Butte County EMS launches membership program that provides savings on ambulance service
CHICO, Calif., Jan. 14, 2014 – Butte County EMS now offers a membership program that offers savings for those concerned about the cost of ambulance service. This prepaid specialized health care plan provides medically necessary ground ambulance transportation at no cost or reduced cost when provided by Butte County EMS, Willows Ambulance or Colusa Ambulance.
An annual Butte County EMS membership costs $100 per family or individual. The family plan covers the primary member; the member’s husband, wife or domestic partner, and other family members listed on the same income tax return. Without a membership, the average cost of transport by an Advanced Life Support ground ambulance in Butte County is approximately $3,000. Most insurance plans cover 50 percent to 80 percent of ambulance charges.
“The main advantage of membership is protection from out-of-pocket insurance costs,” said Marty Marshall, managing director of Butte County EMS.
The membership pays for the portion of the Butte County EMS services that an insurance company or Medicare applies to co-insurance or deductibles for medically necessary transports. Butte County EMS will determine whether a transport is medically necessary based on established regional and 911 protocols. Members who are uninsured at the time of service would be responsible to pay Butte County EMS $500.
The membership program is modeled after the Enloe FlightCare membership program. In fact, Enloe and Butte County EMS offer a combined membership, to the ground and flight ambulance programs, for $130 annually for either an individual or family plan.
The ground ambulance plan does not cover ambulance service costs for transports by another ambulance service. The membership also is not an insurance policy or a substitute for insurance. Rather, members assign their benefits from their insurer to Butte County EMS. Those who are considering becoming a member will want to check with their health insurance plan to ensure that it does not already offer this benefit so that they will not duplicate benefits.
Approximately 21,000 ground ambulance transports are provided in Butte County each year. The annual membership fees help support Butte County EMS and its lifesaving mission. The membership form is available online at www.buttecountyems.org. For more information, the public may call Butte County EMS at (530) 332-6774. For more about the Enloe FlightCare Membership visit www.enloe.org/flightcare and click on the FlightCare Membership Program link.
Communications Specialist, Enloe Medical Center
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell
Butte County Emergency Medical Services, LLC, doing business as Butte County EMS, is a joint venture between First Responder EMS and Enloe Medical Center. For more information, please call (530) 332-5555 or visit http://www.buttecountyems.org.