The cost of riding in an ambulance has a high and extremely variable cost to it. Therefore, many hesitate to utilize an ambulance’s services; especially since the price before insurance kicks in can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. The cost of ambulance transportation is difficult to gauge as the bill will be affected by numerous factors.
- Distance You Travel
- Whether or not You Have Health Insurance
- Services You Receive (i.e. Life Support vs Treating Fractures)
- Where You Live
- Services the Paramedics are Able to Provide (Whether You Use Them or Not)
If you live in a no-fault state (also called a PIP state) your ambulance ride and hospital treatment may be covered by your auto insurance policy. If you do not live in a no-fault state, some insurance policies have optional coverage which you can purchase for at-fault accidents.
Car Insurance Policies That Cover Ambulance Rides
- Personal Injury Protection
- Medical Payments
- At-fault Driver’s Liability Coverage for Bodily Injury
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage for Bodily Injury
Overall, ambulance rides are covered by insurance when medically necessary. Ambulance treatment is deemed necessary when you need care right away or if you need medical supervision on the way to the doctor. Typically, ambulances will be necessary for spinal injuries, concussions or head injuries. Other cases may include severe tissue damage and broken bones.
In no-fault states, regardless of who caused the accident, PIP coverage will pay for your medical bills including ambulance costs. However, PIP coverages must stay within their state threshold limit. The minimum threshold limit in Utah is $3,000. When your costs exceed this threshold, you are then liable to pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance for compensation for your outstanding medical bills and treatment. If you’re at fault, any costs exceeding the limits of PIP will be covered by your personal medical insurance and the deductibles and limits thereof.
If the other driver was at-fault, their liability coverage will pay expenses up to the limits of the policy.
Accordingly, if the other driver was at fault and their policy doesn’t cover ambulance costs or they don’t have enough coverage for your total bills, your own policy may include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries. In this case, your extraneous costs will be covered by the limits of uninsured/underinsured coverage in your policy.
In non-PIP states, medical payments may cover your medical expenses. Medical payments may replace or supplement PIP coverage.
Alternatives and When to Refuse the Ambulance
If your car is undrivable, that does not warrant a covered ambulance ride to the hospital. On the other hand, you can get a ride to the police station or hospital from the police. If you believe you can transport yourself to the doctor safely, you may consider turning down the ambulance ride. However, there isn’t a cost for an EMT to examine you at the scene of the accident to ensure you don’t need immediate care.