published Monday, December 9th, 2013

Kimball to host resident sign-up drive for air ambulance coverage

KIMBALL, Tenn. — City administrators are preparing to host Kimball's first health fair, which will include a sign-up drive for extended air ambulance coverage through the AirMedCare Network.

The health fair is scheduled tentatively for Jan. 11 from 12 to 2 p.m. (CST) in the Kimball City Hall annex building.

"Life Force will bring over their chopper and land next door, weather-permitting," Mayor David Jackson said. "It will also be an opportunity for residents to sign up for the extended coverage."

The Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously in November to pay $9,750 per year for city-wide membership in the network, which includes Chattanooga's Life Force helicopter service.

Officials said the membership covers whatever portion of the costs that insurance doesn't pay, and in Marion County, that bill could total more than $25,000.

Kimball residents won't have to pay those costs if they are airlifted to a hospital from anywhere inside the Marion County lines.

Now that the contract has been finalized, city residents can sign up as individual households for coverage throughout the 28-state AirMedCare Network at a reduced rate of $35 per year.

Jimmy Morris, an AirMedCare representative, said last month that the $35 annual fee will cover an entire Kimball household anywhere in the network, regardless of insurance coverage.

"If [a Kimball resident] is in Georgia going to Chattanooga and is in a wreck and flown to Erlanger, they will cover it," Jackson said. "Right now, it wouldn't."

More details about the health fair will be available at the board's next meeting on Jan. 3.

"I think this is a good thing for our citizens," Jackson said. "I hope they never have to use it, but it's there if we need it."

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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