Dealing with a surprise ambulance bill? Here’s what you need to know

Ken Haddad
Ken Haddad
  • Updated
Getting a surprise ambulance bill after dealing with a medical emergency can be a very stressful experience.
Many people find themselves in this situation after the medical emergency, not knowing that a private ambulance outside their insurance coverage network would be transporting them. And then, months later, they’re hit with a surprise bill, sometimes asking for thousands of dollars.
Help Me Hank recently featured the story of a Birmingham family facing an $8,000 bill after their daughter was transported to a hospital during RSV treatment.
Each one of these situations is different, which makes it hard to offer specific advice to people appealing the bill with their insurance companies or local hospitals. But we talked with local attorney Todd Flood of Flood Law about where you should start and why this is happening.
Here are some takeaways from our interview:
Why does this happen?
  • Cities have to offer services and many contract third-party ambulance services to help fill the gap or to save money
  • The federal “No Surprise Bills” act of 2020 did not include out-of-network ambulance services
What should you be asking before getting into an ambulance
  • Try to make sure the private ambulance service is covered in your insurance -- and have that information readily available in case of emergency
  • Hospitals should be able to help you figure out which ambulance provider is in network
What should you do if you get a bill like this?
  • Contact the provider and negotiate the bill
  • Ask your insurance to review the claim again
  • Contact a local attorney to take on your case
In some cases, you can also file a complaint with your state government if you feel your insurer’s response to the issue is wrong. Here’s the form directory for Michigan.

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