Ambulance charges going up

Evanston aldermen Monday night gave final approval to an increase in charges to patients for ambulance runs -- the first increase in those rates since 2009.

The new fee schedule increases the minimum charge for an Evanston resident from $362 to $512. Higher rates are charged depending on the level of life support services required. The top fee for residents will rise from $621 to $771. Fees for non-residents are significantly higher.

Fire Chief Greg Klaiber says the new rates will still be lower than the average of the rates charged by other nearby communities, which range from a low of a $450 minimum charge for residents in Wilmette to $1,034.79 for any ambulance run in Glenview.

The city's current rates are also lower than what Medicare is willing to pay for ambulance service, which means the city has been missing out on reimbursement for some service that many residents would have insurance to pay for.

Klaiber says the new rates are expected to generate an additional $200,000 annually in revenue to the city.

 

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Comments

Ambulance economics?

What does it cost to provide Evanston's ambulance services every year?

With the aging demographics and growth in Evanston's retirement homes, this appears to be a growing and important service in our community.

Hopefully our City Manager and City Council have a thorough and complete understanding of all pertinent ambulance issues.

This is an educational story

I was shocked last year when I received a bill for ambulance service even when my insurance picked up about 80 % of the bill. I guess I was not alone. At the block party, I asked about 20 other people and nobody knew about residents being charged for ambulance services.

Hopefully, many other residents will call for an ambulance only when it is only needed.

 

Ambulance Costs Known for many years

The charges are not new. They have been public for many years.
Firemen at one of the stations told me several years ago that there is a substantial charge for being called out for a fire or at least false alarm after the nth call. However they said it is rarely paid or only with great difficulty.

I now know

I became aware about past billing last year. A friend of mine showed me that Evanston was only slightly higher than the midpoint of the Chicago area towns. The real surprise is that the city has made a profit on ambulance costs over the last 4 years, 2011 thru 2014, but not by a lot.

I believe that the EFD should charge for their services but I wish they would tell you before performing the services. My little survey proved to me that ambulance charges are not well know amoung the general population.

I further believe that people should be charged for phoney 911 calls. Even non-prophets should be charge for misuse of the Fire and Police services.