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Insurance Consumer Advocate

Sha'Ron James

Contact Us
Mailing: 200 East Gaines St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0308

For Consumer Assistance:
Contact the Division of
Consumer Services within the
Department of Financial Services

Online at
Consumer Services
Toll-free in Florida
Out of State
(850) 413-3089
(850) 413-3033

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Emergency Medical Transportation

After a life threatening accident or major medical emergency, emergency medical transportation (EMT) services can quickly transport a patient to receive immediate health care attention at a nearby facility. EMT includes air and ground ambulance services for emergency medical situations and conditions. Air ambulances are helicopters or airplanes that contain sophisticated medical equipment and staff trained to stabilize patients as they are transported to a facility for care. Although some health care policies provide coverage for this event, some coverage gaps can leave consumers with surprise high medical bills for the service. The Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate has identified this issue as a concernand seeks to inform, engage, and advocate for measures that will help ensure that this life saving service is affordable for Florida consumers.

Also, see the NAIC consumer alert for air ambulance.


Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate's Emergency Medical Transportation Working Group

Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’Ron James is pleased to announce the formation of the Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Emergency Medical Transportation Working Group. The EMT Working Group will meet over the course of one year to gather information, analyze data, and assess the impact of emergency medical transportation costs to Florida’s insurance consumers. Florida consumers may be shocked to learn that many air and ground emergency medical transportation services are often considered out-of-network by their healthcare plans, and that they owe several hundred or, in some cases, thousands of dollars for the use of the service. The EMT Working Group’s focus will center on addressing the needs of Florida’s insurance consumers by identifying solutions that may address issues and concerns faced by the ambulance service, insurance industry, and ultimately the insurance buying public.

The members of the working group are as follows:

  • Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
    Sha'Ron James, Insurance Consumer Advocate

  • Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services
    Tasha Carter, Director

  • Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
    Eric Johnson, Deputy Commissioner - L&H

  • America’s Health Insurance Plans
    Joy M. Ryan, Meenan P.A.

  • Florida Aero Medical Association
    Jeffery See, Regional Vice President, Air Methods

  • Florida Ambulance Association
    Joe Scialdone, EMS Billing Manager, Escambia County

  • Florida Association of Counties
    Mac Kemp, Deputy Chief of Clinical Affairs, Leon County Emergency Medical Services

  • Florida Association of Health Plans
    Wences Troncoso, Vice President and General Counsel

  • Florida Blue
    David Pizzi, Director, Political and External Relations

  • Florida CHAIN

  • Florida College of Emergency Physicians
    Dr. Kristin McCabe-Kline, Chief of Staff, Florida Hospital

  • Florida Hospital Association
    Lecia Behenna, Director of Finance

  • Florida League of Cities
    Chief Dan Azzariti, Fire Chief, Plant City


Working Group Meetings

Dial-In Number
Video Link
9:00am - 12:00pm


9:00am - 1:00pm


The Florida Channel


Emegency Medical Transportation Working Group Flyer - Ground Transportation


News Articles and Press Releases

03/08/2017 State legislators form air ambulance billing team LifeHealthPro
02/28/2017 Palm Beach ambulance official: We are ‘framed’ on balance billing Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/24/2017 Fear calling 911 because of an ambulance charge? Tell the state now Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
02/02/2017 County commissioner's ambulance insurance proposal makes cost around $50 Christopher Saul - WEAR TV
12/22/2016 State Court Ruling Prevents Price Gouging by Air Ambulance Companies Texas Mutual Insurance Company - PR Newswire
11/14/2016 Seminole looks at costly 'non transport' ambulance fees Martin E. Comas - Orlando Sentinel
11/08/2016 Air Methods Corp. hit with sixth lawsuit claiming price gouging Amy Dipierro - Business Den
11/04/2016 Sky high air ambulance bills send patients into orbit Brett Shipp & Mark Smith - WFAA
10/24/2016 Action 9 investigates sky-high air ambulance rates WFTV 9 ABC
10/21/2016 EMT Working Group Takes A 'Balance' Approach Jim Ash - WFSU
10/20/2016 Emergency air medical services must be preserved, protected Amanda Thayer
10/20/2016 Surprise ambulance bills: Use Uber if not dying, commenter says Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
10/18/2016 Florida's Insurance Commissioner Advocate forms group to look at air ambulance costs Adam Walser - ABC Action News
10/17/2016 Surprise bills: Ambulance charges slam consumers up to $37K per ride Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
10/17/2016 Working Group Looks For Ambulance Cost Ceiling Jim Ash - WFSU
10/12/2016 Surprise bills: Ambulances out of health networks draw panel’s scrutiny Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
10/12/2016 Ambulances out of insurer networks draw panel’s scrutiny Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
10/10/2016 Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate's Emergency Medical Transportation Working Group Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
08/30/2016 Lawmakers back air ambulance bill to protect consumers Troy Carter - Bozeman Daily Chronicle
08/29/2016 NCOIL looks at high cost of air ambulances Alan Smith - R Street
08/23/2016 HEMS at Odds with Insurers, Medicare Mark Huber - AIN Online
07/11/2016 Air ambulances; financial burden soon could be lifted Sara Stinson - KTVH
07/08/2016 Air ambulance working group discusses proposed legislation Associated Press - Valley Morning Star
06/08/2016 Air Ambulances Can Cost Some Patients up to $80,000 Mattie Quinn - EMS World
06/02/2016 ND woman receives $58,000 bill after being airlifted twice Hayley Crombleholme - Inforum
05/12/2016 Air medical providers seek productive solutions regarding consumer costs, not empty rhetoric Richard Sherlock - Missoulian
05/11/2016 High cost of air ambulance trips Dale Russell - FOX 5
05/09/2016 Woman killed by ambulance billed $25K for ambulance ride she didn’t live long enough to take Travis Gettys - Raw Story
05/04/2016 The painful price you’ll pay if you ever need a life-saving air ambulance Jenna Morton - WQAD 8
05/01/2016 Chopper shock: Couple gets $60K bill for 25-minute air evacuation Rick Karlin - Times Union
04/25/2016 Air ambulance rides can amount to sky-high costs for families Tiffany Lester - NBC Montana
04/20/2016 Growing air ambulance industry presents cost, regulation challenges Emily Rappleye - Becker's Hospital CFO
04/18/2016 ND senators working to curb sky high air ambulance bills Forum News Service - WDAY 6 ND
04/15/2016 Air Ambulance Reform Effort Dies In US Senate Corin Cates-Carney - Montana Public Radio
03/18/2016 Team 10: Airlift patients left to foot thousands in bills Adam Rocusin - ABC 10 News
03/18/2016 Air rescue's hidden cost Andy Pierrotti and Andy Viganas - KVUE
03/17/2016 Air ambulance sticker shock: Life-saving flight can leave you buried in debt Connie Thompson - KOMO News
03/16/2016 SKY RAGE: big bills, debt, and lawsuits following medical helicopter flights Brooks Jarosz - ABC6

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