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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

Page 4 of 4   -   << Previous   1   2   3   4   

Overcharging for Services, Balance Billing
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Patrick Lee in Overland Park, KS.Posted: August 16th, 2020 08:08AM
Ambulance Provider: MIdwest Medical TransportDistance: 40
I did not provide authorization for the ambulance service. My insurance company (Progressive) has already paid $894. Now they state I owe and additional $2000.00. Progressive has advised me NOT to pay but I live in Kansas which has poor balance Billing laws
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Emergency Ambulance cost
Amount: $966.00
Posted by: Deborah Kelly in Vineland, NJ.Posted: July 19th, 2020 07:07PM
Ambulance Provider: City of Vineland EMSDistance: Less than quarter mile
My partner was at Encompass rehab in Vineland,when EMS transported him literally nextdoor to Inspira Hospital when he had 2nd stroke and bilateral pulmonary embolism, how is the 966. charged to take him a few hundred feet not covered by his Horizon blue cross blue shield of NJ?
Was submitted and not paid like the others.
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Ride from hospital to hospital
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: Jim Morecock in Rock HILL, SC.Posted: May 2nd, 2020 10:05PM
Ambulance Provider: Distance: .3 miles
ILS charge on bill. A rickety old ambulance charge. From Encompass rehab to PMC. next door.I had 8 broke ribs. Laid down on gurney. Laid down on ambulance floor...
OUCH!
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North Memorial Service
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Still Standing in Lino Lakes, MN.Posted: November 24th, 2019 02:11PM
Ambulance Provider: North MemorialDistance:
North Memorial's EMS almost cost me my life.
During a heart attack he rejected transport because he was unsure and not listening to the clinic medical staff.My wife reacted quickly to drive to adjoining county supported by Allina Ambulance who acted quickly and professionally. I'm alive today despite North Memorial's EMS Brian.
Now that's " PRICELESS"
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Fairly priced
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Thank you NHS in Ramsey, Other.Posted: November 8th, 2019 10:11AM
Ambulance Provider: NHSDistance: 3 miles
My baby boy choked on some food this evening. While we were on the phone to the emergency services the blockage cleared. Ambulance was sent anyway to make sure everything was ok. Paramedics checked him over and observed him for a little while just in case. Gave advice, let my older son have a look in the ambulance then left. Didn't cost me a penny, as it should be.
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Ambulance
Amount: $2,250.00
Posted by: Shirl in Plymouth Meeting, PA.Posted: February 12th, 2019 01:02PM
Ambulance Provider: Plymouth Ambulance Assoc.Distance: 5.3 miles
I fell and shattered my knee cap. I could not stand to walk I couldn’t straighten my leg. I was in a lot of pain. The total cost to drive me to the nearest hospital was $2,250.00.
My insurance paid the reasonable and in network amount which was $702.00.
The ambulance rejected that amount for full payment because they said they are out of network. I was billed for the remaining balance of 1,632.68.
No detailed itemized bill just the balance.
They started an I.V. and asked if I wanted something for pain and of course I did since on a scale of 1-10 my pain was a 200. So how can a 5.3 mile ride to the nearest hospital cost over $2,250.00 dollars.
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Balance Billing for Contractual Insurance Discounts
Amount: $1,035.00
Posted by: Robert Allen Jenkins in Wake Forest, NC.Posted: November 23rd, 2018 08:11PM
Ambulance Provider: Granville NC EMSDistance: 12
This outfit is not content with the amount paid them by the insurance company. They want to be paid for an discount applied by the insurer. They're what's known as "balance billers". Balance billing is a disreputable practice that undermines the whole insurance system.
Per my insurer, I am not to pay them any more than my co-insurance amount. My insurer stated, "This physician or health care provider is out-of-network. Based on an agreement with integrated health plan (using cms / ncci edit rules), the provider has accepted a discount for this service. The discount shown is your savings and is not included in the amount you owe. If you have paid the physician or health care provider more than the amount you owe, please call them for a refund."
I've made it clear to them and their collection agency, that I will not pay their balance bill. I have also reported them to the NC Dept of Insurance.
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chest pain difficulty breathing
Amount: $18,000.00
Posted by: kitty's papa in smethport, PA.Posted: October 12th, 2018 01:10PM
Ambulance Provider: priority careDistance: 20 miles
was transported 15 minutes to ogh for chest pain and difficulty breathing.
they had issues inserting iv needle (no saline) and succeed on the 4th try.
sent charge to old insurance company in excess of 18,000.00 (thats about 900 dollars a mile)
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Car accident
Amount: $1,800.00
Posted by: Kerri OConnell in LINCOLN, NE.Posted: July 30th, 2018 07:07AM
Ambulance Provider: LCFDDistance: 4 miles, roughly
So,I was struck by a young girl who bounced me between 2 cars. Never received a bill for ambulance ride. It was sent to a address I'm Massachusetts, I live in Nebraska! 2 years later I received a summons that
I'm being sued by said co. Um, say what??????
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EMS Ambulance Ride
Amount: $648.00
Posted by: Myra Kay Hammon in Mobile, AL.Posted: April 17th, 2018 12:04PM
Ambulance Provider: Fire DepartmentDistance: 3.4 miles
I live in the city and pay taxes. I was transported a very short distance. It took 3 months for the bill to be sent. I was charged $22 of my major medical, 80% of the eligible charge, and the overage Blue Cross Blue Shield would not cover. The mileage was billed at $12.00 a mile, rounded to 4 miles.
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IU Hospital Bloomington
Amount: $3,500.00
Posted by: CrazyCost in Bloomington, IN.Posted: March 27th, 2018 10:03AM
Ambulance Provider: IU HealthDistance: 2 miles
Absolutely crazy amount of money. My daughter went 2 miles to the IU Hospital in Bloomington, IN with the flu. The Ambulance charge was $3,500.00
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Rip off at Fremont, CA
Amount: $2,245.93
Posted by: desi999 in Fremont, CA.Posted: March 17th, 2018 11:03PM
Ambulance Provider: Distance: 2 miles
2 mile ride after a minor accident at school
Wife is in medical field and she said no need for ambulance as it is a minor wound but somehow convinced her and took my kid in the ambulance to the hospital
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Canada
Amount: $345.00
Posted by: Oliviyayo in Toronto, Other.Posted: December 16th, 2017 10:12PM
Ambulance Provider: Distance: 10 km
This is the price in Canada no matter what the distance.
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Unheard of fees for a ride.
Amount: $2,400.00
Posted by: Jerry, B. in Rocklin, CA.Posted: December 1st, 2017 03:12PM
Ambulance Provider: American AmbulanceDistance: 5
Did nothing, but take my pulse, and drive me to the Hospital.
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Cost of Ambulance in San Diego
Amount: $2,041.61
Posted by: Uday Shah in San Diego, CA.Posted: September 20th, 2017 10:09AM
Ambulance Provider: Envision HealthcareDistance: 1/4 mile
High ambulance charge for really short trip. No treatment given in the Ambulance...!
Someone need to stop this daytime robbery.
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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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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/FinancialAssistanc...
  5.  www.EmergencyCareforYou.org/EmergencyManual/IsItAnEmergency/Default.aspx?id=130
  6.  www.the-aaa.org/DIRECTORY/memberlocator.asp
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