How Much Does an Ambulance Ride Cost?

Emergency ambulance rides are notoriously expensive. So much so that a lot of people hesitate to call 9-1-1 because they fear how much a ride to the hospital will cost them.

But, is the price of an ambulance really that high? And is the expense justified?

Discover how much an ambulance ride costs, what insurance typically covers, and why paying for an ambulance isn’t as terrifying as people make it out to be.

Does Insurance Cover My Ambulance Ride Cost?

Whether your insurance covers the cost of your ambulance ride depends on your policy.

While some health insurance companies and policies do cover ambulance rides, others require you to pay for the trip to the hospital out of pocket.

Please check your health insurance provider for specific details to find out what type of coverage you have.

Unfortunately, even if you do have insurance, you’ll probably still need to pay some out-of-pocket expenses

In fact, 72% of patients with health insurance still need to pay for part or all of their ambulance ride. This is because the ambulance provider is “out of the insurance provider’s network”.

In short, you need to be mindful of insurance policy loopholes if you want to avoid being surprised by unwanted ambulance bills.

If you have insurance coverage, the cost of an average ride is much more affordable. 

On average, out-of-pocket costs for ambulance rides typically range between $50-500 if you have health insurance.

The Average Price of an Ambulance Ride

Providing a set price for ambulance rides isn’t an easy task.

For one, each emergency requires different levels of treatment. Different treatments have different costs. Having to perform CPR and ventilate a patient on the way to the hospital requires more tools and intervention than providing non-emergency, dialysis transportation for a patient. It really all depends.

The second thing to keep in mind is that every ambulance company charges different prices. Your location can also influence the cost.

While we can give you national averages, these numbers only provide guidance.

On average, the cost of an ambulance ride in the US is around $1,200. 

Occasionally, an ambulance bill can be as high as $2,000. However, if you’re paying for an ambulance out of pocket, you should anticipate costs of at least $1,000.

These figures are valid for ground ambulances. Air ambulance rates are much higher, starting at $20,000. Although the cost of air ambulances can go as high as $45,000.

Air ambulance costs more

Keep in mind these costs are in constant fluctuation.

The state with the highest cost of ambulances is California. However, it’s steadily decreasing toward the national average. On the other hand, in places like Wyoming, the price on an ambulance ride continues to climb.

Between 2010 and 2019 the average cost of ambulances in Illinois decreased by 1%. Indiana has also seen a decrease, but at a much more significant rate at -20%.

According to Medicare beneficiary data, ambulance services are a $4.5 billion industry in the United States.

To understand more about the cost of ambulance services, it’s important to know what exactly goes into the price.

What Does the Cost of an Ambulance Cover?

Most people can agree that an ambulance ride isn’t the cheapest. So, why exactly do they cost so much?

  1. Equipment: First and foremost, the price of an ambulance ride covers the ambulance itself (the vehicle, the bed, and the various equipment that you require).
  2. EMTs and paramedics: Ambulance fees cover the cost of training and retaining highly trained EMTs and paramedics in a truly challenging (and rewarding) career.
  3. Fuel: Medical transportation vehicles are larger than normal vehicles and tend to weigh between 10 – 14 tons. They’re not the most gas efficient either, getting around 7 miles per gallon
  4. Reimbursement inefficiencies: This is an expense that raises the price significantly that people often don’t know about. Paying for an ambulance isn’t the same as paying for a taxi. Whether it’s through insurance, Medicare, or out-of-pocket, recouping costs after the service is standard for every emergency medical transport provider.

Why You Shouldn’t Hesitate to Call an Ambulance

A life is worth more than the cost of an ambulance ride. 

Getting emergency care and a quick ride to the hospital for more detailed diagnosis and treatment doesn’t just save a life, it can also improve its quality. 

The minutes you save by taking an ambulance ride can be the difference between keeping or losing a motor function. It can be the difference between avoiding brain damage. And it can even be the difference between life and death.

If you or someone near you is losing blood, has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, it’s always a good idea to call an ambulance. Worry about the costs later.

Call Elite Ambulance For Your Medical Transportation Needs

While you can’t exactly choose which ambulance company comes to the rescue when you call 9-1-1, you can always rely on the quality you choose when you book non-emergency medical transportation.

At Elite Ambulance, our goal is to provide quality medical transportation care without the exorbitant price tag. We want to give our patients peace of mind when it comes to invoicing.

If you need emergency or non-emergency medical transportation in Illinois or Indiana, don’t hesitate to book Elite Ambulance!

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