THE TRUTH ABOUT THE COUNTY AMBULANCE FEE
For 26 years, Baltimore County has refused to charge a fee for ambulance rides, although just about every jurisdiction in the state and many in most of the nation charge such a fee and bill it to health insurance companies. Finally, Baltimore County has seen the light and on August 3 approved an ambulance (EMS) fee.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT NO BALTIMORE COUNTY RESIDENT WILL BE CHARGED THE FEE
If the county resident using the ambulance service has health insurance, the county will bill the insurance carrier for the service, which costs $700 or $750 and higher for advanced life support. Even if the insurance carrier pays only a portion of the ambulance service cost, the county resident will not be billed for the remainder of the cost. If the county resident has no insurance, the county will pick up the tab. In no event, will ambulance service cost a Baltimore County resident anything. Health insurance policies currently cover all or a portion of ambulance services.
IT IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT BALTIMORE COUNTY PROPERTY AND INCOME TAXES CURRENTLY COVER ALL THE COSTS OF AMBULANCE SERVICES
Had the County continued to not charge a fee and pick up the entire tab for ambulance service it would be looking for ways to squeeze more money out of county taxpayers or cut services in order to balance the budget. By making insurance carriers pay the ambulance fee, county revenues will increase by approximately $25 million to $27 million annually. And that new additional revenue will go into the general fund.
With this increase in revenue, there is no reason why Baltimore County can’t repeal the Rain Tax. Such a repeal will reduce county revenue by $16 million – below the revenue generated by the ambulance fee!
The ambulance fee is a win-win deal for the county and its citizens. I am pleased that Baltimore County has finally seen the light.
Please do not hesitate to contact me on this or any other issue of concern to you. As always, I encourage and welcome your input. It is important to me and enables me to bring your voice to Towson.