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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Ambulance

Ambulance Cost


How Much Does an Ambulance Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: $15-$100 Copayhigh costWithout Health Insurance: $0-$1,200+
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  Typical costs:
  • Ambulance service typically is covered by health insurance when medically necessary. For example, BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama[1] offers coverage for medically necessary ambulance transport, to the nearest facility that can treat the patient, on many policies. For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for ambulance service typically consist of a copay of $15 to $100 or more or coinsurance of 10% to 50%. Some ambulance service providers will "balance bill" -- bill the patient for the remainder of the bill above what the insurance company pays, if they don't have a contract with that insurance company; some states have outlawed this practice. According to Woodburn Ambulance Service in Woodburn, OR, their patients with commercial insurance pay an average of $432 out of pocket.
  • For patients without health insurance, ambulance service cost typically depends on location, whether the trip is for an emergency or scheduled transport, how many miles the patient travels and whether basic life support or advanced life support is needed. The cost can be nothing out-of-pocket in cities where services are covered by taxes, but usually ranges from less than $400 to $1,200 or more plus mileage. For example, in Lima, OH, taxes pay for any ambulance services not covered by insurance, so residents do not receive a bill. The city of LeMars, IA, charges $375 for non-emergency basic life support service up to $600 for emergency service with advanced life support. The city of Urbana, OH, charges $650. The city of Nichols Hills, OK[2] , offers a membership plan for $2.50 per month for ambulance rides at no out-of-pocket cost, but non-members pay $1,100 plus $9 per mile for ambulance service. Woodburn Ambulance Service in Woodburn, OR, offers a membership plan, but non-members pay $1,220 plus $20 per mile per trip.
What should be included:
  • In an emergency, the ambulance provider that services the location typically will respond immediately to a call. The dispatcher will determine if only emergency medical technicians are needed, for basic life support, or if paramedics are needed, for advanced life support.
  • The ambulance crew will assess the patient's medical condition and check vital signs such as pulse, blood pressure and respiratory rate, and will determine if transport to a nearby hospital emergency room is needed. If so, the crew will provide needed care during the ambulance ride. Basic life support care, typically for non-life-threatening emergencies, includes minor treatment, continued monitoring, and possibly administration of oxygen. Advanced life support care, for life-threatening emergencies, also can include CPR, administration of medication, breathing tube insertion and other needed treatments.
Additional costs:
  • Medical supplies -- for example, sterile gloves, needles, IV supplies, catheters, and saline -- used during the trip can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the final bill. For example, providers in Los Angeles County[3] can charge $24.75 for an oxygen mask, as well as for bandages, dressings ice packs; they can charge $45.25 for a burn kit or obstetrical kit; and can charge $80.25 for an infusion pump or pulse oximeter.
  • If a critical care nurse or respiratory therapist is required during an ambulance ride, it can add hundreds of dollars to the cost.
Discounts:
  • Some providers will negotiate a discount of up to 20% or more for uninsured patients who pay cash or pay within a certain timeframe. For example, Lincoln County Ambulance Service[4] in Kansas offers a 20% discount for payment within 30 days and a 10% discount to uninsured patients. And Woodburn Ambulance Service in Oregon offers a 10% discount for payment made within 30 days of service.
Shopping for an ambulance:
  • The American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation[5] offers a guide to when to call an ambulance in an emergency. In a 9-1-1 emergency, the ambulance provider that services that location will respond; in some locations, there is more than one provider and it might be possible to request a certain provider.
  • For a scheduled transport, a hospital or physician should be able to provide a referral for an ambulance service. Or, the American Ambulance Association[6] offers a provider directory by state and city.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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outrages ambulance charge
Amount: $1,560.00
Posted by: arnold kelly in oklahoma city, OK.Posted: August 12th, 2015 06:08PM
Ambulance Provider: E M S ADistance: 0.4 miles
real sick no life support required
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High Cost of ambulance Transportation
Amount: $8,000.00
Posted by: Katzx2 in La Grange, IL.Posted: June 26th, 2015 09:06AM
Ambulance Provider: N/ADistance: 10 miles
To respond to the Virginia Beach person voicing that those that are complaining of Ambulance fees are a "bunch of whiners;" In the State of Illinois an ambulance fee ranges from $7,000.00 to 10,000.00, I think we have a right to be concerned as to the high cost, not that I am not appreciative of the EMT themselves but the cost for an ambulance is ridiculous! Yes, Insurance will cover some cost but did you know that for a Dialysis patient that requires (per physician) an ambulance as a Medcar would not be appropriate, that person pays the cost of 5,000.00 to 7,000.00, that the Insurance and Medicare will not pay. So now, Virginia Beach, these people have every right to be concerned and are not "whiners" especially if they can not afford that exorbitant amount. Tell what is their alternative, will you pay for it for them?
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Way to expensive
Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: Ridiculous ambulance cost in South plainfield, NJ.Posted: June 16th, 2015 08:06PM
Ambulance Provider: JFK hospitalDistance: 10 miles
Ride to RWJ hospital in New Brunswick, they just check blood presure during ride, after insurance I still owe $750, ambulance should tell you around how much is going to cost, if I knew this was that expensive i could have someone else to drive me to the hospital
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Non-transport service
Amount: $1,500.00
Posted by: Anita A. in Houston, TX.Posted: June 9th, 2015 11:06AM
Ambulance Provider: Harris County Emergency CorpsDistance: 0
My father never woke from a nap and i found him deceased. I called 911 and the EMTs responded and one touched his wrist and said, "Yup, he's dead." They filled out paperwork for 5 minutes and left. The bill for that was $1,500. No equipment or services rendered. All that was used was gas and gloves. This is a county EMS that collects my tax money. Seems like that should count for something.
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Two Co pays after Anthem Insurance
Amount: $400.00
Posted by: Sarah Munn in South Jorden, UT.Posted: June 2nd, 2015 07:06AM
Ambulance Provider: Park City-Salt Lake, UtDistance: 5 and 15 miles
Two trips.... to Park City Medical.... 5 to 10 milees
2nd Trips.. Park City Medical to Intermountain Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT. 15 miles
Two invoices.. $998.62 & $1773.76-- Insurance covered all except Two $200.00 Co Pays each Trip.
I assume Medicaid does not cover any of the $400 total Copays?
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high cost
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: jar in cape coral, FL.Posted: June 1st, 2015 08:06PM
Ambulance Provider: lee coDistance: 1/3 mile
i was lucky my ins covered it, but i serviced most of the nurcing homes around the county and so often the fire dept and ambulance shows up the fd might be needed for accidents and some home calls but its a waste to send a fire truck to a dr office or nursing home 1 in a thousand might nee heavy person lifting help. the other thin all municipalities had fire and ambulance costs in the tax base but since then the tax is still charged as is the patient is charged in addition
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Cost of Waikiki Ambulance
Amount: $1,162.00
Posted by: B Chin in Honolulu, HI.Posted: May 27th, 2015 03:05PM
Ambulance Provider: State of Hawaii EMS ServicesDistance: 8 miles
No treatment was given on ambulance, except for connecting heart monitor and blood oxygen monitor on finger.
Fortunately, it was a false alarm heart attack.
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bunch of whiners
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: EMS is not free in virginia beach, VA.Posted: May 18th, 2015 02:05PM
Ambulance Provider: noneDistance:
I cannot believe the amount of people that are complaining about having to pay for an ambulance ride? Do you complain when you take a taxi and have to pay the fare? Do you complain when you go to your MD and have to pay a copay? Why wouldn't you have to pay for an ambulance ride? Isn't it the same thing as a taxi with medical care? Granted to the person that received horrible customer service, I would complain to that agency. But the moron that called an ambulance because they had a stubbed toe and did not want to wait....ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You are probably the same person that complained because the person in cardiac arrest was treated before you! Contrary to what you may think, an ambulance is not a taxi service. Like someone else mentioned, these are trained professionals that have the ability to administer life saving (or if they were not trained professionals life ending) drugs. I understand that you may think the costs are high. Are the costs in the emergency room high as well
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Am I being gouged?
Amount: $2,454.76
Posted by: Bob Jensen in Danbury, WI.Posted: April 22nd, 2015 11:04AM
Ambulance Provider: North MemorialDistance: 30
They are charging me $27.55/mile and $1628.25 base charge. Gave me oxygen and started IV. Bandaged wounds
Was March 26, 2015
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Free and fast ambulance with top-equipment
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Lennart-Krantz in Copenhagen, KS.Posted: April 12th, 2015 05:04PM
Ambulance Provider: Danish-StateDistance: 120-kilometers or 75-miles
My nephew 20-years-old, strong, non-smoker got a legionella-type Pneumonia from infected shower-bath in a cheap hotel. Ambulance from Copenhagen , Denmark to Lung-Hospital in Odense , Denmark , Distance: 120-km.
Oxygen-mask in ambulance. My worried sister passenger in ambulance. For an Endoscopic lung-operation and five days stay in hospital + the ambulance my sister paid NOTHING because she already paid via adequate Danish-taxes. Poor american patients.
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The Costs You Don't See
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Johnobody in Columbus, OH.Posted: April 12th, 2015 01:04PM
Ambulance Provider: All of ThemDistance: 1 Mile
By the time an ambulance shows up to transport a patient, even in a non emergency capacity, a couple of hundred thousand dollars have been spent on the vehicle. It MUST be 100% maintained (better than the best mechanic's car). The crew went through training that they paid for themselves and they get paid like workers at McDonald's. The crew must be ready 24 hours a day, just for the run on which they transport you. Emergency or not, the EMT's must be ready to run. When they have a run, many times, the patient urinates, defecates or vomits in the truck. Until the truck is clean, it's not legal to put it back in service. The trip "Without Medical Care" is not without medical care. The EMT is monitoring the patient. He or she is trained and prepared to intervene if the patient's condition goes downhill. When someone's relative dies, someone is going to get blamed. Insurance is outrageous. Operating costs are off the charts.
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Robbery in broad daylight
Amount: $1,388.00
Posted by: Billious in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: March 31st, 2015 08:03AM
Ambulance Provider: Los Angeles Fire DepartmentDistance: .3 mile
My daughter passed out in her UCLA dorm room, having a bad flu and dehydration. Her friends called 911.
To drive her 3/10 of a mile, with no emergency medicine or any special treatment required, they sent a bill for $1388.75.
The invoice claims it was a full mile, which is still ridiculous.
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Ridiculous $105 a mile for an unwanted taxi ride
Amount: $915.00
Posted by: Mike S. in Moline Il in Moline, IL.Posted: March 29th, 2015 06:03AM
Ambulance Provider: Advanced Medical Transport of central ilDistance: 3.3 miles
I drove from the Convenient Care facility to the emergency room on my own. The hospital drugged me up(at this point I needed it) and arranged transportation to another hospital 3.3 miles away. I didn't want the ride, knew I couldn't drive, but I had friends on the way. They said no, and that the ambulance was ready to go...I didn't argue. I received the first bill about the same I received a letter from my insurance company requesting more info from the ambulance company, so I did nothing. The next month received the second bill, and the phone call threatening collections. Called my BCBS and then called back to the ambulance company within 1/2 hour, stating my insurance company would have a determination within 7-10 business days. The ambulance company's response was..."I don't care"(exact words)..and they would proceed with collections...there should be a law.
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Cost of Medivac Helicopter - New Mexico
Amount: $34,087.00
Posted by: Recovering in Wisconsin in Near Sante Fe, NM.Posted: March 2nd, 2015 01:03PM
Ambulance Provider: Tristate CareflightDistance: 58 miles
Out of state motorcycle accident. Was flown to nearest trauma center because "we do that for all motorcycle accidents" says EMT. Sheriff said I was the 7th one in a week. After getting checked out, I walked out of trauma center within two hours and a prescription for (basically) aspirin.
Cost: $17,325 base, plus $289/mile. My take is base is a little high, but "per mile" add is triple what it should be. Being "out of network", insurance only paid half.
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overcharging ambulance bill
Amount: $2,185.00
Posted by: Victim needs help in Plainsboro, NJ.Posted: February 21st, 2015 03:02PM
Ambulance Provider: Roert Wood Johnson Ambulance ServiceDistance: 5 miles
Received an ambulance bill for $2,185.00. For a 5 mile ride and taking blood pressure only, that's the amount they billed me. My insurance said the recommended amount is
$770.21. Even though my insurance already paid $1,185.00 the ambulance company is
Still after me for the remaining balance. The amount they charged is way too unreasonable, does anyone know how to fight it or any organization that can help me with? I'm at the bottom of this, any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated!!
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non emergent transport from freestanding ER to hospital
Amount: $788.28
Posted by: KarenRN in Rockwall, TX.Posted: January 31st, 2015 08:01PM
Ambulance Provider: Rockwall County EMSDistance: 5 miles
I developed cellulitis - went to a free standing ER on a Sunday to avoid waiting another day for antibiotics. They started IV and decided I needed to be sent to their affiliated hospital. I wanted to drive but wasn't allowed. After arranging for my daughter to come get my car, they put me in a stripped down ambulance on a stretcher and delivered me to my hospital room. I was fine- no fever, no problem other than a localized infection that needed IV antibiotics. From my perspective, there is fraud going on-- a business partnership that is profiting on a patient that steps into their game. Had I thought I would be charged for a service that should be included in the ER cost combined with a hospital stay, I could have easily driven straight to the hospital.I was trying to keep it simple. I believe this one is going to get disputed.
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No compassion from EMT!
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: kindness1st in kihei, HI.Posted: January 28th, 2015 05:01AM
Ambulance Provider: State of HIDistance: 14
I was hit by a car and then the driver ran over my hand. This resulted in broken wrist on one hand and broken fingers on the other hand. Incredibly painful. The EMT tried to talk me out of using the ambulance for the 15 mile ride to Hospital during a rainstorm.She said my husband should drive just drive me! Then she kept on about the elderly people in the ER who need care more than me! I guess broken bones in BOTH upper extremities isn't bad enough injuries to ambulance transport to hospital. It took her multiple pokes to administer medication before we started moving. That wouldn't have bothered me if I didn't have to listen to her nasty unprofessional comments much if the ride. I'm not complaining about the cost (the person who caused my injuries WILL be paying) I am very unhappy with the bad attitude of EMT! I'm sure if her mother or daughter needed similar help, she would have shown much more compassion and professionalism.if the cost went by kindness she would send me a check!
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Superior Ambulance - Price Gougers
Amount: $7,500.00
Posted by: Scammed by Superior in Libertyville, IL.Posted: December 22nd, 2014 09:12PM
Ambulance Provider: SuperiorDistance: 39 miles
Charged roughly $7500 to transfer from one hospital to another for a non-emergency. The hospital told us it was mandatory we take an ambulance. Insurance covered only $700 b/c Superior is out of network (I called...they do not participate in ANY networks). Left with an out of pocket bill for $6800 for a glorified taxi service. I don't know what to do. BCBS was no help whatsoever.
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Outrageous
Amount: $1,837.00
Posted by: numb and outraged in , AL.Posted: December 7th, 2014 05:12PM
Ambulance Provider: shephardDistance: 4.65
Called poison control center regarding being poisoned. They could not/ did not bother answering my question. They just forwarded me to 911. Since 911 has your info from phone the came. I did not ask them to come. They show up all 3-4 vehicles.
I am behind metal security gate standing upright talking to them. I say no I don't want to go with you.
They insist the have to "check me out". I go to bedroom and lock the door. The owner of the house is threatened, if you do not open this door we will break it down. So he opens it and door to bedroom. Two paramedics drag me out of house. I tell them I do not want to go, I want to sleep.
In ambulance on gurney I try to get up and leave. They hold me down and strap me down.
At hospital they have someone observe me. I ask to leave. They bring hospital gown and want me to change saying they are admitting me. I do not have insurance.
When the guy is not looking I walk out in bare feet and no cash and walk the 4.65 miles back home.
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The Reality Of Ambulance Cost Of Services
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: A Volunteer in Tulsa Area, OK.Posted: December 4th, 2014 05:12AM
Ambulance Provider: Distance: 0
I can sincerely appreciate the appearance of outlandish costs for ambulance services in our country. However, as a volunteer helping to manage a non-profit ambulance service, I would offer an explanation. On average, ambulance services recover only a small portion of their billings, about 60% but can go as low as 40% depending on the area. In short, those that do pay are also paying for those that do not. Even with this consideration, most may feel the costs too high. I would ask them to appreciate the costs of providing highly trained personnel, available within minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Very high rates with "Superior"
Amount: $7,550.00
Posted by: TLA in Aurora, IL.Posted: November 21st, 2014 10:11AM
Ambulance Provider: Superior Air Ground Amb. ServiceDistance: 41 miles
My kid had to be transferred from one hospital to another and Superior Ambulance from Aurora to Park Ridge, IL charged $7550. Blue Cross paid $4730 (the maximum they would pay) and left me with $2820. I had no choice and no information ahead of time so I feel gouged. They can charge whatever they want and we are stuck.
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ambulance ride
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: justjam in Death Valley, CA.Posted: November 8th, 2014 03:11PM
Ambulance Provider: United States GovernmentDistance: 58 miles
I used the national park ambulance service. I have Blue Cross/shield they paid approx 600.00 I have a co pay of 250.00 which left a balance of about 1200.00. I asked why they won't accept what the insurance company says the ride is worth. I was told they will not negotiate with insurance companies, which seems very strange since the government themselves via the affordable health care act forces people to take insurance. but the government won't accept the insurance companies authorized fees.
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Home visit - diabetic
Amount: $2,300.00
Posted by: EJ7 in Manahawkin, NJ.Posted: November 7th, 2014 02:11PM
Ambulance Provider: MonroeDistance: 0
My sugar dropped in the middle of the night, our local volunteer ambulance was called, they called Monroe. Gave me an IV of sugar (a Gatorade would have the same effect), refused to go to hospital (they charge $16 a mile) and bill sent to me for $2300. I work, but insurance takes effect in 2 months.
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Ambulance Profitering
Amount: $837.50
Posted by: rickinvt in Claremont, VT.Posted: November 2nd, 2014 09:11AM
Ambulance Provider: Golden Cross Ambulance Inc.Distance: 41 miles
Non emergency transport from Springfield, Vt ER to Lebanon NH ER. 41 miles, NO lights/siren/supplies/EMT/movie/meal/ care....just a ride
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Don't I pay taxes for emergency services?
Amount: $531.50
Posted by: Chay in St. Charles, IL.Posted: October 29th, 2014 04:10PM
Ambulance Provider: Fox River& Countryside FireDistance: 3.5 Miles
I had a toe injury and could not drive because of it. My husband could have taken me but I would have had to wait. I could have and should have it I knew that a 3.5 mile lift to the hospital would cost me over $500! I have insurance but they denied it and put the amount towards my deductible! We pay almost $190 a year to Fox River& Countryside Fire and this is the only time we have ever used them so maybe they owe us?
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outrageous cost for ambulance
Amount: $1,459.00
Posted by: Veteran in WA state in Puyallup, WA.Posted: October 26th, 2014 09:10AM
Ambulance Provider: Rural/MetroDistance: 5 miles
I broke my ankle and disclocated it in Puyallup, WA-was not at home and was too painful to move. Dialed 911 and had no idea the rip off of private ambulances. My past experiences (w/relatives needing an ambulance-fire dept responded and there was no charge. Expected a bill of maybe $500-was appalled when I got this bill and contacted the VA to see if they would cover any as I am a veteran and get my health care at the VA. I called the company and asked them to send there. I later got an adjusted bill w/new total of $1111.50-still a rip off. I am filing a complaint w/the Attorney General's office and contacting Pierce County to express my displeasure-maybe if they get a ton of complaints, it may have results. Are they no price controls on any medical costs in this country? Are they allowed to charge whatever they want? this company is not even a local company and appears to be based in Texas. I am delaying paying this bill until I contact agencies w/my complaints.
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A 9-miles ride in ambulance with no medical attention cost 1200 in WA
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: TomN in Edmond, WA, WA.Posted: August 20th, 2014 03:08PM
Ambulance Provider: AMRDistance: 9 miles
This is legal rip-off. In my case, just a 9 miles ride from 1 hospital to the other without any medical attention cost me 1200 out of pocket. How can states attorneys and legislators let this happen everywhere. How much greed is enough ? No wonder medical bills and insurance rates keep going up dramatically everyday.
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Ridiculous Ambulance OverCharges
Amount: $2,414.43
Posted by: Dave L. in Omaha, NE in San Francisco, CA.Posted: July 9th, 2014 12:07PM
Ambulance Provider: American Medical ResponseDistance: 3 Miles
It appears that Ambulance Services just charge whatever they want, and people have to pay, whether justified or not. I was in the San Francisco Airport, waiting for a flight, and I started to feel overheated. Medical staff at the Airport determined that I was NOT having a heart attack, but wanted to send me to a nearby Hospital to get checked out. EMT in the ambulance determined that the problem was low glucose, so he gave me a sport drink, which had glucose levels back to normal by the time I reached the hospital. The ER ran several tests, including an EKG, and gave me something to eat. The ER Charge was only about $700. Ambulance - $2,400. Seems outrageous to me, for a 10 minute ride! The cab ride back to the Airport was only $15.
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Bay Flight Air Ambulance
Amount: $43,000.00
Posted by: Shirl34205 in Bradenton, FL.Posted: June 17th, 2014 08:06PM
Ambulance Provider: Bay FlightDistance: 150 miles / 1 hr heli flight
I absolutely agree that my son could not have been taken by ambulance due to the nature of his injury but defiantly feel the cost of $43,000 is way expensive. I could have hired a private plane, private doctor and nurse for half of this cost! He was brought back by ambulance three weeks later can't wait to get that bill and compare. I can't put a price on my sons life but they can't really think people can pay that amount.
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Cost of Ambulance in Dickenson County Virginia
Amount: $8,000.00
Posted by: just making it. in Clintwood, VA.Posted: May 18th, 2014 04:05PM
Ambulance Provider: Distance: 14 miles
Mom fell and Dad could not get her up. Called ambulance and they took her to the hospital. No special feat. Insurance and Medicare refuse to pay any amount as of May.
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External Resources:
  1.  /www.bcbsal.org/providers/helpful/Ambulance%20Coverage%20Policy.cfm
  2.  www.nicholshills.net/SectionIndex.asp?SectionID=85
  3.  fire.ci.glendale.ca.us/pdf/AmbulanceRates070110.pdf
  4.  www.lincolncoks.com/Ambulance/GeneralInformation/PatientBilling/FinancialAssistanceProg...
  5.  www.EmergencyCareforYou.org/EmergencyManual/IsItAnEmergency/Default.aspx?id=130
  6.  www.the-aaa.org/DIRECTORY/memberlocator.asp
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