jump to main menu jump to subject menu jump to content jump to footer

File An Insurance Complaint. We Are Here For You image

Insurance Consumer Advocate

Tasha Carter

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

Public Records Requests

design placeholder only

Emergency Medical Transportation

Gold Border

It is my pleasure to share with you the

Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s White Paper,
Emergency Medical Transportation Costs in Florida


Emergency Medical Transportation Costs in Florida

Click here to open the White Paper

Click here to open a PDF of the White Paper


Gold Border


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 concern and 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

  • Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
    Jennifer Pettineo, General Counsel

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

  • Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
    Chris Struk, Life & Health Policy Advisor

  • 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 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


Date Time Documents Video Link
10/17/16 9:00am - 12:00pm



02/28/17 9:00am - 1:00pm




The Florida Channel

06/13/17 9:00am - 1:00pm




The Florida Channel

10/31/17 9:00am - 11:30am



The Florida Channel





News Articles and Press Releases


10/17/2019 Air ambulance service predicts base closures if medical transparency bill becomes law Krista Garrison - WNKY
10/17/2019 Are Air Ambulances Truly Flying Out Of Reach? Surprise-Billing Policy And The Airline Deregulation Act Karan Chhabra, Kevin A. Schulman & Barak D. Richman - Health Affairs
10/09/2019 Air ambulance company blasts Wyoming's attempt to temper costs Seth Klamann - Casper Star-Tribune
10/06/2019 Between life and death, patients left with little choice on air ambulance costs in rural Nevada Megan Messerly - The Nevada Independent
10/04/2019 Letter to the editor: Congress should consider rural impacts of air ambulance bill Carl Ecklund - Summit Daily
10/02/2019 Air Methods publishes public objection to Wyoming’s Air Ambulance Waiver Application Robyn Bainbridge - Air Med & Rescue
10/02/2019 Air ambulance services face scrutiny over surprise billing issues Mary Ellen McIntire - Roll Call
10/02/2019 As air ambulance company criticizes effort, feds expected to reject Wyoming's attempt to temper costs Seth Klamann - Casper Star Tribune
09/29/2019 Congress is threatening rural healthcare access Colt Chambers - Rome News-Tribune
09/25/2019 Air Methods in talks to contract directly with large employers Samantha Liss - Healthcare Dive
09/16/2019 U.S. DOT announces formation of the Air Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee Vertical
09/13/2019 Air ambulance advisory panel on surprise billing takes shape Samantha Liss - Health Care Dive
09/13/2019 U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Formation and Membership of the Air Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee U.S. Department of Transportation
09/12/2019 Air ambulance industry hits turbulence amid potential regulations Conor Grant - The Hustle
09/12/2019 Air Methods’ EVP, Chris Myers, Appointed to Air Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee Doug Flanders - Globe Newswire
09/10/2019 Air ambulance flights: We need to find balance in balance billing: Column Mark Galtelli - Clarion Ledger
09/10/2019 Professor Erin Fuse Brown awarded grant to study air ambulance bills Kelundra Smith - Georgia State University
09/03/2019 Acadian CEO states position on air ambulance billing practices Vertical
08/30/2019 Air ambulance industry weighs into medical bill debate with TV ads Jessica Piper - Open Secrets
08/29/2019 Minnesota lawmakers call for greater transparency of air ambulance prices Kelly Gooch - Beckers Hospital Review
08/29/2019 GUEST VIEW: We need to find balance in air ambulance billing Mark Galtelli - Meridian Star
08/27/2019 How much does an air ambulance ride cost? Minn. lawmakers want the answer Dana Ferguson - Grand Forks Herald
08/26/2019 Helicopter companies oppose proposed "surprise billing" law Carley Gordon - WSMV
08/26/2019 Why Red Wyoming Seeks The Regulatory Approach To Air Ambulance Costs Kaiser Health News - Health Leaders Media
08/24/2019 Alaska weakens air ambulance membership plan regulations Stamford Advocate
08/22/2019 Alaska rolls back air ambulance ‘membership plan’ regulations Jacob Resneck - KCAW
08/16/2019 Ga. Lawmakers, Feds Aim to End Surprise Air Medical Bills Ariel Hart - Tribune News Service
08/15/2019 It can happen to anyone of us, an air ambulance ride costing $53,000 Jonathan Walsh - News 5 Cleveland
08/15/2019 Georgia officials, feds take aim at surprise bills for air ambulances Ariel Hart - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
08/09/2019 Flying Into Surprise Bills Jonathan Keisling - American Action Forum
08/05/2019 Air Ambulance Bases Close Around The U.S., Citing Low Reimbursement Rates Esther Honig - KUNC
07/24/2019 Alive, but at what cost? Kylie Mohr - Jackson Hole News & Guide
07/22/2019 Politicians Tackle Surprise Bills, but Not the Biggest Source of Them: Ambulances Sarah Kliff & Margot Sanger-Katz - The New York Times
07/17/2019 A Guide To Understanding Air Ambulance Coverage Alabama Department of Insurance
07/15/2019 Planning for emergency care flight is essential Sandra Reed - Glen Rose Reporter
07/12/2019 Insurance Companies Continue to Balk at Covering Air-Ambulance Rides Nadia Ramlagan & Public News Service - WXPR
07/11/2019 Insurance Commissioner Urges Senate to Pass Legislation Protecting Consumers from Air Ambulance Balance Bills North Dakota Insurance Department
07/02/2019 Government Ramps Up Effort to Curb Surprise Medical Bills Donna Rosato - Consumer Reports
07/01/2019 Why the flight to the hospital is more costly than ever Christopher Rowland - Washington Post
06/19/2019 NM officials struggle to regulate air ambulance fees Rebecca Moss - EMS 1
06/14/2019 In Combating Surprise Bills, Lawmakers Miss Sky-High Air Ambulance Costs Rachel Bluth - Kaiser Health News
05/16/2019 Health officials work on air ambulance plan Seth Klamann - The Sheridan Press
05/16/2019 Wyoming health officials move forward on unique air ambulance plan Seth Klamann - Casper Star Tribune
03/21/2019 Government watchdog: Costly air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Jessie Hellmann - The Hill
03/20/2019 AIR AMBULANCE: Available Data Show Privately-Insured Patients Are at Financial Risk U.S. Government Accountability Office
02/14/2019 Insurance Department Appeals District Court Ruling on Air Ambulance Balance Bills North Dakota Insurance Department
02/14/2019 Medicare ambulance rides may no longer end up at ER Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar - AP News
01/30/2019 N.D. Insurance Commissioner Named to National Air Ambulance Panel Insurance Journal
01/29/2019 'It can be devastating for consumers': Judge strikes down ND law limiting bills for air ambulance rides Patrick Springer - Inforum
01/29/2019 Godfread Nominated for Federal Air Ambulance Billing Advisory Committee as Judge Issues Split Decision in North Dakota Lawsuit North Dakota Insurance Department
01/29/2019 Taken for a ride: Your medical emergency could end in bankruptcy Larry Barker - KRQE
01/14/2019 Missouri Insurance Department Study Criticizes High Costs of Air Ambulances Insurance Journal
01/08/2019 Air ambulance fees could be set at double Medicare rate under bill Louise Esola - Business Insurance
01/08/2019 Missourians face large bills, aggressive collection tactics from air ambulance transports Missouri Department of Insurance
12/14/2018 Proposal Targets Cost Of Emergency Transportation For Patients Christine Sexton - WLRN
12/13/2018 Insured Floridians shouldn't foot huge bills for emergency transportation, board says Pensacola News Journal
11/27/2018 New Va. law gives patients choice of ambulance vs. air ambulance transport EMS1.com
11/26/2018 Sky-high prices for air ambulances hurt those they are helping Jen Christensen - CNN
09/27/2018 Will Congress Bring Sky-High Air Ambulance Bills Down To Earth? Jackie Fortier - Kaiser Health News
09/26/2018 Taken For A Ride: After ATV Crash, Doctor Gets $56,603 Bill For Air Ambulance Trip Alison Kodjak - Kaiser Health News
08/23/2018 Anthem health insurance makes deals with two main air ambulance companies to cover airlifts for Missouri customers Blythe Bernhard - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
07/27/2018 Emergency flights land patients, hospitals with sky-high bills Chelsea Boulrisse - Business Weekly
07/24/2018 Air ambulance companies have consumers in death grip Trudy Lieberman - Capital Journal
07/03/2018 Rising Air Ambulance Bills Hit Patients With Added Shock The New York Times
06/28/2018 Ban on air ambulance balance billing sought in Florida Kelly Gooch - Becker's Hospital CFO Report
06/27/2018 Limit consumer charges for air ambulances, state report urges Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
06/11/2018 Air Ambulances Are Flying More Patients Than Ever, and Leaving Massive Bills Behind John Tozzi - Bloomberg
05/29/2018 Audrey Brown: Ending balance billing practices by air ambulances in FL Audrey Brown - Florida Politics
05/10/2018 McCaskill to introduce air ambulance legislation following local reporting Mike Colombo - KPLR 11 St. Louis
03/27/2018 States find there's little they can do about big air ambulance bills Renuka Rayasam - POLITICO Pro Health Care
03/12/2018 After a boy fractured his skull in rural Missouri, family faces air ambulance bill of $32,000 Samanta Liss - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
02/08/2018 Hawaii bill seeks to make insurers pay for air ambulance rides EMS1 Staff - EMS1.com
12/23/2017 A Spotlight on the Problems of Ambulance Balance Billing Robin Gelburd - Real Clear Health
12/14/2017 Bill would reimburse EMS for services The Indiana Gazette
12/13/2017 Family stunned by $60K air ambulance bill Kenneth Amaro - First Coast News
11/08/2017 Stop balance billing by ambulances, state board says Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
11/01/2017 EMT Working Group Discusses Balance Billing, Ambulance Costs Nick Evans - WUSF News
10/31/2017 First responders blame insurers for high ambulance costs EMS1.com
10/31/2017 Insurers, EMS providers battle over transportation fees Jake Stofan - WCTV
10/31/2017 Surprise ambulance bills: Watch for white paper by year’s end Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
10/30/2017 Stunned by an ambulance bill? Watch this meeting Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
10/16/2017 Final Emergency Medical Transportation Meeting Seeks to Find Solutions for Consumers Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
09/30/2017 Florida insurance chief pushes patient billing change Christine Sexton - The Daytona Beach News-Journal
09/21/2017 Air ambulances: The pain of the accident, the suffering of the bill Dennis Owens - ABC 27
08/07/2017 Air ambulance prices double, GAO says. Should Florida do anything? Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
06/14/2017 Searching for Solutions to the High Price of Air Ambulances John Lucas - The Capitolist
06/13/2017 Air ambulances: Insurers call for end to balance billing to consumers Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post
06/12/2017 Air ambulances: There when you need it most Walt Dartland - Capital Soup
04/24/2017 Pennsylvania Fights Against Large, Surprise Bills For Air Ambulance Services Mark Nootbaar - 90.5 WESA Pittsburgh's NPR News Station
04/11/2017 Consumer Reports: Air ambulances leave patients with high costs Lindsey Sablan - Wink News
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


We want to hear from you!
Please share your experiences with us.



Name: A value is required.
Email: A value is required.Invalid format.