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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.
Related articles: Emergency Room Visit, Air Ambulance, Health Insurance

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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City of Long Beach, California Non-Medi-CAL Transport (=Taxpayer)
Amount: $2,066.00
Posted by: [email protected] in Long Beach, CA.Posted: June 5th, 2017 06:06PM
Ambulance Provider: City of Long BeachDistance: 1 mile
There is no charge for Medi-Cal users. Taxpaying citizens are charged thousands.
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helicopter ambulance
Amount: $27,000.00
Posted by: a user in turners corner, ga, GA.Posted: May 9th, 2017 04:05AM
Ambulance Provider: Distance: 27000 rotor miles
I was in a motorcycle wreck and had rib fractures and skin off my leg down to the bone , but never lost consciousness and told them I wanted to go to the hospital that was 20 miles down the road as I had doctors there I knew . they knocked me out with meds against my will and I woke up in a hospital in downtown Atlanta, and they were horrible and did nothing for me and sent me home .
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Outrageous Superior Bill, I Feel Violated
Amount: $6,720.00
Posted by: Next Time I'm Using Uber in West Bloomfield/Detroit, MI.Posted: April 19th, 2017 05:04PM
Ambulance Provider: Superior Ambulance of MIDistance: 23 miles. Hospital transfer
Transfer from Henry Ford West Bloomfield to Henry Ford Detroit. No lights/Siren. Insurance paid $795.20, remaining balance of $5,924.80. CPT code A0434: SCT Base Rate 2-Emergency = charged $5,500.00 I have copies of other billing statements from Superior with the same CPT code billed at $960.00. I honestly feel violated by this charge and attempt to steal my hard earned money. I drove myself to the hospital and had no input on being transferred or the method of transportation.
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You thank we are complaining too much
Amount: $38,067.00
Posted by: Dayne Hawkins in Round Rock to Temple, TX.Posted: March 3rd, 2017 04:03PM
Ambulance Provider: PHIDistance: About 28 miles
My wife had a brain aneurysm on 3/25/16 the Dr from Scott&White (who is also our insurance company) called a air ambulance to take her to the S&W in Temple because I was told time was most important. But what they didn't bother to find out is that she was going to have to wait 8 hours at the hospital in Temple before she could be operated on. No PHI is billing me $33,390 for a 28 mile trip. I do think that is a little much!
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Cost should be capped
Amount: $4,550.00
Posted by: dkoz in Crown Point, IN.Posted: February 13th, 2017 10:02AM
Ambulance Provider: Superior AmbulanceDistance: less than a mile
In August of 2014, my husband need to be transported to the helicopter pad at the hospital and we received a bill for $4,550 and when we questioned why so much no one could provide a valid answer. The helicopter pad is less than .25 miles from the ER. The company gave us 3 different answers on why it was so expensive. My husband was alert and he stated they just put him on a cot and transferred him, he was stable.
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WTH?
Amount: $1,275.00
Posted by: ShouldaStayedHome in West Hollywood, CA.Posted: January 28th, 2017 10:01PM
Ambulance Provider: Westmd dba McCormick AmbulanceDistance: .6 miles
Drank too much on New Years Eve. Taken to hospital half a mile away- unconscious so I had no opportunity to give consent. I was grateful in the beginning and willing to pay, but $1275 is too much for a short ride. I was given no treatment in ambulance or in hospital. I received no info about or from the ambulance until a month later. And they only want to give me one month to pay. They could at least break down the cost on the bill or give information on payment options. This just comes off cold and unreasonable.
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american ambulance response
Amount: $1,547.13
Posted by: Suzann in Vernon ,CT in vernon, CT.Posted: January 3rd, 2017 10:01PM
Ambulance Provider: ambulance serv of manchester, ctDistance: 2 miles and 15 miles
my insurance paid 1,392.42 then next transferred to Hartford, ct , we paid $100.00 plus more insurance paid 514.54. total 614.54. we learned that collection agency told us we must pay 827.00 November 10, 2016. We called them but they were verbal abusive and refused to accept proof of our insurance claims. Reason that we are hearing impairment. we refused to pay but we paid full 114.00on April 11, 2015. they did not tell us reason detail why.
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Cost of ambulance ride
Amount: $12,650.00
Posted by: David D. in Hermiston, OR.Posted: December 30th, 2016 03:12PM
Ambulance Provider: Hermiston AmbulanceDistance: 3.2 miles
I got out of my car to check on a tire, I thought was going flat from the noise I heard, was a large chunk of ice thumping against the tire and fenderwell, I knocked it loose from the fenderwell with my hammer from the trunk, and as I walked back around the car to place the hammer back in the trunk I caught the toe of my boot in a hole in the ice, and fell my body twisting to the right, and breaking both right lower leg bones in the process, the tibia in three places, and the fibula in one place. Excruciating pain, I could barely move, I tried to move back from the roadway I was lying in out beyond the car, but could only hunch up against the bumper the best I was able. I then called 911, and was taken to the hospital ER after about 10 minutes. The medic crew were awesome, the best I could have asked for, but then as I don't have insurance, haven't been at my job long enough, and my last insurance had dropped me, (Oregon Health plan), I received a bill for over $12,000.
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Eliminate High Costs Ground or Air ambulance Services Locacally and Worldwide.
Amount: $290.00
Posted by: UBEHL in Hammond, IN.Posted: December 8th, 2016 08:12AM
Ambulance Provider: UBEHLDistance: 1,000 miles
I often travel in the Caribbean and usually I purchased travel insurance to cover each trip. I came to realize that in the event of a medical emergency I must first pay the bill then apply for reimbursement. Most countries don't accept checks and credit cards may not be accessible. Hence, the likelihood of being stranded in a foreign land was enormous. Someone recommended UBEHL that offers an ambulance membership subscription, for ground or air ambulance services, which covers my family and me 24/7 and 365 days a year locally and worldwide. Zero deductibles, no co-pays, no Out-of-Pocket costs. The protection only costs $1 per day. At 57 years old, I have never used the services of an ambulance, but I am self-employed and cannot afford to have unexpected catastrophic expenses. Therefore, I am subscribed to this peace of mind that I carry with me everywhere I go.
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Over-priced 911 Transportation
Amount: $4,917.00
Posted by: 24liza in Republic, Wa., WA.Posted: November 2nd, 2016 07:11AM
Ambulance Provider: Ferry County Public Hospital DistrictDistance: 6 miles
My husband was having trouble breathing because of a bad cold/virus. He called 911 and was transported to the Ferry County Memorial Hospital,Republic, Wa. The EMT checked his vitals and transported him to the hospital.That's it. Hospital ran some tests, gave him an IV for dehydration -glucose/Sodium, and some horse-sized pills (that he could not swallow!) He was then released. He called Police to see if he could get a ride home, but they said no, they were too busy. There is NO taxi He walked 1/2 mile into town and a kind woman at the local grocery store drove him home. Bill is $4,917.00 with a "payment and adjustment " of $986.50
Emergency Medical Response- $4,749
Insurance payment $914.27
Republic Medical Center $168.00 (NO insurance payment)
Adjustment of $72.23
CURRENT patient Responsibility - $3,930.50
UNINSURED patients get 15% off bill if paid in full within 30 days. INSURED patients only get 5% reduction.
We pay $326 a yr in taxes for EMS and Hospital District.
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Excessive charges for ambulance service
Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: JIMR in Roswell, GA.Posted: October 15th, 2016 11:10AM
Ambulance Provider: Metro RuralDistance: 8 miles
Humana paid $0 due to out-of-network.
Prices almost double from those established in adjoining counties of metro Atlanta.
Rural Metro gave oxygen without asking nor medically necessary. Same true with placing a saline solution port. Oxygen and port installed within only a few blocks of hospital.
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Air ambulance
Amount: $59,999.00
Posted by: Steve Childress in Carlsbad, NM.Posted: September 18th, 2016 11:09PM
Ambulance Provider: Rocky Mountain HoldingsDistance: 152.00 miles
I had a heart attack in Carlsbad, NM. My cardiologist in Lubbock, TX knew it was a stent malfunction from earlier in the year. He ordered me flown to Lubbock, 152 miles as the crow flies. Get a bill for $60,000 dollars. $394.00 dollars a mile. I was in the air Force. I know that is a ridiculous amount to pay. I was asked maybe 3 times during the flight, how ya doing. The rest of the time, the crew was on laptops and smart phones texting. Told them I had spinal injuries and need a pillow. An hour of the most excruciating back pain, never mind the chest compressions from heart attack. We are a 1 horse town and you're screwed if you need service and don't have insurance. $400.00 a mile for a helicopter? Give me a break! The 2 EST's could have lost 250 lbs. between them and not missed it. Maybe the fuel consumption was high!
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Ambulance ride
Amount: $4,500.00
Posted by: Deb L. in Basin, WY.Posted: August 13th, 2016 09:08PM
Ambulance Provider: White Lines dba Atwood AmbulanceDistance: 66 miles
Was taken by ambulance to hospital 3 miles from home. That hospital called ambulance to transport me to another hospital within 30 minutes of arriving. Ambulance service charged for 2 callouts. They are not in the preferred provider network for my BCBS. I will have to pay the whole amount out of pocket.
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The real cost associated
Amount: $-1,400.00
Posted by: Do you want frys with that in Madison, WI.Posted: August 13th, 2016 05:08AM
For most, has this is rediculous pricing. Most met/meds make less than a McDonalds employee. You tip the pizza guy to bring it to your door, but carry 300 pound grandma down three flights of stairs, "that's your job". Do you realize, at least at our service, it takes $280.00 just to pull out of the station. Our insurance, per rig, is more per day than most people pay for one month. There are only three ambulance insurance companies in the USA. Then, when it's all done and said, medi-care refuses the trip. I can refuse to serve you in a restaraunt, but due to cobra, I can't refuse you the service. Now, add the fact of the frequent flier, 911 abusers we are lucky to be recovering .38 cents on the dollar. Top this off with the cost of the support staff, who answered the phone, who dispatched them, who maintained that rig? Starting to get the picture?
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Fair price
Amount: $34.04
Posted by: anon69 in Austin, TX.Posted: August 11th, 2016 09:08AM
Ambulance Provider: Austin Travis EMSDistance: 6.7
Total was 957.41. Cigna paid a good chunk of it. To keep it short. I dont do drugs, smoke or drink. Decide to take etizolam . Long story short I had a Grand Mal seizure and then stopped breathing as a result of withdraws. Happend in the middle of my parents taking me out to eat in the car. When I awoke the EMT lady said they had stuck oxygen tubes in my lungs through my nose and had me hooked up to saline and electrolytes, and a vitals monitor. I guess it was well worth the price considering I could of needed up retarded had I had brain damage. Considering the van cost hundrerds of thousands if not millions, the poor hard working trained emt have to get paid, all the equipment on the van, the people radioing the emt's in the van at the hospital. I say its well worth 1000.000 dollars.
I personal dont believe I deserved an ambulance considering theres people out there with real illnesses. But I didn't make the call. Oh yea I wet my self too so add in cleaning services.
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City of Vacaville CA for vitals
Amount: $1,125.00
Posted by: Christina B in Rocklin, CA.Posted: September 8th, 2015 05:09PM
Ambulance Provider: City of Vacaville CADistance: None
After a hiking accident, the city of Vacaville ambulance assessed my vitals and gave me 2 bottles of water. That's it! I had no ambulance ride and they didn't even dress my wounds. BCBS won't cover it! These are fraudulent charges! I work in healthcare and vitals DO NOT cost $1100!
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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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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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