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Membership bad deal

April 9, 2013 Letters to the Editor

Health care today seems all about someone making money.

I know I’ll be changing my Medicare supplement insurance on May 1 because I have a bad plan. My current insurance company doesn’t want to pay for the hospitalist who came to see me in my room when I was a patient at Butler Memorial Hospital.

Of course I am appealing that decision.

I was admitted to the hospital Feb. 21 because of an emergency. I was transported to the hospital by Butler Ambulance Service.

I thought if you were an ambulance association member — I am — the membership would cover the ambulance trip beyond what my insurance would pay.

Not so. I received a bill for $150 from the ambulance service.

What good is the membership if it doesn’t cover an emergency ambulance trip?

What about the years people have a membership and don’t use the service? That’s pure profit for the ambulance service.

When I was transported to Butler Memorial from Evans City on that day in February, the trip cost $881. Evidently, my insurance paid the bill except for the $150 in question.

It’s my understanding that many other ambulance services would not bill a member beyond what the insurance pays.

Does the Butler Ambulance Service get government subsidies?

I guess there’s nothing I can do now but pay, if my appeal is unsuccessful, but I won’t be spending any more money on a membership.

When I was asked to become a member, I was given the impression that if I agreed to membership I would not need to worry. Not so.

I think everyone should know that just because they become a member doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be receiving a bill if they must use the service.