Members of Morehead’s local medical flight transport group, PHI Air Medical, have presented a proposal to both Morehead City Council and Rowan County Fiscal Court in the last month about a membership program that would include all residents of Rowan County at no charge to the citizen.
On Monday night during Council’s regularly scheduled meeting, PHI leadership was on-hand and detailed a proposal that would cover any co-pays or deductibles for citizens that required air transport through their service.
Typically, the membership would cost $50 a year for those who are insured.
The insurance would cover the insured in any accident requiring flight transport by PHI in Rowan and surrounding counties.
The group said the membership cost would be at about $5 a household, meaning it would take just more than $40,000 to cover the entire county.
PHI said that cost could be split evenly between the county and city, which would run Fiscal Court about $30,000 yearly for county residents and City Council about $11,000 for city residents.
Council said it was a proposal they would consider and revisit during November’s meeting and Fiscal Court has not moved forward on the idea yet, either.
One thing that was a concern for Magistrate Darrell Glover was that if someone requires an emergency flight, there is no guarantee that PHI will be used.
Danny Blevins, EMS director, said since PHI is local and based at the Morehead-Rowan County Clyde A. Thomas Regional Airport, they are the first contact 911 makes when flight may be required.
Blevins said if PHI is on another call, however, Air Methods, Air Evac, or even other services may be required to get the patient to a necessary destination. The insurance would not cover those flights.
“When you are needing to fly someone out you are not in position to hold until a particular group becomes available,” Blevins said. “It’s not in the best interest of the patient because they are in critical condition and need whatever is available.”
The EMS director did state that since PHI is the local group, the first to contact, and has already done so much for the community as far as emergency response, he believes the group should be supported in any and all ways possible.
Currently, the county is contracted with Medical Air Services Association (MASA) for medical transport for all full-time county employees and their families. The cost is $7,425 for all full-time employees but has a much wider range of coverage.
The insurance covers not only flights to and from anywhere, but ground transports from anywhere as well.
Both government entities are expected to revisit the proposal after reviewing additional information.
In other business, Council approved:
• Second reading of an ordinance for a No Parking Zone on Fleming Avenue.
• Second reading of an ordinance setting the city’s tax rate for real property at 29.7 cents (28.1 previously) per $100 of assessed value. Personal property is fixed at 46.92 cents (38.34 previously) per $100. Both rates were set by the compensating rate provided by the state.
• Second reading of an ordinance setting the 2019 motor vehicle and watercraft tax rate at $0.22 per $100 of assessed valuation (unchanged).
• First reading of an ordinance stablishing a zone map amendment from P-1 Public Zone to B-2 Highway Business Zone for the properties located at 200 and 350 Viking Drive.
• Municipal order appointing Gertrude Murphy, Phillip Tackett, and Barbara Greenhill to the Morehead Housing Authority.
• Municipal order reappointing Paul Goodpaster to the Morehead-Rowan County Industrial Development Authority.
• Four resolutions relating to the Morehead Inspiration Center.
Brad Stacy can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.