Can You Afford To Get Sick?

By: Sherelle Roberts Email
By: Sherelle Roberts Email

When you're sick, hurt or in danger of dying; firefigherts, police, and EMS workers are your lifelines.

But before you call that ambulance you should know, a ride to the hospital is gonna cost more--a lot more. The average cost of an ambulance transport in each of the 3 levels of emergency is going up about $400.00.

"The revenue generated from the ambulance fee goes to the general fund and it helps to defer the cost of Fire and EMS to everyone", says Bill O'Mara The Lexington Urban Fayette County Government Director Of Revenue. O'Mara says the fee doesn't just cover the trip to the hospital. It also goes to help pay for the firefighters' fees, something we're already paying taxes to help cover.


If you don't have insurance, you will be paying that extra 400 dollars. But O'Mara says not everyone will have to pay up. If you have insurance, your policy should cover the higher bill. But medicare and medicaid patients won't pay any extra.


The new higher rate for EMS fees is already in effect.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Holly Location: Lexington on Jul 21, 2008 at 05:03 AM
    Unfortunately, Medicaid only encourages laziness. Our government really needs to take a good look at these programs and enforce new guidelines for eligibility. I work in healthcare and I always see individuals abusing Medicaid. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that government funding is available to those that are truly in need, but a lot of people do in fact take advantage and it's a shame.
  • by Aggie Location: KY on Jul 20, 2008 at 09:00 AM
    Jeff, I very much understand. My father is an 85-year old WWII veteran. The company he retired from switched the retirees to a Medicare Advantage policy and it is not worth a dime! He has higher deductibles that he can't afford and it pays very little on most procedures. He has to worry about paying for his health care while watching others have a "free ride" from the government. I also understand your personal situation too, husband experienced an accident and had outrageous bills that we are still paying on...he was off work for 8 months and it was almost impossible to make ends meet. But we weren't eligible for any sort of assistance in paying these bills either. It is a no-win situation for most.
  • by mother Location: eastern ky on Jul 19, 2008 at 09:26 PM
    Not if you aren' on medicare or medicade programs. It really is a shame.
  • by Sharon Location: Ky. on Jul 19, 2008 at 03:23 PM
    Jeff i can believe your story. I know that America isn't for the Americans anymore. You either have to be a total dead beat or from Mexico. You have heard the old saying the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.The working man don't stand a chance.No wonder people don't work they have it made living off of people like you. It's a shame that it has got so bad.I really don't think it will get any better.
  • by jeff Location: ky on Jul 18, 2008 at 12:45 PM
    if you think you can afford to get sick listen at this story,, im the 43 yr old man in it. oct 22-07 i had a major heart attack, was kept alive on oxygen and nitro for 90 minutes. the total for this one heart attack came to $53,000 for dr, ambulance, helicopter, an hospital. there is no program in place for any assistance in paying for these bills. i had to be totally disabled for 12 months to receive any help at all. my father was a P.O.W in WW2 he sacrificed himself so that we could live in a land of freedom. yet there are programs for non americans, welfare, food stamps, etc. for people thet wont even attempt to work. but if you are willing and able to work an need temporary assistance, forget it. and the democrats arent going to be any better than what we have now so darned if you do an well off if you choose not to.
  • by vewier on Jul 18, 2008 at 07:37 AM
    no you cant afford to get sick even with insurance the copays have got out of bounds and you cant work you cant pay one thing runs up the price is when people go to er for nonemergency things instead of a doctor useing ambulance to try to get seen faster just because you ems to get there you cant garentee you will be seen faster the real cases are still a head of you those that do this thing should have to pay it all not medacare or insurance we see this action every day it needs to stop
  • by D Location: KY on Jul 18, 2008 at 07:17 AM
    RS, there is a sign in each emergency room that states that they see patients by priority. Those that are more seriously injured or sick are seen first. Would you like for your child who has a 106 degree fever to have to wait because someone with a sprained ankle got there first?
  • by she Location: richmond on Jul 18, 2008 at 06:19 AM
    This was expected to happen with the cost of everything else going up people should have expected this to go up also. There isn't going to be anything cheap in this world anymore. I agree with the ER's being so slow about seeing people. They don't get in no hurry for anything. They will have 6 places to check in and only 2 people working ???? Why waste money on all those computers if they are not going to use them!!
  • by Anonymous on Jul 18, 2008 at 06:12 AM
    Pay up little people.
  • by Allen Location: Hazard on Jul 18, 2008 at 05:57 AM
    Lets all pray that the democrats are successful this fall and them may, just maybe this great country can have health ins instead of funding for a useless war.
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