Bill S4052-2013

Relates to community based air ambulance subscription services

Relates to community based air ambulance subscription services.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • Jun 21, 2013: RECOMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 11, 2013: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1268
  • Jun 11, 2013: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Mar 6, 2013: REFERRED TO INSURANCE

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BILL NUMBER:S4052

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to community based air ambulance subscription services; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE: To provide community-based air ambulance services to offer subscription memberships to provide discounts or waivers of future air transport costs while providing a needed funding stream to philanthropic-based air ambulance providers.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Adds a new subsection (m) to article 1180 and adds a new section 1126 to the insurance law to create the community-based air ambulance subscription program.

JUSTIFICATION: New York's non-profit community-based air ambulance service providers provide critical emergency response and medical transport services that rely on philanthropic charitable donations to provide the financial means to operate. Embracing their community-based mission, not-for-profit air ambulance providers handle the community's on-scene emergency calls which include car accidents, skiing injuries, and industrial accidents. Not for profit air ambulance providers relieve the tax burden of this critical and costly community service.

It is important to note that when called, non-profit air ambulance service providers transport ALL patients, without any regard to or knowledge of a patient's ability to pay. Therefore, philanthropy provides the fundamental means of a non-profit air ambulance provider to fulfill its mission to the community. Philanthropy covers the transport costs for an individual that does not have any insurance or has reduced insurance reimbursements from public insurance programs (such as Medicare and Medicaid). This bill supports the philanthropy-based mission of non-profit air emergency medical transport providers who are at constant exposure of minimal or no payment.

The 60 minutes from accident to patient delivery to hospital care make air ambulance services, particularity in rural areas of our state, a critical part of our State's emergency response system. The rapid transport and quality of care received in the air has saved thousands of lives and improved recovery outcomes for thousands more. This legislation would provide an additional funding stream to support these essential services at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

This bill would also ensure an air ambulance subscription program that focuses solely on community needs. The community already benefits from less expensive non-profit air ambulance services because profit margins need not be built into their overall operating costs. By supporting non-profit community-based providers, the bill ensures member subscription dues are reinvested into the community's needs, not into dividends for profit-seeking shareholders.

Emergency and inter-facility air transportation is critical, yet the cost many times is not covered by one's insurance. This legislation is the proverbial "win-win": it provides a funding mechanism without cost to the taxpayer to support critical air ambulance services to the community while providing subscription members the ability to mitigate financial exposure from costs not covered by insurance. The subscription program created by this bill does not in any way guarantee air ambulance service, instead it mitigates financial exposure of the member after the fact should air ambulance service be used.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State or Local Governments.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day, with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 4052 A. 5695 2013-2014 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y March 6, 2013 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. BRINDISI -- read once and referred to the Committee on Insurance AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to community based air ambulance subscription services; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature finds New York's non- profit community based air ambulance service providers provide rapid emergency response and medical transport services saving dozens of lives annually, particularly in remote areas of the state. Not-for-profit community based ambulance service providers rely on philanthropic chari- table donations for the financial means to provide such vital services to the people of the state. In doing so, not-for-profit air ambulance providers relieve the taxpayers of the burden of this critical and cost- ly yet vital community service. Therefore, the legislature finds it is in the state's interest to support an air ambulance subscription program that assists the philan- thropic mission of not-for-profit community based air ambulance provid- ers. Currently, New York state's communities already benefit from less expensive non-profit air ambulance services because profit margins need not be built into their overall operating costs. By supporting not-for- profit community based providers, this legislation intends to ensure air ambulance subscription member dues are reinvested into servicing the community, not into dividends for profit-seeking shareholders. S 2. Subsection (k) of section 1108 of the insurance law, as added by chapter 246 of the laws of 2012, is renumbered subsection (l) and a new subsection (m) is added to read as follows:
(M) A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE THAT HOLDS A VALID AMBU- LANCE SERVICE OPERATING CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND FIVE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND THAT COMPLIES WITH SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX OF THIS ARTICLE. S 3. Section 1124 of the insurance law, as added by chapter 246 of the laws of 2012, is renumbered section 1125 and a new section 1126 is added to read as follows: S 1126. COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIF- ICATE. (A) A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE THAT HOLDS A VALID AMBULANCE SERVICE OPERATING CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND FIVE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND A VALID AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION MAY ENTER INTO A SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT WITH A PERSON OR OTHER ENTITY IN THIS STATE UNDER WHICH THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE AGREES TO DISCOUNT OR WAIVE ANY PART OF ITS FEES FOR SERVICE IN THE EVENT THAT THE COMMUNI- TY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE TRANSPORTS A PERSON BY AIRCRAFT TO, FROM OR BETWEEN GENERAL HOSPITALS OR OTHER HEALTH CARE FACILITIES. (B) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY ISSUE A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE TO ANY ENTITY THAT IS TRUSTWORTHY TO ACT IN SUCH CAPACITY AND THAT HAS COMPLIED WITH THE PREREQUISITES HEREIN PRESCRIBED. THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE MUST HOLD A VALID AMBULANCE SERVICE OPERATING CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND FIVE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW THAT AUTHORIZES THE AMBULANCE SERVICE TO PROVIDE SERVICES BY AIRCRAFT. THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE MUST BE A REGISTERED NOT-FOR- PROFIT CORPORATION PROVIDING SERVICES IN NEW YORK STATE. THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE MUST ALSO OBTAIN, AND MAINTAIN THROUGHOUT THE TERM OF ITS COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE, A SURETY BOND ISSUED BY AN AUTHORIZED INSURER AND PAYABLE TO COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIBERS TO REFUND UNEARNED SUBSCRIPTION FEES PAID TO THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE. (C) THE APPLICATION FOR A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE SHALL BE IN SUCH FORM OR FORMS, AND SHALL CONTAIN SUCH INFORMATION AS THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL PRESCRIBE. THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SHALL WITH THE SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION ALSO SUBMIT PROOF THAT IT HAS OBTAINED THE SURETY BOND REQUIRED IN SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION AND A COPY OF ITS AMBULANCE SERVICE OPERATING CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PURSU- ANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND FIVE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW. (D) AN AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE SHALL BE VALID FOR A TERM OF TWO YEARS TO RUN CONCURRENTLY WITH, AND TERMINATE ON THE SAME DATE AS, THE TERM OF THE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE'S OPERATING CERTIF- ICATE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOU- SAND FIVE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW. AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION FOR EVERY SUCH CERTIFICATE, AND FOR EVERY RENEWAL THEREOF, AN APPLICANT SHALL PAY TO THE SUPERINTENDENT THE SUM OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. (E) IF AN APPLICANT FILES AN APPLICATION FOR A RENEWAL CERTIFICATE WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF SUCH CERTIFICATE, THEN THE CERTIFICATE SOUGHT TO BE RENEWED SHALL CONTINUE IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT EITHER UNTIL THE ISSUANCE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE RENEWAL CERTIFICATE APPLIED FOR OR UNTIL FIVE DAYS AFTER THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL HAVE REFUSED TO ISSUE SUCH RENEWAL CERTIFICATE AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION. (F) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY REFUSE TO RENEW, REVOKE, OR SUSPEND A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE FOR A
PERIOD THE SUPERINTENDENT DETERMINES, IF AFTER NOTICE AND HEARING, THE SUPERINTENDENT DETERMINES THAT AN APPLICANT OR CERTIFICATE HOLDER HAS: (1) NOT OBTAINED OR MAINTAINED THE SURETY BOND REQUIRED BY SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION; OR (2) DEMONSTRATED UNTRUSTWORTHINESS, INCLUDING HAVING VIOLATED THIS SECTION. (G) THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH SHALL IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY THE SUPER- INTENDENT WHEN SUCH COMMISSIONER HAS REVOKED, SUSPENDED, LIMITED, OR ANNULLED AN AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE OPERATING CERTIFICATE. A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL TERMINATE BY OPERATION OF LAW UPON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REVOCATION, SUSPENSION, OR ANNULMENT OF THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE'S OPERATING CERTIFICATE BY THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH. (H) A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SHALL FILE ITS SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT FORMS WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT IN CONNECTION WITH ITS APPLICATION OR ANY RENEWAL APPLICATION FOR A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE. A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBU- LANCE SERVICE THAT AMENDS ITS SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT FORMS SHALL FILE THE REVISED FORMS WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT PRIOR TO USING THE FORMS IN THIS STATE, PROVIDED THAT WHERE THE AMENDMENTS TO THE FORMS ARE ONLY TECHNICAL OR NON-SUBSTANTIATIVE, THE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE MAY FILE THE REVISED FORMS AT OR BEFORE THE TIME IT RENEWS ITS COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIFICATE. (I) THE SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT FORMS SHALL: (1) EXPRESSLY STATE THAT THE SUBSCRIPTION IS NOT A GUARANTEE FOR THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL TREATMENT OR TRANSPORT; (2) LIST THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE MAY NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL TREATMENT OR TRANSPORT; AND (3) STATE THAT A SUBSCRIBER MAY FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE DEPARTMENT, AND INCLUDE THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE AND MAILING ADDRESS. (J) A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT MAY: (1) CONDITION A DISCOUNT OR WAIVER OF ANY PART OF THE FEES UPON THE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE RECEIVING AN ASSIGNMENT OF INSURANCE PAYMENTS, OR OTHER RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OR RECOVERY, FOR THE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES; (2) PROVIDE FOR A DISCOUNT OR WAIVER OF ANY PART OF THE FEES FOR AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE PROVIDED BY AN ENTITY AFFILIATED WITH THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE THAT IS DULY AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE THE AMBU- LANCE SERVICES IN THE JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE SERVICES ARE RENDERED; AND (3) COVER TWO OR MORE PERSONS, SUCH AS FAMILY MEMBERS, EMPLOYEES, OCCUPANTS OF A SPECIFIED PREMISES, OR ANOTHER GROUP OF PERSONS WITH A COMMON RELATIONSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, AN ENTITY IS AFFILIATED WITH A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE WHERE THE ENTITY AND THE COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE HAVE ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE RECIPROCAL AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES TO EACH OTHER'S SUBSCRIBERS. (K) A SUBSCRIBER'S INSURER, WITH RESPECT TO A HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY OR CONTRACT DELIVERED OR ISSUED FOR DELIVERY IN THIS STATE, SHALL NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION ANY DISCOUNT OR FEE WAIVER GIVEN TO THE SUBSCRIBER BY THE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE WHEN DETERMINING THE BENEFIT PAYABLE UNDER THE HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY OR CONTRACT FOR COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES. (L) THE SUPERINTENDENT SHALL NOTIFY THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH WHENEV- ER THE SUPERINTENDENT ISSUES, RENEWS, REFUSES TO RENEW, REVOKES OR
SUSPENDS A COMMUNITY BASED AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION CERTIF- ICATE. (M) THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY PROMULGATE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THIS SECTION. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law and shall expire and be deemed repealed July 1, 2018.

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