Chamber Learns About Mercy Life Line Air Medical Services
PRAIRIE GROVE — A representative with Mercy Life Line Air Medical Services recently talked to members of Prairie Grove Chamber of Commerce about the benefits of participating in the service’s membership program plan.
The air ambulance program has been in service for 31 years but the membership plan is only about 1 1/2 years old, said Michael Cosgrove, membership marketing specialist and speaker for the Chamber’s Feb. 25 meeting.
Mercy Life Line Air Medical Service has five advanced helicopters, with the closest one in Rogers. Others are located in Missouri. The aircraft has the ability to fly in a broad spectrum of weather conditions and flies up to a speed of 150 mph, the fastest in the region, accord- ing to Cosgrove.
“Many times helicopters are grounded because of cloudy conditions,” he said. “These have instruments that are more closely associated with fixed wing aircraft.” Cost to join the membership program is $59 per household per year or $160 for three years. If a member uses the service, the patient will not have any out-of-pocket costs for the air service. Whatever a person’s insurance pays for the service takes care of the bill, Cosgrove said.
The membership program also has a business discount rate when 10 or more employees from a business join the program. The business discount rate is $ 49 annually per household.
The average cost for a medical helicopter is $25,000-$ 35,000, typically with insurance paying 80 percent and the patient 20 percent. Cosgrove said Mercy views itself as a charity organization and bills 20-30 percent less than other air ambulance services but the cost is still expensive.
In answering questions, Mike acknowledged that if a person was a member of Mercy Life Line Air Service but another air ambulance was called in for an emergency, Mercy Air would not provide payment. Coverage is not transferable from one air service to another. In some cases, he said people join both services in an area to make sure their transportation costs will be covered.
Other attributes of the service, he said, are that Mercy allows parents to fly with their children, members do not have to have a Mercy insurance plan and do not have to be flown to a Mercy facility.
For more information on a membership, call 844-6372928 or go to mercy. net/ lifeline.