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Air Ambulances Are More Expensive Than Ever

October 27, 2021

Did you know people over 55 are using air ambulances for emergencies more than ever? And not only that - emergency medical transport by air is becoming increasingly expensive! Here are two facts you should consider:

  1. From 2017 to 2020, the average estimated air ambulance costs rose a whopping 76.4%.
  2. Medicare and most insurances don’t cover the costs of medical transport.

A standard ambulance ride of even just a few miles can cost thousands. Air ambulances are even more expensive, they can cost as much as $50,000.

The Need for Air Ambulances Is Dramatically Increasing

As a percentage of all ambulance (ground and air) rides from 2016 to 2020, emergency air ambulance rides increased 30%.

Why the sharp rise? The pandemic is a big factor. For instance, chronic respiratory diseases were the most common reason for air ambulance transport in 2020, COVID-19 was the second. Patients were frequently transported by air when local hospitals were at capacity or didn’t have the necessary equipment to help their patients.

In addition, other top diagnoses associated with air ambulances from the same period include heart attack; sprains, strains, breaks, and fractures. Similarly, stroke, digestive system issues, and head injuries also ranked high.

It’s not all daredevils and adventurers who need emergency air transport. Age has proven to be a much more important factor. From 2016-2020, individuals 65 years and older accounted for nearly 60% of necessary rides.

And in the same period patients transported by air ambulance were much more likely to be admitted as inpatients to a hospital than patients transported by ground ambulance.

At a time when your health needs the greatest focus, preventing yourself from any worry about any medical expense is essential.

Medical Air Services Association (MASA) membership can help. Above all, MASA provides peace of mind from emergency medical transport bills and protects you from the expensive cost of ground and air ambulances. MASA covers you from anywhere in the world, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Most insurances and Medicare do not provide full coverage for these costs!

Beyond Just Emergency Medical Transport

  • When a member requires emergency air transport, MASA will fly the member’s spouse, family member or friend to travel with them.
  • When a member requires hospitalization while away from home, MASA will fly them home. We know how important it is to recuperate among loved ones.
  • When minor children or grandchildren are left unattended, MASA provides one-way common carrier air transport for their return home.

A trip to the Emergency Room is stressful enough – the bill for the ride doesn’t have to be. Your association and AMBA make joining MASA easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more at or call 877-290-3170.




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