Emergency Medical Services - Billing
West Chester Township seeks reimbursement from health insurers, Medicare and Medicaid for ambulance transportaion. While no one living in West Chester will pay for any uncovered expenses, it is responsible budget management for the Fire Department to seek reimbursement for covered expenses.
EMS billing is a service fee charged by West Chester Township for ambulance transportation (paramedic or EMT) to a hospital facility. Calls for assistance are not billed, nor are false alarms or calls that do not result in a transport.
West Chester Township charges for EMS services because most people have insurance, either private or Medicare. Their premiums pay for medical transportation based on regional prevailing rates. The Township is joining most area communities in seeking alternate sources of funding already available.
We will bill only the insurance carriers of West Chester Township residents who are insured or have Medicare coverage, and only when they are transported to a local emergency room. You may receive a statement, but you will not be billed. If you live in West Chester and don't have health insurance, we will not bill you. There will be no out-of-pocket expense from residents for EMS. Non-residents will be billed whether or not they are insured.
For those who live in West Chester, the ambulance bill goes directly to third-party payers. Third-party payers include Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurers.
For those who do not live in West Chester, the initial ambulance transport billing goes directly to a third-party payer, if available. If Medicare, Medicaid, or a private health insurer does not pay the bill, the individual is billed.
You may receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance carrier. This is not a bill. Your insurance carrier may not reimburse the Township for the full fee, but rest assured you are not responsible for this difference, if you live in West Chester Township.
Our EMS crews will simply ask you a few questions while on the call. If Medicare covers you, you will be asked to sign a form allowing us to bill Medicare. Our billing service handles the rest. If you are unable to sign the form when you are transported, our billing service may mail you the form. Please fill out the form so we can file your claim with your insurance carrier.
Money collected through EMS billing of insurance providers will be used for Fire Department expenses, such as new ambulances, EMS supplies, maintenance and everyday supplies and personnel costs. By billing insurance carriers for ambulance service, the Township expects to provide new equipment and upgrades, and additional training for our personnel, without impacting taxpayers.
The fees charged to your insurance provider are based on your level of care, but the Township will invoice Medicare or your insurance carrier reasonable and customary rates for this area.
EMS Billing does not increase local insurance rates. These costs have been built into your premiums for many years. More than eighty percent (80%) of the nation's fire departments that transport patients to the hospital bill for these services. Ambulance costs are less than one percent (1%) of health care expenditures. Rate increases are driven by drug costs, technology and research. Billing at the allowable costs will have minimal impact on insurance premiums.
As a West Chester resident with insurance, what should I do if I receive a bill for ambulance transportation? Contact Med 3000, our EMS billing service at 1-800-676-0111 Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. If the problem is not resolved, call Captain Steve Kelly or Chief Tony Goller at the West Chester Fire Department, 777-1133.
If you are a West Chester resident, you are not responsible for any co-pays, deductibles, or any uncovered fees.