According to a Provincial Government report issued today, “About 900 Saskatchewan residents each year, on average, use air ambulance services. About 725 air ambulance trips per year are paid for by non-residents and third-party insurers.”
Well, effective July 1, 2016, fees for using the air ambulance service will increase by 10% for Saskatchewan residents and by $1.00 per mile for third-party insurers and out-of-province residents, followed by additional 10% increases per year for the next two years.
As a result, the fee for residents will increase from $350 to $385 effective July 1, 2016; to $424 effective April 1, 2017; and to $465 effective April 1, 2018. The per-mile fee for non-residents and third-party insurers will increase from $5.29 to $6.29 effective July 1, 2016; to $6.92 effective April 1, 2017; and to $7.60 effective April 1, 2018.
This is the first adjustment for inflationary pressure in over 15 years. While ambulance services (ground and air) are not an insured service under the Canada Health Act, the Ministry of Health provides funding for a significant portion of the costs for both fixed-wing and rotary-wing (STARS) air ambulance services. After the implementation of this three-year increase, Air Ambulance fees will continue to make up only about 10% of the total cost to the province.