While getting ready for church one day, Travis Yoakum experienced chest pain. His wife took him to the local hospital in his hometown of Rolla, MO, but doctors there determined that he needed more care than they could provide, so he was flown to St. Louis.
After the episode, Mr. Yoakum received a bill for almost $65,000. Although he had health insurance coverage through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the helicopter company that airlifted him to St. Louis was not considered an in-network provider, and, therefore, was not covered under Mr. Yoakum’s policy. His insurance company also argued that the airlift was not necessary, despite the fact that a doctor ordered the helicopter.
Mr. Yoakum and his wife were subsequently interviewed by a local news station and suggested that the bill was so astronomical, they would have to declare bankruptcy because they would never be able to pay for it. The news station reached out to Anthem, and the bill was paid for; according to the insurance company, it is now covering emergency airlifts in many states.