Don't destroy my family after saving my father's life.
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My name is Jessika Holmes, and I am a 19-year-old student at Jacksonville State University. On January 3rd, 2016, the unthinkable happened: my father, who is only 47 years old, had a heart attack. I immediately called 911, terrified I was watching my father die. The worst part was being by his side at the hospital, holding his hand as he begged the doctors to save his life. Thankfully, the doctors did, but it may cost our family everything we have.
After my father was saved, he was flown by Air Evac to a medical center in Princeton. The cost or alternative options were never discussed with us. At that moment, we just wanted my dad to be okay, so we didn’t ask any questions. The flight was only 15 minutes. We were billed over $37,000.
We learned that companies like Air Evac have bad track records when it comes to working with insurance. They prefer not to adopt lower prices for the purpose of becoming in-network with insurance companies, so the patient ends up assuming most of the burden of their sky-high costs. In fact, our insurer already paid $9,000 towards the cost of the flight but Air Evac is still coming after us for $28,000 more. My mom and dad live paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford to pay the minimum the Air Evac is asking for each month. The phone calls have started, and my parents fear that their wages will be garnished or that they’ll lose their home of 18 years.
I am calling on Air Evac to renegotiate a price that is fair and won’t bankrupt my family.
My family is not alone. Over half a million people each year are transported to hospitals by air. Most patients will not have insurance that is willing to cover the costs. Or, as was the case with my parents, the evac service refuses to negotiate with the insurance company to lower the cost.
While my eventual goal is to help people in all 50 states through better cost oversight of companies like Air Evac, I know Congress is not up to the task at the moment. So for the time being, all I can do is fight for my parents. Please sign my petition to help me compel Air Evac to re-negotiate a fair price for my family.
If you would like to help here is the link to a GoFundMe for our medical bills. Please do not feel pressured, your signature is more than enough. https://www.gofundme.com/HelpHolmesFamily
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