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Fees Charged to Patients and Insurers for EMS Ambulance Service

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Rule status: Adopted

Agency: FDNY

Effective date: May 1, 2023

Proposed Rule Full Text

Adopted Rule Full Text

Adopted rule summary:

The Fire Department is adopting rules to revise the amounts it charges patients and insurers for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) ambulance service.

Comments are now closed.

Online comments: 46

  • Carl A. Sulfaro

    The cost for NYCFD is already included in the budget. There is no reason to charge additionally for ambulance services except to soak the taxpayer twice.
    I think this another example of NYC going downhill. This service should be provided to all NYC resident free of charge. I would not call 911 for an ambulance knowing the fees sought to be charged.

    Imagine a tourist coming to NYC and experiencing a health-related event requiring emergency assistance. Receiving a bill for this is a turn off against the City.

    I recommend that the bill be withdrawn and all such fees reduced to zero forthwith. .

    Comment added February 22, 2023 4:46pm
  • Joanne Guerra

    The cost for NYCFD is already included in the budget. There is no reason to charge additionally for ambulance services except to soak the taxpayer twice.

    This service should be provided to all NYC resident free of charge. I would not call 911 for an ambulance knowing the fees sought to be charged.

    I recommend that the bill be withdrawn and all such fees reduced to zero forthwith.

    Comment added March 2, 2023 4:28pm
  • Manny Cartagena

    Since this is already budgeted and taxpayers are paying for it. Why the additional charges? It should be “Free to begin with ” ! Surely this City is going downhill. Crime is all over, It’s just out of control.
    Remove the charges …

    Comment added March 4, 2023 12:00pm
  • Denise Robeson

    Dear webmaster, Your posts are always well-received and appreciated.

    Comment added March 9, 2023 7:54am
  • NW

    I do not agree with the proposed increases. FDNY EMS is a public service funded by taxpayers. The current rates are too high. The increases are passed along to the patient, who in most instance is a New York City resident who already pays taxes for thus service. It’s not fair.

    Comment added March 17, 2023 7:57am
  • Jack

    I strongly disagree with this. I pay SO MUCH in taxes to this stupid city and the NYPD and FDNY are drowning in money while the rest of the city suffers (garbage collection, parks, schools). No increases to what you charge people, we’re all suffering!!

    Comment added March 17, 2023 9:02am
  • Davindranauth Shiwratan

    This NYC rule proposal adds to the rising costs of living in New York City. Advocating Washington D.C. for real economic solutions to lower the costs is appropriate. Low-and-moderate income neighborhoods will feel the negative effects including seniors and disabled.

    Comment added March 17, 2023 11:29am
  • Fiona

    Aren’t those services already pretty expensive? I think that raising the price will cause EMS to fail terribly in a couple years because people that are on the brink of death would much rather walk to the hospital instead of paying up to a thousand.

    Comment added March 21, 2023 10:35am
  • Austin Schnitzer

    The proposed 54% increase in the cost for a BLS ambulance is dangerous. As a primary care physician I frequently interact with FDNY EMTs and paramedics, and know the life saving care they provide. I strongly support raising pay for these crucial first responders, but raising ambulance transport fees will harm patients and is not the way to do this. It is all too common for my patients to refuse EMS transport during a medical emergency and cost is by far their most common reason for refusing.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 7:54am
  • Elizabeth Wyner

    I was “balance billed” for an ambulance ride from the FDNY for my toddler when he had an anaphylactic allergic reaction, even though at the time I was a New York City Employee, on city insurance! All of the medical professionals (the ER staff, his allergist) using an ambulance was medically appropriate. Please keep these costs reasonable, and it’s not as if a one can “shop around” when you call 911 for a medical emergency. The costs are paid through our current tax rates, as well as insurance reimbursements. Don’t raise the rates!

    Comment added March 23, 2023 8:17am
  • AV

    This increase would further jeopardize the emotional, financial, and physical health of people residing in NYC.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 8:30am
  • T

    The city would rather have people just die in the streets, huh?

    Theses services are meant to help people so make it free and stop acting like goblins.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 8:55am
  • Caroline C

    I find it wholly unjust that the city charges for ambulances in the first place. The FDNY is a city service, and one that is supposed to put life before all else. To charge for a life-saving service only adds insult to injury when a family may already be experiencing hardship associated with what required the ambulance to begin with.

    My father recently passed, and I called 911. An FDNY ambulance came but was not used. Imagine my surprise when my father received a bill in the mail for an ambulance ride he never took. He was thankfully covered by excellent insurance, and my family is fortunate to be able to cover the remaining charges. But to think of the countless other times this has happened around the city and people were unable to pay, saddling them with debt, is atrocious and demoralizing when city services exist to, at a baseline, serve its people.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 8:56am
  • Mariet G

    According to the Gothamist article on this proposal, the reasoning is to reduce the amount taxpayers have to cover. As a NYC taxpayer, I do not mind raising the tax to cover this. This is a life saving service and patients should not be punished for calling on EMS to save their own lives especially as we have no other option if our lives are in danger. Please find another avenue to cover these cost but don’t punish the patients.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 9:27am
  • Alexi

    Increasing Basic Life Support charges by 54% after they were just raised 2 years ago, on top of raising the mileage rate, does not make sense when this is supposed to be a city-supported service. While I understand that charging more allows increased reimbursement from health insurance plans, those who do not have insurance or have out-of-state plans (increasingly common because of working remotely) get hit with the full charge and then struggle to get reimbursed, if they get any at all. FDNY says they offer financial assistance but in my experience those services don’t work as well as advertised. Unless there is a guarantee that those who cannot pay will not be charged (like the rest of FDNY’s services), raising the rate will lead to more people refusing an ambulance.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 10:37am
  • Samantha Silverstein

    People whose lives are at risk should not be forced to bear the financial burden of receiving necessary, life-saving care. I know more than a few people who have chosen to suffer instead of calling an ambulance because they could not afford the bill at the current rates. Imagine how many more people will die because they feel they cannot afford an ambulance. America is essentially the only country in which the cost of an ambulance is prohibitive. This is shameful.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 2:48pm
  • Rachel E.

    So many people already hesitate or outright refuse to call for an ambulance due to pricing. As someone else said below, I would far rather pay a bit more in taxes than to see individuals faced with even larger bills.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 4:31pm
  • Maya Suess

    I am deeply against the FDNY’s proposal to raise rates for ambulance rides for New Yorkers. Sick patients should not be responsible for funding this essential service. Emergency workers should be paid a comfortable wage (above a “living wage”) as they do an extremely difficult job, but life-saving healthcare, including emergency services, is a right and should not be only available to the rich.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 5:16pm
  • Triona O'Byrne

    Can’t believe that with our tax rate we still have to charge NY’s an ambulance fee at a time of emergency!!! Great if a patient has insurance that the insurance be charged – but for parties without insurance- then up my taxes. How can you charge over $1000 for an emergency service of this nature – it is just embarrassing for a city with such wealth. Can’t believe that someone thinks doing this at an inflationary time is a good idea??? As a NYC voter I am just shocked to see this proposal and will vote against my representative if they support it.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 5:31pm
  • SS

    If there is any sense, heart, or public good left in NYC, this nightmare will desist, and these immoral fees will be canceled. Civilization was supposed to make our lives easier. What happened to that?

    Comment added March 23, 2023 5:45pm
  • Jennifer Dougherty

    Please reconsider this huge raise on ambulance services. We need to be able to call an ambulance in a life-threatening emergency without fear that we’ll be put in astronomical debt because of it!

    Comment added March 23, 2023 5:47pm
  • David McCarthy

    A 54% hike for those needing life support. Talk about adding insult to injury. That’s way too much. Please reconsider.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 5:49pm
  • lm

    This is completely unnecessary. The Greed is out of control.

    First, Moderna proposes a fourfold Covid vaccine price hike. Why? Because they can!

    and now the FDNY wants to f-over the New Yorkers, specifically the most vulnerable.

    Vote NO!

    Comment added March 23, 2023 5:56pm
  • Diana Tarantola

    This increase is outrageous, it’s almost half of the current rate. The only people who will bear the burden of this increase is the middle class it’s absolutely ridiculous, unjustifiable.

    Comment added March 23, 2023 6:50pm
  • William Picon

    You need to bring the price DOWN! NOT UP!! This is a human right. Whats wrong with you people?

    Comment added March 23, 2023 7:18pm
  • Andree K

    Why take advantage of people who are having a medical emergency? Monstrous!

    Comment added March 23, 2023 9:25pm
  • Victor Pate

    As a tax payer living on a fixed income and being a Senior Citizen it will be extremely financially difficult to have to be forced to pay exorbitant fees in case I need the Ambulance Services due to an emergency!. We already have the strees of buying food and paying for high expenses of housing,prescription drugs,health care insurence. I say no to raising this cost in fact they should consider lowering the cost!!.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 7:36am
  • CN

    As a private citizen and NYC resident, I am against any increase to ambulance fees that a patient would be required to pay. An increase to $20 per mile is abhorrent, for goodness sakes not even NYC Yellow Cabs charge that price per mile.
    What this increase in price does is to continue to deter NYC residents who are low income or on welfare from calling for a 911 ambulance. Maybe that is why we have some mentally ill people not seeking medical help by calling for an ambulance instead suffering from mental illness episodes on the streets of the city.
    There should be a sliding scale in place so that NYC residents only pay a portion of what they can reasonably afford or have an exemption for those NYC residents who fall under the poverty threshold and who have no health insurance.
    What could keep the cost down is if ambulances in NYC were converted to electric ambulance vehicles, or if fees from congestion charging or from marijuana taxes could help pay for the cost of NYC ambulance services.
    Why are we putting NYC residents in the position to choose wether to call for an ambulance or to have a taxi to take them to the hospital because of these unreasonable ambulance fees?

    Comment added March 24, 2023 8:40am
  • NY1 NEWS

    Spectrum news Ny1

    Comment added March 24, 2023 10:03am
  • Sean J Linen

    This will only bar people who can’t afford ambulances from getting the vital medical care they need.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 10:23am
  • Ingest

    Would like to see this event.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 11:07am
  • Brandon Chamberlin

    I am against the proposed rate increases. It will further discourage people from getting necessary medical care. Any needed additional funding should come from the general city budget.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 11:29am
  • Amanda Dunker

    Please find comments from the Community Service Society of New York attached.

    Comment attachment
    Comment added March 24, 2023 1:27pm
  • elisabeth r benjamin

    Please see attached comments of Elisabeth R. Benjamin, MSPH, JD, Vice President, Health Initiatives, Community Service Society of NY

    Comment attachment
    Comment added March 24, 2023 1:40pm
  • Emily Walshin

    A 54% hike in the cost of essential emergency services is an absolutely fatal move that will further disincentivize people from getting help in life-or-death situations. This is completely unjust and as a New Yorker I do not support this hike. Why does the NYPD get unlimited overtime but the cost of the difference between being alive or dead continues to skyrocket? I urge decision-makers to demand better, and recognize that ALL people, not just the extremely wealthy, deserve access to life-saving care.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 2:28pm
  • Ben

    I strongly oppose the fee hike for ambulance services. I would gladly pay slightly more in taxes (how about a progressive tax to support these kinds of services? or a real-estate tax that starts on houses worth >$2mm?) to prevent this fee hike.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 3:06pm
  • Thomas Lamadrid

    I am a NYC resident, business owner, taxpayer, and voter. Ambulance rides should be payed for by taxes so no one avoids getting the care they need. No one should be put in the position of having to choose whether to call an ambulance or not because of cost. The Fire Department’s proposed amendment should be rejected and/or withdrawn.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 3:15pm
  • Sam Anderson

    Please do not raise ambulance fees.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 3:16pm
  • Elizabeth Denys

    I am against the proposed rate increases because high ambulance fees discourage people from seeking needed medical care. Any needed additional funding should come from the general City budget, and the City should work towards finding ways to reduce the current ambulance fees instead so people already financially burdened by them can more easily seek medical care when they need it.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 3:18pm
  • Alexander Morano

    This would be a terrible amendment, and it would disincentivize those who are in need of medical care from using emergency services possibly resulting in deaths. Adding an exclusionary cost to a service that is already cost-restrictive is extremely harmful and inequitable.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 3:44pm
  • Josh Goodman

    No one calls an ambulance because they want to; they do it because they have no other choice. Raising the cost to patients of using an ambulance will further worsen an already regressive system in which the poor have to worry about possible debt when in the middle of a medical crisis. If additional funding is needed, it should come from the city budget.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 4:15pm
  • Jehiah Czebotar

    I am opposed to this rule change.

    Ambulance rides should be paid for by the general fund, not charged individually so no one avoids getting the care they need. Think of taxes as the largest possible insurance pool, and the collections method with the least overhead.

    Additionally, the proposed rule making does not include sufficient justification for a 50% increase in Basic Life Support Ambulance, or a 30% increase in per-mileage charge.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 4:26pm
  • CN

    This is my complaint.
    The online platform that was used for todays public meeting earlier today did not work for me and also required me to download the application and it took so long that by 11:35am I gave up and tried the phone number. When I tried the number I heard a message that said the host had not started the meeting yet. This public meeting was advertised as being from 11am – 12pm. At first I wasn’t going to make a complaint but when I heard the WABC7 Eyewitness news report stating that there was a virtual public meeting regarding an increase in the cost of an ambulance and that no one from the public was there, I felt I had to make this complaint, because I wonder if other members of the public had the same issues that I had trying to attend the public meeting. I do not know why this public meeting wasn’t held on Zoom.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 4:55pm
  • Office of the NYC Public Advocate

    Attached below are written comments.

    Comment attachment
    Comment added March 24, 2023 5:27pm
  • Bradley Farless

    People take Ubers to the hospital because they can’t afford insurance or ambulance bills and your plan is to raise the cost further? You can’t get blood from a stone.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 6:49pm
  • Paul Robeson

    Should be free.

    Comment added March 24, 2023 7:42pm