An Airlift Northwest Lear Jet waits for a medevac call at Juneau’s airport.

An Airlift Northwest Lear Jet waits for a medevac call at Juneau’s airport.

Legislation allowing a popular air-ambulance service’s membership program to continue serving Alaskans passed the state Senate today.

Seattle-based Airlift Northwest has offered its AirCare program since 2008. It covers the difference between what medevac flights cost and the amount insurance covers. Those flights can run $100,000 or more, so deductibles or co-pays can be large.

Alaska officials last year decided the program did not meet state standards. It allowed existing AirCare subscribers to keep their memberships until they ran out. But new memberships and renewals were prohibited.

Sitka Republican Senator Bert Stedman sponsored the bill that passed unopposed today.

Senate Bill 159 does not name AirCare, but allows it and similar membership programs to operate in Alaska.

The measure now goes to the state House, where Juneau Republican Representative Cathy Munoz has authored a similar measure. House Bill 300 has had one hearing in its only committee of referral.

The AirCare program has about 3,200 members in Alaska. Most live in Southeast.

Recent headlines

  • A map of the favored proposed route to Katzehin. (Map courtesy Alaska DOT)

    Juneau Assembly votes 6-3 to support the road

    The Juneau Access Project envisions 50 more miles of road up Lynn Canal to a ferry terminal closer to the road system. It has divided the Juneau community for decades and faces significant opposition from other southeast cities including Haines and Skagway. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker pulled the plug on the $574 million project last month.
  • Vote postponed over Juneau’s controversial ‘camping ordinance’

    The Juneau Assembly heard more than 90 minutes of testimony from dozens of residents including merchants, social workers and homeless people themselves who all agreed on one thing: Juneau has a serious homeless problem. But speakers had radically different viewpoints.
  • Trump’s move on Keystone XL, Dakota Access outrages activists

    President Trump indicated that potential deals between the pipeline companies and the federal government would be renegotiated, with the goal of allowing construction to move forward.
  • Petersburg resident Jeff Meucci points to a lands map while Ed Wood looks on during a meeting on Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office timber sales. (Photo by Angela Denning/KFSK)

    Mental Health Trust backs off Southeast timber sales

    The Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office will not pursue timber sales at controversial sites in Petersburg and Ketchikan – at least for now.
X