By Martha Jacob
The Ripley Life Squad will pick up the tab of $7518 for membership to the Air Med Care Network.
Because of the Life Squad’s actions, for only a $35 annual fee, residents of the Village of Ripley will receive helicopter transport to the closest appropriate medical facility for life threatening or permanent disability injuries.
Members of the Ripley Village Council had been looking into the possibility for several months, of the village purchasing membership to the Air Med Care Network. It had been discussed at length in several meetings. The cost for the membership would be just under $8,000.
“The Ripley Life Squad was approached by Air Med Care concerning this community membership plan to cover the village,” said Lieutenant Lewis. “As part of this annual membership plan, for a small fee, any resident living within the Village of Ripley that needs to be flown by a supporting Air Med Care Network helicopter (Air Evac Lifeteam) and picked up in Brown County Ohio or Mason County Kentucky, will be transported with no out-of-pocket expenses if they are insured and if they are not insured, they will be billed the Medicare standard rate.”
Lewis added that if a resident would like a nationwide coverage or if they are uninsured, they can pay an additional $35 per year to the AMCN for full coverage.
“On average, per recent national news headlines,” Lewis said, “the standard industry rate for air medical services is around $30,000 per flight with commercial health insurance usually only paying a small portion of the cost and the rest of the cost is the responsibility of the patient.”
Upon learning that the Village of Ripley would not be able to participate in the program, the Ripley Life Squad’s board of trustees and the Leadership Team (a private 501-C-3 organization), the squad would pick up the entire cost of the plan for the 2016 year, as a way to give back to the residents of the Village.
“This community has supported this ambulance service for forty years,” Lewis said, “We hold bingo twice a week at the ambulance service and through bingo and through the donations made, we were able to do this for the community to provide peace of mind that during a life threatening medical emergency, such as trauma, stroke or a serious medical emergency, their out-of-pocket expenses will be zero. It is important for our community to understand that the emergency air medical service is limited to potential life/limb threatening emergencies and to always call 9-1-1 for any emergency.
“It is our hope, at the Ripley Life Squad, that the citizens of the Village of Ripley do not need to utilize these services, however, it offers peace of mind knowing that if rapid access to tertiary care is needed, this membership will truly help our citizens.”