Anthem insurance will cover medical airlifts in some states

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Alarm for the air rescue service. Team of rescuers (paramedic, doctor and pilot) running to the helicopter on the heliport.

ST. LOUIS — Anthem health insurance is now covering emergency medical flights in several states, including Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports an agreement between Anthem and Air Methods transportation became effective Aug. 15.

The agreement includes Anthem plan holders in Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin. Air Methods owns ARCH Air Medical Service, which provides air ambulance service in Missouri and Illinois.

Before the agreement, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri had no in-network air ambulance providers.

The newspaper reported in June that the lack of in-network air ambulance providers left families with thousands of dollars in bills after a family member was airlifted to a hospital.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has drafted legislation to allow states to regulate the medical costs of air ambulances. She called the new agreement a step in the right direction.

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