Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Images/Getty Images

Air ambulances' use declined between 2008 and 2017 among people with employer coverage, but the average price of a trip more than doubled, according to new data from the Health Care Cost Institute, which is funded by insurers.

Why it matters: Air ambulances are a frequent source of surprise medical bills, and often aren't covered by private insurance. These bills can be for eye-popping amounts.

Details: There are 2 types of air ambulances, airplanes and helicopters. The use of helicopter ambulances declined by 14.3%, while the use of airplanes stayed about the same.

  • The average price of a helicopter ride increased from $11,414 in 2008 to $27,894 in 2017, or 144%. The price of a plane ride rose from from $15,684 to $41,674, or 166%.
  • However, prices varied widely.

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," it began lashing Alabama late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

38 mins ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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