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When Did Ambulance Rides Get So Expensive?

Cost of Emergency Medical Transport

Forty years ago, most ambulances were free for patients. The service was provided by volunteers or town fire departments through taxpayer money. If you were having a medical emergency, you took comfort knowing that your transport was with an EMS team with the expertise and equipment to make sure you got to the hospital quickly, efficiently, and cheaply.

Ambulances today are increasingly run by private companies. Ambulance operators now often charge by the mile and sometimes for each “service,” such as providing oxygen. Rates will be higher for ambulances staffed by paramedics rather than emergency medical technicians, even if the patient doesn’t need paramedic-level services. And the charges can now range from zero to thousands of dollars. It’s enough to send you right back to the hospital once you get the bill.

A transport bill can run into the thousands for even a short trip to your local hospital by ambulance. And for air transport? As much as $50,000. Do the prices sound exorbitant? Don’t forget: we all want experts with the very best equipment for any situation to take care of us during a medical emergency.

And if you think you don’t have to worry about it because Medicare covers the cost, think again. Medicare only covers part of the cost of emergency medical transport.

How To Protect Your Savings

That’s where a Medical Air Services Association (MASA) membership comes in. MASA provides the ultimate peace of mind from emergency medical transport bills. MASA covers the costs of air or ground lifesaving emergency transportation services, most of which your insurance and Medicare do not cover. And that’s 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world!

Beyond Just Emergency Medical Transport

  • If a member requires emergency air transport, MASA will fly the member’s spouse, family member or friend to travel with them.
  • If a member is hospitalized while away from home, MASA will fly them home so they can recuperate among loved ones.
  • When minor children or grandchildren are left unattended as a result of a member using MASA air ambulance service, MASA provides one-way common carrier air transport for their return home.

A trip to the hospital is stressful enough – the bill for the ride doesn’t have to be. ASBA makes joining MASA easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more here.

Source: www.mainlinehealth.org/specialties/emergency-medicine/when-to-call-an-ambulance