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Air Ambulance Service  

 

singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 959
February 11, 2020 7:05 pm  

Its been way overdue, but my wife and I need to sign up for this.

Ive looked at AeroMD, seems like a good service. What service are all of you using? Are you happy with them? Any rave reviews or criticisms greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance


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Afriend
(@afriend)
Advanced Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 490
February 11, 2020 9:45 pm  

I’ve had AirMed for about 15 years and fortunately have never had to use their service so can’t really comment about being “happy with them” since other than receiving an email reminder when my premium is due we haven’t interacted with them.


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singlefin
(@singlefin)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 959
February 11, 2020 9:59 pm  

Glad you’ve never had to call them. It’s an insurance policy for sure. Most likely never need them, but...

 


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 1096
February 12, 2020 9:57 am  

This information is based on personal experience a year ago. We were very happy with AeroMD as well as PR hospital and doctors, though we now have an AeroMD policy that gives us the flexibility of going to FL as well as PR.

To use the service, you will need a referring MD on STX/STT and an appointment/hospital bed ready for you where you land.  It is the choice of your MDs whether you should be treated on the island or elsewhere  - not yours.

You also will need to have medical insurance that works in PR or wherever you may be heading.

Medicare will (and other medical insurance may) pay for medical evacuation to PR - or closest facility offering needed care even if you don't have air evac insurance.  AeroMD will bill your insurance company for payment for your airlift and ground transfers. The big add on is AeroMD covers hotel and travel for an accompanying spouse/supporter.

BTW - A one way medical jet charter to PR from STX costs $40K.

 

 

This post was modified 2 months ago by Gator's Mom

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jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 187
February 12, 2020 1:43 pm  

What is the primary purpose of insurance for an Air Ambulance service?  I was assuming it's for an emergency medical problem which can't be treated satisfactorily on STX/STT.  A need that can be scheduled i.e.: not an emergency, I am again assuming, should allow for commercial transportation (Airlines).

The reason I ask is it's stated above that you have to have both the recommendation of a local MD plus have a room reserved at a hospital in PR or elsewhere.  This seems like a bit of a barrier.  Also, if Medicare may pay for medical evacuation then it might be a bit redundant.  My wife is already on Medicare and I will be in about 18 months, shortly after I retire (bridging for a few months with Cobra).

I'm not being negative or argumentative, just seeking to understand as we're new to STX (as seasonal residents) and haven't considered this type of insurance.  Also, how costly is the insurance?

This post was modified 2 months ago by jaldeborgh

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Afriend
(@afriend)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 490
February 12, 2020 2:38 pm  

The cost is reasonable.  Depending on the the company you select and the type of coverage and whether you have individual or family coverage it usually runs between $300 and $450 per year.

 Policy terms vary - some will evacuate you to the closest hospital other will take you to the hospital of your choice.  

Don’t rely on “assumptions”, Google “medical evacuation insurance” for lots of links providing factual information to help you fully understand what you’ll be getting and to compare premium costs.


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
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Posts: 1096
February 12, 2020 3:01 pm  
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

What is the primary purpose of insurance for an Air Ambulance service?  I was assuming it's for an emergency medical problem which can't be treated satisfactorily on STX/STT.  A need that can be scheduled i.e.: not an emergency, I am again assuming, should allow for commercial transportation (Airlines).

The reason I ask is it's stated above that you have to have both the recommendation of a local MD plus have a room reserved at a hospital in PR or elsewhere.  This seems like a bit of a barrier.  Also, if Medicare may pay for medical evacuation then it might be a bit redundant.  My wife is already on Medicare and I will be in about 18 months, shortly after I retire (bridging for a few months with Cobra).

I'm not being negative or argumentative, just seeking to understand as we're new to STX (as seasonal residents) and haven't considered this type of insurance.  Also, how costly is the insurance?

Evac insurance can be used for scheduled medical treatment that can't be addressed on the island. It will get you/spouse off island using commercial transport and pay for your accommodations.  

In my case it was an emergency heart event that triggered the need for private jet charter evacuation to PR for my husband. We did not have AeroMD's plan at the time. Nonetheless, AeroMD coordinated his transport. JFL/Dr. Galiber made medical arrangements. When the trigger was pulled - the evac to PR went like clockwork. My private insurance paid for transportation without question.

However, there was absolutely no where for me to stay in San Juan. I moved from hotel to hotel every night for a week - did the tour of the island for sure - while my husband was in intensive care.  AeroMD would have assisted with this - and hopefully paid the $500/night that would have been the cost of me staying in one place. And paid for my ground transportation, too, and our return trips to STX.  

I would prefer to go Florida though because I'm from Florida.

Our AeroMD insurance costs $500-600 per year for both of us.


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jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 187
February 12, 2020 3:51 pm  

Thanks a lot for the explanation, it now makes much more sense and the cost seems reasonable.  I also didn't understand it can be used for scheduled treatments.  I hope all worked out well for your husband, sounds like it was a scary time.


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sttanon
(@sttanon)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 328
February 12, 2020 9:20 pm  

I am kinda biased with this but..... Before the storms and after I did IT support for AeroMD , I know from the CEO down to a lot of the flight crew. The staff and crew were amazing and were heavly involved in the afetermath of the storms and helped FEMA out to save a lot of lives. They in my mine are one of the best getting you outta here safe....


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janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 665
February 24, 2020 9:09 am  

I read this on Facebook this morning. Long read but...

Laura Fabio
17 hrs
Hi Everyone. I would like to share with you my Emergency Room experience. It’s a bit long but I didn’t wasn’t to loose details.
JFL Hospital negligence almost cost me my life
On Wednesday, 1/22/2020, I started feeling sick. By Saturday 1/25/2020, I went to see my personal Physician. I had the flu with nausea and vomiting. I was given medications and instructions to stay hydrated and get lots of rest. However by Monday, 1/27/2020, I was not better but worse. The ambulance came for me at my home. The attendant started an IV and took me to the hospital. The ER started that I was seen on that day for vomiting and diarrhea. I was given antibiotics and nausea medication through the IV. Once the IV and medications were finished, they sent me home with more oral medications and instructions to keep hydrated. I was told that if I didn’t get better , to come back to the hospital.
I still didn’t get any better, I got worse. More vomiting and diarrhea continued. I was very weak from the vomiting and pain everywhere. I have rheumatoid arthritis and couldn’t take my medications either, so this made my situation worst. On 1/30/2020, we went to see my Physician and was given IV and antibiotics. I was very dehydrated. I was given instructions that I would need to go back to the hospital if I didn’t get better. I didn’t get better, so back to the emergency room.
On 2/01/2020, the ambulance came back for the second time. This time , they did a flu test where you get Q-tips inserted into your nostrils (most awful thing in the world). No IV this time. I got to the ER and I begged the Doctor to have me admitted but he said they needed to find out what was going on. They drew blood and did the urine sample. Bathrooms were outside of the building, not clean. They said I had a UTI. I got antibiotics through the IV and nausea medications. I again begged to be admitted and was told that I there was no need. Also if I didn’t get better to come back to the ER. They give me oral antibiotics and nausea medications.
Now remember I can’t keep anything down, so I can’t take the medications. Of course, I didn’t get better.
My husband called MASA and explained the situation and that we needed to go off island for treatment. A MASA representative stated that in order for them to do that, they would have to have the hospital tell them that they couldn’t do anything for me and I would need to go off island for treatment .
On Monday, 2/3/2020, We went back to the ER. We signed in and my husband told the nurse that this was our 3rd visit to the ER. I was registered and was in a room within 1 1/2 hrs. I begged the doctor to please admit me and he said that he would not find out the problem first, but so far, I didn’t fit the criteria for being admitted. They did blood work and urine sample. Bathroom outside was disgustingly filthy. I got IV with nausea medications and antibiotics. I was told that I had a UTI and should start feeling better y Wednesday. I was sent home with more oral medications. I was given suppositories for the nausea. I was happy about that so I didn’t have to have any oral medications that I was unable to take. In between these three visits, I had an X-ray f my abdominal area and possibly of my chest. Not sure.
Being that the hospital handled my case , MASA couldn’t do anything. I was devastated because I couldn’t keep anything down. I felt defeated and betrayed by the people that were supposed to make me feel better. We went home and I continued to have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea even though I had nothing in my stomach or system. I was vomiting the bitter bile in. My stomach. I felt so weak and dizzy.
By Tuesday morning, 2/4/2020, I told my friend Maria and my husband Stanford, that I felt I was dying.
We booked the flight to Miami to leave that afternoon. We arrived at the hotel in Miami around 9pm. We got to Jackson Memorial Hospital around 10:30 PM. There were approximately 150-175 people there already. By 1:15 AM, I was in a room. They had taken chest and abdominal X-rays, blood work, urine sample and a EKG. My vitals were irregular, so I was taken very seriously. By 2:00 AM, they had all the test back and I was diagnosed with severe dehydration, influenza , pneumonia (infection on both lungs). Because I had the flu for over 2 1/2 weeks, the Doctors were concerned that the infection would go into my blood, so I as isolated in a room for 6 days . I was given IV, lots of antibiotics, flu and nausea medications. Aside from my Doctors, I had infection control Doctors and staff do 1 or 2 visits per day. Within 2 days, I started to feel better and rest.
I am still feeling weak because of the hard ordeal this was on my body. But I thank God for all the prayers and well wishes from my friends and family and that I was able to go off island for treatment.
Now, I would like to know why did the ER took my case so lightly when they knew from the beginning that I had an autoimmune medical issue. Why they so carelessly keep telling me that I didn’t fit the criteria for being admitted to the hospital and go home? Why is it that the people of the USVI have to insure this mediocre medical treatment? How many people are dying because of this treatment? Governor? Senators? Hospital Administrators? How long is this going to continue?


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 1096
February 24, 2020 10:02 am  
Posted by: @janeinstx

I read this on Facebook this morning. Long read but...

Laura Fabio
17 hrs
Hi Everyone. I would like to share with you my Emergency Room experience. It’s a bit long but I didn’t wasn’t to loose details.
JFL Hospital negligence almost cost me my life
On Wednesday, 1/22/2020, I started feeling sick. By Saturday 1/25/2020, I went to see my personal Physician. I had the flu with nausea and vomiting. I was given medications and instructions to stay hydrated and get lots of rest. However by Monday, 1/27/2020, I was not better but worse. The ambulance came for me at my home. The attendant started an IV and took me to the hospital. The ER started that I was seen on that day for vomiting and diarrhea. I was given antibiotics and nausea medication through the IV. Once the IV and medications were finished, they sent me home with more oral medications and instructions to keep hydrated. I was told that if I didn’t get better , to come back to the hospital.
I still didn’t get any better, I got worse. More vomiting and diarrhea continued. I was very weak from the vomiting and pain everywhere. I have rheumatoid arthritis and couldn’t take my medications either, so this made my situation worst. On 1/30/2020, we went to see my Physician and was given IV and antibiotics. I was very dehydrated. I was given instructions that I would need to go back to the hospital if I didn’t get better. I didn’t get better, so back to the emergency room.
On 2/01/2020, the ambulance came back for the second time. This time , they did a flu test where you get Q-tips inserted into your nostrils (most awful thing in the world). No IV this time. I got to the ER and I begged the Doctor to have me admitted but he said they needed to find out what was going on. They drew blood and did the urine sample. Bathrooms were outside of the building, not clean. They said I had a UTI. I got antibiotics through the IV and nausea medications. I again begged to be admitted and was told that I there was no need. Also if I didn’t get better to come back to the ER. They give me oral antibiotics and nausea medications.
Now remember I can’t keep anything down, so I can’t take the medications. Of course, I didn’t get better.
My husband called MASA and explained the situation and that we needed to go off island for treatment. A MASA representative stated that in order for them to do that, they would have to have the hospital tell them that they couldn’t do anything for me and I would need to go off island for treatment .
On Monday, 2/3/2020, We went back to the ER. We signed in and my husband told the nurse that this was our 3rd visit to the ER. I was registered and was in a room within 1 1/2 hrs. I begged the doctor to please admit me and he said that he would not find out the problem first, but so far, I didn’t fit the criteria for being admitted. They did blood work and urine sample. Bathroom outside was disgustingly filthy. I got IV with nausea medications and antibiotics. I was told that I had a UTI and should start feeling better y Wednesday. I was sent home with more oral medications. I was given suppositories for the nausea. I was happy about that so I didn’t have to have any oral medications that I was unable to take. In between these three visits, I had an X-ray f my abdominal area and possibly of my chest. Not sure.
Being that the hospital handled my case , MASA couldn’t do anything. I was devastated because I couldn’t keep anything down. I felt defeated and betrayed by the people that were supposed to make me feel better. We went home and I continued to have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea even though I had nothing in my stomach or system. I was vomiting the bitter bile in. My stomach. I felt so weak and dizzy.
By Tuesday morning, 2/4/2020, I told my friend Maria and my husband Stanford, that I felt I was dying.
We booked the flight to Miami to leave that afternoon. We arrived at the hotel in Miami around 9pm. We got to Jackson Memorial Hospital around 10:30 PM. There were approximately 150-175 people there already. By 1:15 AM, I was in a room. They had taken chest and abdominal X-rays, blood work, urine sample and a EKG. My vitals were irregular, so I was taken very seriously. By 2:00 AM, they had all the test back and I was diagnosed with severe dehydration, influenza , pneumonia (infection on both lungs). Because I had the flu for over 2 1/2 weeks, the Doctors were concerned that the infection would go into my blood, so I as isolated in a room for 6 days . I was given IV, lots of antibiotics, flu and nausea medications. Aside from my Doctors, I had infection control Doctors and staff do 1 or 2 visits per day. Within 2 days, I started to feel better and rest.
I am still feeling weak because of the hard ordeal this was on my body. But I thank God for all the prayers and well wishes from my friends and family and that I was able to go off island for treatment.
Now, I would like to know why did the ER took my case so lightly when they knew from the beginning that I had an autoimmune medical issue. Why they so carelessly keep telling me that I didn’t fit the criteria for being admitted to the hospital and go home? Why is it that the people of the USVI have to insure this mediocre medical treatment? How many people are dying because of this treatment? Governor? Senators? Hospital Administrators? How long is this going to continue?

My question - did Laura get a flu shot for the 19-20 strain?

 

This post was modified 1 month ago 4 times by Gator's Mom

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Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2334
February 24, 2020 2:06 pm  

Waiting 2 weeks while suffering through this before taking a commercial flight?

Better communication with personal Physician?

Very disappointed to read this and it only proves how pro-active we have to be living here about health problems.

Glad you are healing.!

This post was modified 1 month ago by Exit Zero

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janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 665
February 24, 2020 2:20 pm  

@gators_mom

no idea. I only read her post.  2 things. We really should be able to expect better and the reality is even before hurricanes, conditions and treatment there were abysmal.


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Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 1096
February 24, 2020 3:36 pm  
Posted by: @exit-zero

Waiting 2 weeks while suffering through this before taking a commercial flight?

Better communication with personal Physician?

Very disappointed to read this and it only proves how pro-active we have to be living here about health problems.

Glad you are healing.!

You have to be proactive living anywhere - a good physician is your partner but you call the shots on what is serious and not. And a good physician will tell you that.  That doesn't mean you'll be admitted to a hospital with the flu though. 

There are many people I'm acquainted with in FL who have had the flu for months now and none has been hospitalized. This season, if you didn't get a flu shot and were exposed it's been really bad. 

I don't think there's much good to say about JFL or the state of its ER.  Best avoided.

 

This post was modified 1 month ago by Gator's Mom

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vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2447
February 24, 2020 4:37 pm  
Posted by: @janeinstx

I read this on Facebook this morning. Long read but...

Laura Fabio
17 hrs
Hi Everyone. I would like to share with you my Emergency Room experience. It’s a bit long but I didn’t wasn’t to loose details.
JFL Hospital negligence almost cost me my life
On Wednesday, 1/22/2020, I started feeling sick. By Saturday 1/25/2020, I went to see my personal Physician. I had the flu with nausea and vomiting. I was given medications and instructions to stay hydrated and get lots of rest. However by Monday, 1/27/2020, I was not better but worse. The ambulance came for me at my home. The attendant started an IV and took me to the hospital. The ER started that I was seen on that day for vomiting and diarrhea. I was given antibiotics and nausea medication through the IV. Once the IV and medications were finished, they sent me home with more oral medications and instructions to keep hydrated. I was told that if I didn’t get better , to come back to the hospital.
I still didn’t get any better, I got worse. More vomiting and diarrhea continued. I was very weak from the vomiting and pain everywhere. I have rheumatoid arthritis and couldn’t take my medications either, so this made my situation worst. On 1/30/2020, we went to see my Physician and was given IV and antibiotics. I was very dehydrated. I was given instructions that I would need to go back to the hospital if I didn’t get better. I didn’t get better, so back to the emergency room.
On 2/01/2020, the ambulance came back for the second time. This time , they did a flu test where you get Q-tips inserted into your nostrils (most awful thing in the world). No IV this time. I got to the ER and I begged the Doctor to have me admitted but he said they needed to find out what was going on. They drew blood and did the urine sample. Bathrooms were outside of the building, not clean. They said I had a UTI. I got antibiotics through the IV and nausea medications. I again begged to be admitted and was told that I there was no need. Also if I didn’t get better to come back to the ER. They give me oral antibiotics and nausea medications.
Now remember I can’t keep anything down, so I can’t take the medications. Of course, I didn’t get better.
My husband called MASA and explained the situation and that we needed to go off island for treatment. A MASA representative stated that in order for them to do that, they would have to have the hospital tell them that they couldn’t do anything for me and I would need to go off island for treatment .
On Monday, 2/3/2020, We went back to the ER. We signed in and my husband told the nurse that this was our 3rd visit to the ER. I was registered and was in a room within 1 1/2 hrs. I begged the doctor to please admit me and he said that he would not find out the problem first, but so far, I didn’t fit the criteria for being admitted. They did blood work and urine sample. Bathroom outside was disgustingly filthy. I got IV with nausea medications and antibiotics. I was told that I had a UTI and should start feeling better y Wednesday. I was sent home with more oral medications. I was given suppositories for the nausea. I was happy about that so I didn’t have to have any oral medications that I was unable to take. In between these three visits, I had an X-ray f my abdominal area and possibly of my chest. Not sure.
Being that the hospital handled my case , MASA couldn’t do anything. I was devastated because I couldn’t keep anything down. I felt defeated and betrayed by the people that were supposed to make me feel better. We went home and I continued to have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea even though I had nothing in my stomach or system. I was vomiting the bitter bile in. My stomach. I felt so weak and dizzy.
By Tuesday morning, 2/4/2020, I told my friend Maria and my husband Stanford, that I felt I was dying.
We booked the flight to Miami to leave that afternoon. We arrived at the hotel in Miami around 9pm. We got to Jackson Memorial Hospital around 10:30 PM. There were approximately 150-175 people there already. By 1:15 AM, I was in a room. They had taken chest and abdominal X-rays, blood work, urine sample and a EKG. My vitals were irregular, so I was taken very seriously. By 2:00 AM, they had all the test back and I was diagnosed with severe dehydration, influenza , pneumonia (infection on both lungs). Because I had the flu for over 2 1/2 weeks, the Doctors were concerned that the infection would go into my blood, so I as isolated in a room for 6 days . I was given IV, lots of antibiotics, flu and nausea medications. Aside from my Doctors, I had infection control Doctors and staff do 1 or 2 visits per day. Within 2 days, I started to feel better and rest.
I am still feeling weak because of the hard ordeal this was on my body. But I thank God for all the prayers and well wishes from my friends and family and that I was able to go off island for treatment.
Now, I would like to know why did the ER took my case so lightly when they knew from the beginning that I had an autoimmune medical issue. Why they so carelessly keep telling me that I didn’t fit the criteria for being admitted to the hospital and go home? Why is it that the people of the USVI have to insure this mediocre medical treatment? How many people are dying because of this treatment? Governor? Senators? Hospital Administrators? How long is this going to continue?

That definitely sounds like the care you can expect at JFL Hospital.

Sad but true!


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daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 544
February 24, 2020 4:58 pm  

Unfortunately it happens everywhere.  My wife went to Brazil to visit our daughter who was doing a travel program through Rotary in Sao Paulo and they have problems with roundworms due to dog feces on the beaches that no one cleans up and she got one in her ankle. It's very problematic and they actually sell the cream OTC for it there but not here.  It looked like a a worm creating trails (raising the skin) all over her ankle. It's not very common here. The first doctor she went to told her here in NY to just take benadryl and it will just go away.  She then went to another hospital the next day and they immediately saw her and fortunately for her the doctor that saw her had seen the same thing during his residency.  He knew right away what it was, verified with the CDC and prescribed her the right medication.  It was pretty funny as all the nurses wanted to see it as again it's not something you ever see here.   It was like a shiny new toy for them.  Anyways, it wasn't dangerous and would have eventually died out in a few weeks, but healthcare can be a struggle anywhere depending on your doctor.


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fhpooiks
(@fhpooiks)
Advanced Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 26
March 20, 2020 5:01 am  

Where to read more reviews of the services which you named in this thread? I think there are official resources where people leave their feedback. Reviews will not lie. It is an important aspect to be taken into account when choosing a service. I am in the UK currently and need to evaluate how much I need it. As it is not cheap. Plus, emergency situations in most cases more dependent on your luck.


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