UNION COUNTY — One of the great benefits of the modern world is that a critically ill or injured person needing lifesaving medical care can be quickly airlifted to that care by helicopter or other aircraft.
That service, however, is very expensive. Just ask Marilyn Ingle, the Local Membership Sales Manager for AirMedCare Network, who, twice in the past 25 years, learned first-hand just how expensive it can be.
In 1993, Ingle gave birth to a baby daughter, Anna, who two days after her birth went into cardiac arrest. The infant suffered from a congenital heart defect that made it mandatory that she be airlifted to Charlotte where she could get the care she needed. The airlift was accomplished, but sadly the child died four days later. She was six days old.
In the midst of dealing with their newborn’s death, the Ingle family learned that the airlift to Charlotte had cost over $20,000, most of which they had to pay for themselves.
In October of 2017, Ingle’s son, Adam, was in an automobile accident that left him critically injured, requiring him to be airlifted to Spartanburg to get the lifesaving care he needed. The cost this time was just over $30,000, but the Ingle family did not have to pay a cent out of pocket because they were members of the AirMedCare Network, which offers a membership to alleviate out of pocket expenses related to their emergency medical airlift service at a current cost of $65 a year. With that coverage, an air medical transport like the ones Ingle’s family have had to use twice in the last 25 years cost members of the AirMedCare Network nothing out of pocket, beyond the yearly membership fee they pay the network.
“It eliminates any out of pocket costs for medical flights on any AMCN participating provider,” Ingle said. “They can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Insurance normally only pays a portion, leaving the patient with a large, unexpected bill.”
With AirMedCare Network, however, Ingle said the $65 a year paid by members eliminates that potentially catastrophic expense. Ingle said AirMedCare Network is able to this because it has the support of over 3 million members nationwide.
Benefits of Membership:
• Air medical transportation for life- or limb-threatening medical conditions; hospital-to-hospital transports; responding to emergency scenes.
• Operating from over 320 locations across 38 states including the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s Regional One helicopter, all of which are staffed with a highly skilled flight crew consisting of a pilot, flight nurse, and flight paramedic. The crew provides patient care until the patient can be delivered to the closet medical facility so they can have the best chance of survival and recovery.
All this provided, of course, at no out of pocket expense to the members beyond their annual membership fee. Ingle added that the fee also covers all members of the member’s household regardless of their relationship.
Currently, the membership fee is $65 a year, but Ingle said there will be a rate adjustment effective June 1. Ingle said current members who want to renew their membership should do so before June 1 in order to lock in the current rate for another term, including multi-year memberships. Ingle said that persons who are not members but want to join should register before June 1 and lock in their coverage at the current rate for the number of years they wish to do so.
To help facilitate this, Ingle will be at the Union County Chamber of Commerce office at 135 West Main Street, Union, Tuesday, May 29 from noon-5 p.m. and Wednesday, May 30 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. She will be signing up new members and assisting current members in renewing their memberships.
For more information about the AirMedCare Network, the services it provides, and renewing a current membership or taking out a new one, call Marilyn Ingle at 864-415-1899 or email [email protected]
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.