When a medical emergency strikes, we quickly seek medical care. And usually that means calling for an ambulance. What isn’t at the top of our minds, is whether our insurance will cover the trip.
Yet one out of two insured people who use an ambulance for a medical emergency are exposed to a surprise bill because the ambulance that responded was not in their insurance network.
Most insured people know the best way to keep down your out-of-pocket spending for health care is to use a hospital and doctor in your health plan’s network. But when you call 9-1-1, the dispatcher sends the closest ambulance.
We aren’t choosing which ambulance we get, but it can make a huge difference in the cost we may face.
In the first nine months that the new federal No Surprises Act went into effect, it has protected 9 million insured people from surprise medical bills from out-of-network hospitals and air ambulances.
But the new law does not protect patients from ground ambulance surprise bills.
We’re working to win protections from ambulance surprise bills and as part of that campaign, we’re collecting stories from people like you who might have gotten a whopping bill from your ambulance company.
These personal experiences help decisionmakers understand exactly how this issue impacts their communities. Please use the link above to share your story with us.
Senior Director, Health Care Campaigns, U.S. PIRG Education Fund
Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior director of health policy with the National Consumers League, senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She serves on the board of the Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group for the National Quality Forum. Patricia enjoys walks along the Potomac and sharing her love of books with her friends and family around the world.