What is LifeFlight Eagle’s Mission?
LifeFlight Eagle is a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to serving the community by providing quality, safe critical care transport medicine and improving access to emergency care through outreach education.
LifeFlight Eagle utilizes state of the equipment, and highly trained medical crews and pilots. The LifeFlight Eagle system includes four Bell 407 helicopters based in Chillicothe, Odessa, Harrisonville, and Clinton, MO, As well as an IFR-capable, twin-engine S-76 helicopter dedicated to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, which is specifically designed and staffed to serve our neonatal and pediatric patients. LifeFlight Eagle also has ground critical care services available in some service areas when we are unable to fly because of weather.
Are there times when LifeFlight Eagle is not available?
Yes. LifeFlight Eagle helicopters may be unable to fly because of weather conditions, during brief periods of scheduled maintenance, or under certain FAA restrictions. It also may be unavailable if already committed to a patient flight. Patient size and weight restrictions may also preclude patient transport.
What if I am transported by ground ambulance or another air provider?
LifeFlight Eagle membership provides no benefit if a patient is transported by any other provider for any reason.
Who does a membership cover?
The membership benefits are for me (primary member), my spouse or domestic partner, my dependent children and persons who are permanent residents of my household, not to include roomers or boarders.
How do I know if LifeFlight Eagle will be the provider called to transport me?
LifeFlight Eagle is the preferred provider for multiple counties and hospitals. We recommend contacting your local EMS agency and community hospital to confirm their emergency and cirtical-care transport protocols.
LifeFlight Eagle provides members with identification cards and vehicle stickers that can help inform emergency personnel of your preference for LifeFlight Eagle, but nothing can guarantee that LifeFlight Eagle will be the agency to respond.
Because of geographic considerations, some local agencies may use more than one helicopter service. In that case, we recommend considering purchasing memberships with both providers.
Am I in LifeFlight Eagle’s service area?
LifeFlight Eagle’s community-based helicopters are based in Chillicothe, Odessa, Harrisonville and Clinton, MO. The majority of our flights serve communities in Missouri and Kansas that are within a 50-mile radius of each of these bases. Our Children’s Mercy helicopter serves a wider geography extending 300 miles from Kansas City in all directions.
If I have Medicare, would I still benefit from membership?
Medicare provides a very deep discount to patients by capping the amount LifeFlight Eagle (and all air ambulances) can charge as an allowable rate. This rate varies year-to-year and by state.
In most cases, Medicare patients owe 20% of the allowable charge as coinsurance.
What if I have a Medicare supplement?
This answer depends on your supplemental insurance provider. Once you have paid your full supplement deductible, your supplement may pay part or all of the allowable balance for air ambulance transport. However, there have been cases where the supplemental insurance provider does not cover a remaining balance after Medicare has paid its portion. We recommend that you contact your supplemental insurance provider and specifically ask them how they cover air ambulance costs. Some seniors enroll in membership even if they have complete coverage, in the event that their insurance coverage changes or the claim is denied.
If I have Medicaid do I need membership?
No. State laws regulate Medicaid payments and LifeFlight Eagle complies with the law by accepting Medicaid as full payment for the services rendered. This prohibits Medicaid recipients from enrolling in the membership program.
Can I buy a gift membership for a friend or family member?
Yes! Membership makes a great gift. You can purchase a gift membership online at www.LifeFlightEagle.org or by calling 800-936-9533.
Is there a limit to the number of flights a membership covers for a person or a household?
No. However, each flight must be medically necessary for membership benefits to apply.
Does LifeFlight Eagle work with local ambulances?
Yes. LifeFlight Eagle works very closely with local EMS agencies and fire departments. These agencies request LifeFlight Eagle to transport their patients when medically necessary. In addition, LifeFlight Eagle provides more than 1,000 hours of continuing education to rural fire departments and EMS agencies each year to help them maintain certifications and licensure requirements, and to help their staff learn and practice cutting-edge treatments so they can better serve the citizens of their communities.
Does LifeFlight Eagle fly year-round?
Yes. Each of LifeFlight Eagle’s bases is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, inclement weather conditions can prevent us from being able to fly. LifeFlight Eagle aircraft are unable to fly in icing conditions, during convective weather (thunderstorms), or when cloud ceilings or visibility do not meet minimum FAA visual flight rule minimums.
Who determines where the patient is flown?
LifeFlight Eagle transports patients to the closest appropriate hospital that can provide the services needed.
For interfacility (hospital-to-hospital) transports, the referring hospital’s physician will make arrangements with the receiving hospital and determine the patient’s final destination. Whenever possible, physicians consult with the patient or the patient’s family as these decisions are being made.
For scene flights, LifeFlight Eagle personnel evaluate a patient’s condition and determine the destination based on the closest appropriate facility. Whenever possible, our personnel will consult with the patient or the patient’s family as these decisions are being made, taking in to account existing physician or specialist relationships at appropriate receiving hospitals. LifeFlight Eagle regularly transports patients to multiple hospitals in Kansas City, as well as Columbia, Springfield and other cities as needed.
How is LifeFlight Eagle dispatched?
All requests for transport are initiated by medical professionals, including personnel from EMS agencies, law enforcement, fire departments, 911 Dispatch, and hospitals/physicians. Private Individuals cannot request LifeFlight Eagle directly.
Each of these agencies has access to LifeFlight Eagle’s in-house communications center, which immediately processes all requests and notifies our closest available base when a request is received. FAA regulations require that the pilot in command of the helicopter is responsible for the final decision as to whether or not a flight will be accepted.
What type of patient requires critical-care transport?
LifeFlight Eagle is used for life threatening situations when rapid transport to a specialty center is necessary. Oftentimes, these are called time-critical diagnoses, and may include trauma, burns, strokes, heart attacks, sepsis, respiratory distress, uncontrolled bleeding and other life-threatening conditions. Only a physician or other medical professional can determine whether rapid critical-care transport is necessary. Your local medical community already has protocols established to activate LifeFlight Eagle when it is needed for seriously ill or critically injured patients. You should always call 911 or go directly to your local hospital for initial treatment. Let them know you are a LifeFlight Eagle member so that they can consider calling us if a critical-care transport is needed.
Is membership tax deductible?
Can I request LifeFlight Eagle to give a presentation to my church or association?
Does LifeFlight Eagle transport non-members?
Yes. LifeFlight Eagle transports patients based on medical need, not on ability to pay. In these cases, LifeFlight Eagle works with insurance companies, patients and others to help meet its costs.
Is membership renewable?
Yes! Members receive a renewal notice five weeks prior to the expiration date, and a second notice two weeks prior to expiration.
Is membership effective immediately?
Membership becomes active the seventh day after payment is received.
If I am a Kansas City Metro Area resident, why do I need membership?
Metro-area residents live in close proximity to several hospitals in Kansas City; however, there are times that rapid transport to a specialty center may be necessary. Your closest hospital may not have the services you need. Also, metro area residents who spend time outside the city commuting, vacationing, visiting relatives, etc., could be benefited by the membership program if an air ambulance transport becomes necessary.
How do I sign up for membership?
You may sign up at www.LifeFlightEagle.org, or by calling 800-936-9533 to enroll over the phone or request a brochure.
If I am getting divorced who keeps the membership?
The membership remains active for both spouses until the current expiration date. Following expiration, each former spouse will need to purchase their own separate household memberships.
Can I add a baby not born yet to the membership?
When your baby is born, he or she is automatically included in your active household membership. We ask that you call membership services as soon as practical to add the baby’s name and birthdate information to your membership.
My kids are in college. Are they still covered on my membership?
Dependent children can be retained on your household membership until they no longer meet dependent criteria. Please remember that LifeFlight Eagle may not be the closest provider to their college town, so it may be appropriate to consider adding a membership for the closest air-medical program.