Steven Rosenblum, Jupiter, FL If you live in Palm Beach County Florida and you need to call 911 for ambulance/paramedics, you may be in for additional pain after your visit to the emergency room, because Palm Beach Fire Rescue will be sending you a bill.
On Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014 my back went out. I was in extreme pain and unable to get up. I called 911 and Palm Beach Fire Rescue dispatched an ambulance staffed by two paramedics. They moved me from the futon where I was laying face down to a gurney and then loaded me into their bus (police/fire lingo for an ambulance). They administered no drugs. In fact the paramedic advised me not to take the morphine, since the hospital would be able to give me something stronger.
The ride from my home in Jupiter to Jupiter Medical Center would normally take me 6-7 minutes by car. The trip in the ambulance took about 10-15 minutes. Most of the time in the ambulance was spent with the paramedic getting my information, medical history and vital signs. He also apologized several times for the rough ride.
Once at the hospital they unloaded me and rolled me into the emergency room. And that was the extent of my interaction with the paramedics and ambulance of Palm Beach Fire Rescue.
Fast forward to this past Friday, April 17, 2015 when I received in the mail a bill for $626.00 from Palm Beach Fire Rescue for the above mentioned incident. I was aware that they had billed my insurance and that the claim was not paid, because PBFR is out-of-network for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and I had not met my out-of-network deductible.
Having not received a bill for almost a year, I had mistakenly assumed that if the insurance didn’t pay the County took care of the cost. After all, taxpayers pay for PBFR budget, including its emergency services.
After receiving the bill I called BCBSFL to ask why the only ambulance that can come if you dial 911 is out-of-network. It’s not like when you have an emergency you can shop around to see who’s in-network.Add a comment