Wake County To Raise Ambulance Fees In July
Posted June 11, 2002 9:17 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — If you are a resident of Wake County, you may have received a pamphlet in the mail or have seen a commercial explaining how you can help your local rescue squad and help yourself at the same time.
The information could be more important now than ever before, because the cost of an ambulance ride to the hospital is about to go up.
With the start of Wake County's new budget in July, the cost of an ambulance ride will increase from $303 to $425. In addition, the ride costs $5.50 a mile. The increase is the first rate hike in 12 years.
"The rates are being increased to reflect more adequately the cost of service and what Medicare will recognize for fee recovery," said Joseph Zalkin of Wake County Emergency Medical Service.
Most insurance companies and Medicare pay about 80 percent of the cost of an ambulance ride. In Wake County, you have to pay what is left unless you subscribe to the Wake County Rescue Squad EMS Fund.
Fifty dollars a year covers everyone in a household. For those who subscribe, but are fortunate enough to not need ambulance transport, the money will not be wasted.
"The money's returned directly to the location of the person's home address. So whoever provides the service to your home is the one who benefits from the program," Zalkin said.
All 12 cities and towns in Wake County are included.
"You can still be a resident in Zebulon or Apex, have an auto accident in Raleigh and still be covered by the program," Zalkin said.
Other counties, including Johnston County, have similar programs.
In Wake County, call 856-6205 or your EMS for more information.