Program Offers Burbank Residents Relief From Costly Ambulance Rides

For $4 per month added to their utility bill, residents will not be billed for emergency paramedic and transport services provided by the fire department, officials said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The city of Burbank is offering a new program that offsets the cost of being transported in an ambulance in return for a fee. Lolita Lopez reports on the program that could help patients avoid costly insurance bills for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 19, 2014.

    The city of Burbank is offering residents a way to pay for costly ambulance rides that insurance companies might not cover.

    The Emergency Medical Services Membership Program helps protect residents from out-of-pocket expenses as a result of emergency medical care provided by the Burbank Fire Department. For $4 per month added to their Burbank Water and Power utility bill, residents will not be billed for emergency paramedic and transport services provided by the fire department, as long as their membership dues are current, program officials said.

    The program, aimed at people with high health risks, covers emergencies only, and a person is not covered if he or she leaves the Burbank city limits.

    In California, a trip in an ambulance during an emergency could run a patient hundreds of dollars, if not a couple thousand, and much of the time the emergency transport costs are not covered by the average medical insurance.

    "They're upwards of $1,000 based on basic life support service or advanced life support service," said Eric Garcia of the BFD.

    Care during an emergency transport by the BFD is the same whether patients are enrolled in the EMS Membership Program or not.

    Other EMS divisions across the Southland, such as Glendale, Lake Arrowhead, Hesperia, San Clemente and Westminster, have similar programs in place, often called subscription services.

    Burbank residents who are interested in joining the program can do so by printing and filling out an enrollment form, which can be found here. The forms are also available at Burbank's city office, library and senior center, or by calling 818-238-3486.

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