As costs rise, EMS providers find ways to make ends meet

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 11:20 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 4:16 PM EST
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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) - With emergency services on the rise across Vermont, some EMS providers are finding ways to make ends meet.

At Essex Rescue, the ambulance service has offered annual subscriptions for more than 20 years now. Roughly 1,800 people have signed up over the last few years, bringing in around $135,000 per year.

Households pay a $50 fee, and if anyone in the family needs to be transported by Essex Rescue, they won’t have to pay a dime. Essex would then bill the household’s insurance and waive any denied coverage, co-pay or deductible for which the patient would otherwise be responsible.

“There’s no other funding to keep ambulances on the road. There are ambulance services across the nation that are closing down because they can’t afford to stay open. The subscription is one way to help bridge the gap where we don’t make up those funds, but funding those ambulance services is important if you want them to be there when you need them,” said Colleen Ballard, the executive director of Essex Rescue.

Those who aren’t on the subscription plan will now face increased costs for emergency services. Essex Rescue is set to start billing patients who call for help but don’t need transportation. Patients who are covered won’t pay that new added cost which starts at $150.

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