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Ambulance Fees To Rise by 2.9 Percent In Ridgefield

The rise in the rates for an ambulance call have increased by almost 3 percent, but in Ridgefield the rise is an annual event.
The rise in the rates for an ambulance call have increased by almost 3 percent, but in Ridgefield the rise is an annual event. Photo Credit: Contributed by Ridgefield Fire Chief Heather Burford

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – A rise in the price of ambulance rides shouldn't deter Ridgefield’s older residents from calling if they need assistance.

“We don’t want people to not call the ambulance because they’re afraid they can’t afford the ambulance,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.

In many instances the cost is covered entirely by insurance or Medicare said Marconi. The cost rose 2.9 percent across the services offered by the EMS. “Frequently patients never even see a bill,” said Ridgefield Fire Chief Heather Burford.

Occasionally, if a resident cannot afford the payment or doesn’t have insurance, the town will assist in covering the charge. Marconi said that the Social Services Department helps “a lot of people” in covering the ambulance fees.

The rise in rates is annual and is in accordance with the Connecticut office of Emergency Medical Services. “We’re by no means making money on this operation,” said Kevin Redmond.

Residents, or their insurance provider, will be charged $563 in 2013 for Basic Life Support service, which, according to the Office of Emergency Medical Services is “transportation by ground ambulance and supplies and services.” This is a $16 raise from 2012, a standard raise; all other services increase between $10 and $35.

Around 65 percent of the calls received by the Fire Department are EMS related, he said. In the 2012 calendar year the ambulance services brought in just over $735,000, which was only 31 percent of the total expenses for the year.

Nearly $2.4 million was spent by Ridgefield on the medical services provided in 2012, that’s more than $1.6 million that is paid directly by the town.

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