Why Are Ambulance Services So Expensive?
Ambulances are an essential medical service that can make the difference between life and death in an emergency. Unfortunately, they can also cause a financial emergency when the bill arrives.
If you’ve ever used the services of an ambulance to transport yourself or a loved one to the emergency room, you may have been surprised to receive a bill for over $1,000. Amounts like these have become the norm in the US, and this figure could easily double depending on your specific situation.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons for the high cost of emergency medical transportation and how you can finance it.
The expenses involved in an ambulance ride to the ER are determined by several factors and it’s important to know how they are calculated. Here’s what influences your final ambulance bill:
- Emergency medical employees. Each ambulance is staffed by a minimum of two highly trained professionals. This makes an ambulance ride a relatively expensive medical service
- Maintenance and regulatory compliance. Maintaining an ambulance is vastly different from keeping a car or taxi in running condition. Each emergency medical vehicle comes with specialized equipment that has to be in perfect working order, to stabilize seriously ill patients and keep them alive on the way to the hospital
- Availability. Keeping ambulances fully staffed and on the road so that they can reach their pickup points as fast as possible, is essential in a medical emergency. However, it costs the service provider a substantial amount and these expenses will be passed on to you
Do Costs Vary?
Ambulance fees certainly do vary and knowing why will help you plan for possible future visits to the hospital in case of emergency treatment.
- Different providers have their base fees. Depending on the specific ambulance company used (your choice could be determined by your health insurance), you can expect to pay a higher or lower fee
- Your medical insurance. As mentioned above, your health insurer’s ambulance coverage will determine the amount you end up paying to a large extent. You may want to contact your provider and find out exactly how much cover they offer
- Where you live. Ambulance service charges vary from place to place. The specific amount you’ll be charged may depend on how far you have to travel in the ambulance before you reach the hospital
What To Do When Confronted With A Large Bill
Ambulance costs may be substantial, but that doesn’t mean you should let your provider overcharge you. Here are some tips for dealing with an eye-watering medical bill.
- Check the codes. Go through your bill and ensure that every item you’ve been billed for corresponds to a service you’ve received. Billing errors are common in the medical industry and you have every right to dispute errors and have them fixed
- Ask for a payment plan. Instead of ignoring your bill and having it land up in collections, you can request an affordable monthly repayment schedule from the ambulance company
- Negotiate. With your payment plan in place, you can take your time, and study your bill in detail, while comparing it to Medicare rates and average costs in your city or town. Try and negotiate with the provider if you feel you’ve been overcharged
Getting A Loan
Paying for medical transportation, be it the full amount or a copayment, can put a serious strain on your monthly budget. Fortunately, you can finance these expenses with a medical loan that comes with affordable monthly installments. Here’s how it works.
- Research your options. There are many excellent lenders out there. If you aren’t familiar with them, you can always take a look at our reviews and select one that suits your needs.
- Apply online. After entering your personal and employment details, you should have an answer that same day or even sooner
- Select an affordable repayment period. The longer your loan term, the lower your monthly installment will be. However, you’ll also pay more interest than you would on a shorter loan period
- Make your payments on time. That’ll keep you in good standing with your lender and help boost your credit score
Ambulance costs can easily run into thousands of dollars depending on the provider you end up using, including your medical insurance cover and the area where you live. Financing these expenses can pose a serious challenge to your monthly budget.
Fortunately, several medical loan providers can help you pay for ambulance costs. With easy online applications and rapid approvals, you could have the funds you need in as little as one working day.