Price of living far from a hospital may be going up in Haines

The Southeast Alaska city of Haines is hours by car or ferry from the nearest hospitals -- Whitehorse, Yukon, or Juneau. Many Haines families take out a $125-per-year insurance policy that has covered 100 percent of the non-Medicare-covered cost of emergency medevacs. But the insurance company and the town's top medevac provider are struggling to reach agreement on a new contract, reports the Chilkat Valley News.


Beginning May 2013, insurance provider Apollo Medi Trans will not cover 100 percent of costs charged by Guardian Flight, the air service that provides most medevacs here.

The expiration of a five-year contract between the two companies means Apollo will cover 80 percent of Medicare rates for Guardian-provided flights beginning May 1, 2013. Medevac rates are based on destination and care needed, but generally run between $25,000 and $30,000.

Apollo medical director Eric Stirling said Apollo is “totally open” to renewing the contract, but “Guardian Flight has not been forthcoming to having a new agreement.” ...


Noble Anderson, medical director for the Haines clinic, characterized the negotiations as a “political power play.”

 In the year ending in September 2012, medevac providers carried out 74 medevacs in Haines. Read more at the Chilkat Valley News.