Home Economics How Much Does an Ambulance Ride Cost?

How Much Does an Ambulance Ride Cost?

by Dustin Cortright

It happened a dozen of times that some people are in need of an ambulance due to a sudden illness or seizure or attack. However, most of them get an unpleasant surprise when they realize they need to pay for an ambulance hat came to their rescue or to take them to the hospital. Sometimes, they have to pay a lot.

Paid and Non-Paid

It needs to be added that there are ambulances that are not paid and are completely free when they come to pick up a patient or to provide immediate help. Those ambulances are usually owned by the municipality or by the government. However, there are those ambulances that are owned by other business companies. And, there are more private than public ambulances.

Sometimes, even municipal ambulances are paid so this money is used for financing other costs of the municipality. It needs to be said that doctors in ambulances are the same, and they do not care who drives them until they get to a patient to help him/her.

How Much Is Paid?

It needs to be clarified how payments to ambulances work. The payments are done through installments and there are several charges that need to be collected by the ambulance owners. Usually, there can be up to ten bills for one ambulance usage and the first one is usually the biggest and paid directly to the company that owns the ambulance.

Other bills are paid by Medicare and Medicaid, usually two next bills, and there are several bills left. It is not rare that most of the bills are not paid because a patient does not have health care or his/her insurance covers only a partial amount. There is a calculation which says that only ten percent of a bill is usually collected.

Determining the Payment

How Much Does an Ambulance Ride Cost? Sometimes people wonder how much and why do they pay such a big amount for an ambulance, and they ask paramedics or call center representatives about the bills and similar. However, they are usually left without any meaningful and logical response.

Why? No one knows to explain how the payments for ambulances are done. There is a rule that Medicare Fee Schedule is used every year since it is published annually and it gives explanations how much Medicare will pay.


When you ask yourself why the bills are huge, remember that a doctor needs to be satisfied so that he/she can provide good service.

The calculation is that 61% of the total bill that is given by ambulance goes to a doctor. Ambulance owners do their best to make their ambulances efficient and they try to lower Unit Hour Utilization (UHU) as much as possible.

Transport or Not?

What is paid? Let’s be crystal clear here: the thing paid to the ambulance-owner company is transporting a patient to the nearest hospital or medical center.

These ambulance companies earn in this way, by feeing the transport. However, this does not mean that a doctor from an ambulance will not help a patient in need. If he/she does not, the ambulance company may be sued.


Health has become a business, have that in mind.

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