Whether you are transported in a red ambulance or a white ambulance in the Sequim area, your bill will be the same.
Clallam County Fire District 3’s commissioners voted unanimously in September on a resolution to extend the “Ambulance Transport Billing Credit” to all residents and property owners transported by Olympic Ambulance.
District staff said the credit has allowed them since 2011 to write-off the remaining fees after insurance for residents/ property owners who were transported in a fire district (red) ambulance.
They added that some patients have expressed hesitancy for taking an ambulance because of the assumed cost, so staff wanted to reduce that anxiety.
“The goal is not to have any out of pocket costs for an ambulance transport,” said assistant fire chief Dan Orr.
Now the fire district will compensate Olympic Ambulance, a private ambulance company, for Fire District 3 residents/business owners when transport fees are not covered by insurance using funds from the district’s EMS levy revenue.
District staff said a three month trial started Oct. 1 and both agencies will reassess in January and every year forward. Next year’s fire district budget tentatively includes what district staff call a “conservative” $120,000 to reimburse Olympic Ambulance through 2023.
“They will bill your insurance and it doesn’t make any difference if it’s a red or white ambulance, and it’s gonna get billed the same way,” Orr said.
Fire district staff said that lump sum will be reevaluated annually based on the number of trips.
How much patients pay depends on their insurance provider, where the ambulance goes, if medications and/or oxygen are used, and various other factors, Orr said.
What’s not covered by insurance, if anything, will be paid by the district’s EMS levy lid lift for either ambulance ride.
District staff said they project $3.2 million from the EMS levy being available for the 2023 budget.
“I believe that extending the Ambulance Transport Billing Credit to Olympic Ambulance transports of Fire District 3’s citizens is in the best interest of all of our citizens in Fire District 3,” said Fire chief Ben Andrews in a press release.
Fire District staff said Olympic Ambulance transports a majority of residents/property owners to Olympic Medical Center because they cannot afford being “offline” taking someone(s) to Port Angeles and back as other calls may be coming in.
For more information, visit ccfd3.org or call 360-683-4242.
Fire district opens stations to public
Clallam County Fire District 3 opens its six Sequim-area stations and its training/maintenance facility in Carlsborg from noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.
The event is the end cap to Fire Prevention Week, fire district staff said.
Stations and locations include: Station 31, 4721 Sequim-Dungeness Way; Station 32, 256702 U.S. Highway 101; Station 33, 70 Carlsborg Road; Station 34, 323 N. Fifth Ave.; Station 35, 121 Sunshine Ave. (Diamond Point), and Station 37, 4 Sophus Road (Blyn). The training/maintenance facility is at 255 Carlsborg Road.
“It seems like a good time and opportunity to show folks who we are, what we have,” assistant fire chief Dan Orr said.
Career firefighters will be at their stations as well as volunteers, district administrators and commissioners. They’ll be available to answer commonly asked questions.
“We think there will be some great picture moments to put fire helmets on kids, and educate some folks with history at each station,” Orr said.
For more information, call 360-683-4242 or visit ccfd3.org.