Montgomery Co. to charge for ambulance rides

Max Smith,

WASHINGTON – Starting Tuesday, Montgomery County will join other local jurisdictions in charging ambulance fees.

County residents will not have to pay out of pocket for the rides, as the county will charge insurance companies for those who are insured. Residents with no insurance will not be charged.

Non-Montgomery County residents who use a county ambulance will have to pay either through their insurance or out of pocket. There is an exception for people with low incomes.

The fee is expected to raise approximately $18 million each year. As many other local jurisdictions already charge the fees, the change is not expected to affect insurance premiums.

Localities that charge ambulance fees includes D.C.; Fairfax County, Arlington County and Alexandria in Virginia; Prince George’s and Frederick counties in Maryland.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett sent a letter to residents Dec. 3 hoping to clear up any confusion around the law. And the county issued a public service announcement explaining how the new fee works.

Montgomery County voters rejected a similar law two years ago.

Opponents had worried the fees could deter some people from calling 911.

View the county’s PSA about the new law.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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