- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana House and the House Human Services Committee are considering five bills and resolutions that deal with the air ambulance industry on Wednesday. The legislation aims to prevent patients from being hit with high bills for emergency flights from providers that are out of the patient’s insurance network. A glance at the measures:

- Senate Bill 44: Require insurers and air ambulance companies to resolve price disputes through mediation or the courts; patients would only have to pay co-payment and co-insurance costs.

- House Bill 73: Require that memberships sold by air ambulances companies be regulated as insurance products. Air ambulance companies with membership programs would need a certificate of authority to operate and not advertise their plans in areas where they do not regularly provide service.

- Senate Bill 353: Establish a 12 percent excise tax on air ambulance companies that bill a certain percentage of allowable Medicare costs.

- Senate Bill 292: Bar air ambulance companies from submitting information about incomplete payment of a bill that would hurt a patient’s credit report.

- Senate Joint Resolution 13: Urge Congress to address air ambulance billing issues through federal law.

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