Air Evac achieves milestone
Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012 11:22 pm
The Air Evac Lifeteam air ambulance company reached a milestone recently with the announcement they have signed up their one millionth Air Evac Lifeteam member.
“This is a great achievement for the company overall,” vice president of membership Keith Hovey said. “But more importantly, it means that a million people will not have any out of pocket expenses if they have to be flown by our company to medical care. In today’s world of rising health care costs and economic uncertainty, it gives me a good feeling to know that we are able to give these people some financial peace of mind in the event they suffer a medical emergency. In the rural, medically underserved communities we serve, this can be a huge benefit to these families.
“To us here at Air Evac Lifeteam, it is testament to the service we provide,” Hovey said. “It means a million people believe in what we are doing and have chosen to support us in our efforts to provide access to emergency medical care in their community.”
Air Evac Lifeteam president Seth Myers said he is proud to be a part of a company that is truly making a difference in the lives of others.
“This membership achievement underscores our belief in what we are doing and the service we are providing to our customers. The support of our members allows us to provide this service to medically underserved areas of rural America, often in areas that otherwise might not be able to support an air ambulance service. It is a partnership between us, our members and the emergency health care agencies in those communities,” Myers said.
The membership program is the foundation of the company’s operations which began more than 26 years ago.
Air Evac Lifeteam was founded in 1985 in West Plains, Mo., when a group of private citizens wanted to give the people in their community better access to emergency healthcare. At that time, air ambulances were typically based in metropolitan areas. The company founders believed that the people who need air ambulance transport the most are the ones who live in rural areas, often far away from a hospital that provides critical trauma care.
In order for the service to survive, they knew they would need other sources of funding besides the traditional fee-for-service billing.
They learned about the REGA Foundation in Switzerland, which supports a country-wide air medical service through a membership program and adopted a similar program. In its first year of operation, the company signed up more than 5,000 members who wanted to help support the service in their community and the surrounding area.
In following years, other communities learned about the difference Air Evac Lifeteam was making in West Plains and they wanted the same thing for their community and the company started growing.
Today, Air Evac Lifeteam is the largest independently owned air medical service in the United States, operating more than 105 bases in 15 states, and providing employment to more than 2,200 people.
Those who are members of the Air Evac Lifeteam membership program do not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses if they are flown by the air medical company.
The company will accept whatever the member’s benefits provider pays for the flight as payment in full and the member will not receive a bill. Annual memberships are $50 for an individual, $55 for a couple of $60 for a household or three or more.
For more information about Air Evac Lifeteam, call 1-800-793-0010 or visit the website at www.lifeteam.net.