KSL INVESTIGATES

Utah couple gets hit with sky-high surprise air ambulance bill

Jun 21, 2022, 7:55 PM | Updated: 8:16 pm

HIGHLAND, Utah — It had been 18 months since Robert Ross had a stroke on vacation in Page, Arizona.

His wife, Lori, called for an ambulance, and Robert was taken to an area hospital. He didn’t stay there long.

“They observed him for half an hour,” said Lori, before the doctors decided Robert needed to be flown by air ambulance to a better-equipped hospital. “They tried to [fly] him to St. George, but because St. George was closed because of COVID and wouldn’t admit him, they [flew] him to Provo.”

Robert recovered. Then the bills came.

At first, the air ambulance bill for the ride from Page, Arizona, to Provo, Utah, cost $89,770.

The Ross’ insurance, Cigna, paid a portion. Lori appealed for more to be paid, but the air ambulance company continued to send bills — this time for $12,995.

While significantly cheaper than the initial bill, Lori told KSL Investigators she shouldn’t have had to pay anything — she had met her out-of-pocket max for 2020, and therefore her insurance should pay 100% of the bill.

Lori said Cigna seemed to agree with her, but she’d spent months trying to get them to pay the remaining balance.

“I have called them. They say, ‘Oh yes, this is a mistake, we need to send it back through,’” Lori explained. “Then I’ll call a month later, but it’s not being taken care of.”

For Lori, the solution seemed easy: “Just pay this bill and let me get on and quit worrying about it.”

KSL Investigators reached out to Cigna on Lori’s behalf through their media relations spokesperson. In an email statement, the spokesperson said the air ambulance was “not a Cigna-contracted provider,” but that her claim had finally been “corrected/reprocessed,” leaving her with “ZERO payment responsibility.”

Cigna’s spokesperson said the air ambulance company, Classic Lifeguard, “is the one that billed the customer.” Our emails to Classic Lifeguard requesting comment on the situation were not returned.

The Affordable Care Act made it federal law that emergency situations should be processed by insurance companies as in-network services.

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

FILE...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: How cybercriminals use social engineering to get us to hand over our sensitive info

You can have the strongest, most secure password in the history of cybersecurity, but the bad guys know there is one weakness they can use to hack into your system - you!
1 day ago
Delric Ellington and Kael Ellington talk about a stray bullet that entered their Salt Lake City hom...
Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

Amid increase in youth shooting deaths, Utah pediatricians push for tougher gun laws

The number of Utah children and teens killed by gunfire reached a record high in 2020, in part because of a spike in homicides. Two Utah pediatricians are calling on the state to pass what they see as solutions to the troubling trend.
4 days ago
Albee Bostrom and Sissy McDade turned their love of thrift store shopping into a business: Thrift H...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Second-hand shopping, selling surge as Utahns try to beat rising prices

Data shared with the KSL investigators shows Utahns are trying to bring in more money and reduce spending as they try to bust inflation.
4 days ago
Bry Hansen visits his son's grave in South Jordan. (Tanner Siegworth/KSL TV)...
Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

The number of Utah kids and teens dying by gunfire hit a record high in 2020

The state hit a devastating milestone in 2020, recording the highest-ever number of shooting deaths among Utahns 18 and younger.
4 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: What can you do if you pay someone to do work but they disappear with your money?

Imagine paying a deposit only to have them take your money and ghost you.
6 days ago
Photo illustration (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Your credit card can up your interest rate without telling you

If your credit card company raises your interest rate even just a little bit, it could have a significant impact on how long it takes you to get out of debt. A relatively new law means your credit card company can do just that and they do not even have to give you the heads up.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Utah couple gets hit with sky-high surprise air ambulance bill