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Site last updated: Friday, October 9, 2015
Published: April 9, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Membership bad deal

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.

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A. Joanne Hughes
Forward Township
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