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Air ambulance companies react to legislation

BOZEMAN, Mont. - AirMedCare, an air ambulance service, announced this week it will no longer sell memberships in Montana in response to the passing of House Bill 73.

The company made the announcement in a letter sent to current members.

"HB 73 singles out private air ambulance membership programs, purports to make them subject to state regulation and fees under the Insurance Code and requires them to have arrangements with other air ambulance providers that we believe violates federal law, including federal healthcare laws," the letter reads.

Officials from the ambulance service denied NBC Montana's request for an interview.

Ryan Lynch, the bill's sponsor, told NBC Montana House Bill 73 was drafted to work in tandem with Senate Bill 44, and is designed to provide a more cost-effective option for consumers.

According to Lynch, mandating insurance providers and air ambulance services work in-network with one another will reduce the average cost of being airlifted to the hospital.

"The goal of this bill was more of a consumer protection bill," Lynch said. "If they did come across a crisis and were in need of an airlift, they would be covered and wouldn't receive a huge balance bill."


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