonable $65 per year for an individual membership!

Previously, if you had a medical emergency or injury in the mountains, AirMedCare would evacuate you and take you to a hospital with no more out-of-pocket expenses than the $65 membership. Everyone I know had one of these wonderfully priced memberships!

In our household we hunt many days a year and we came to rely on AirMedCare should we ever have a medical emergency and couldn't get out. Many of our good friends come to Wyoming to hunt with us and most of them have some sort of heart/breathing/joint problems that the high altitude/stress of climbing could require them to have medical attention. With this in mind, we could sign them up for a $10 each for a week and they were fully covered by our MedAirCare memberships. Now they may not be able to hunt Wyoming any longer without this service. It's just too risky...

Using my insurance, if I called another air ambulance it would cost me nearly $12,000 and then 50% of the total helicopter service and that would be $25,000 - $35,000. Big difference from the once great deal of $65 a year!

One must ask: WHY would our local Cody state rep - Sandy Newsome - vote against AirMedCare? Powell's state representative Dan Laursen voted against the reclassification of AirMedCare and to allow this fine company to continue selling memberships. Thank you Dan!

Now another puzzling aspect: Isn't it the great drive of the Republican House and Senate to not only attract more diversified business to the State of Wyoming as well as preserve our present business? And now we have our local representative - Sandy Newsome - voting AGAINST preserving a present business that provided a life-saving element at a low cost for so many outdoor folks? I don't get it....

I would say that Sandy Newsome has some explaining to do. Our way of life and many others were severely impacted by her vote. Our safety is no longer guaranteed when we are out elk hunting and recreating in the mountains.

Paying $65 to be medically lifted out of the mountains is a far cry from $25,000+!

Fox Blue River

The private health insurance companies felt like they needed to profit off that too.

Disgusted taxpayer

I suggest calling MASA as they handle air ambulance flights worldwide. Might be worth your time.

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