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HomeUS NewsAmbulance rides yield surprise medical bills: What's being done?

Ambulance rides yield surprise medical bills: What’s being done?

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When people dial 911, perhaps the last thing they think about is how much the ambulance ride will cost. 

But a report released Tuesday by U.S. PIRG Education Trust shows ambulance companies routinely bill out-of-network charges. This happens when an insurance plan’s network doesn’t include the public or private ambulance company.

Even after an insurer pays a portion of charges, about half of consumers are billed more. These extra charges add up to about $129 million each year, according to U.S. PIRG.

Congress passed a law creating an arbitration process as of January 2022 to protect consumers from surprise bills during emergencies or when an out-of-network doctor provides care at an in-network hospital. The federal law, called the No Surprises Act, also protects consumers from costly air ambulance bills — but it doesn’t address more common ground ambulance transports. 

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