Program to Change who Pays for Ambulance Rides in Albemarle

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Albemarle County is changing who gets charged for a trip by ambulance to the hospital. People who live in Albemarle and pay taxes in the county will no longer have to pay out of pocket for an ambulance ride to the hospital.

The Resident Program will start Friday. This is a big change to the county's 4-year-old Revenue Recovery Program.

People who live in Albemarle will not get a bill for ambulance services. They'll also not be charged a copay or costs that aren't covered by insurance. People who don't have insurance will not be billed.

The Resident Program will continue to collect from insurance companies and anyone who lives outside Albemarle and requires an ambulance ride in the county.

“I think it will make it a more clear process. There was always confusion on the bills for the copays and whether they had insurance and what portion was left over. So I think this will make it easier to understand,” said David Puckett, deputy chief for Albemarle County Fire & Rescue.

The county expects to lose about 10 percent of Revenue Recovery funds because of these changes. That should be made up by the expansion of the billing program September 1 to include Western Albemarle Rescue and Earlysville Volunteer Fire Company.

The county estimates ambulance billing will bring in about $1.6 million this year.

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