How Much Does An Ambulance Ride Cost Without Insurance? - Enhance Health (2023)

It’s no secret that the cost of healthcare in the United States is sky-high. The cost of an ambulance ride is no exception.

What’s more, the cost of an ambulance ridewithinsurance is expensive. So what does that mean about the price of one without insurance?

Unfortunately, the costs that patients report aren’t very reassuring. On top of that, ambulance rates have risen steadily over the past five years.

This article will delve into the costs of an ambulance ride without insurance. We’ll also provide information on how to search for the best-priced insurance so that you have coverage in the event you need an ambulance.

What Does An Ambulance Cost Without Insurance?

How much does an ambulance ride cost without insurance? Theaverage ambulance billcosts around $1,200 without insurance.

What’s more, ambulance bills are not bound by theNo Surprises Act, which aims to put a stop to unexpected medical bills. That means you’re not protected and must pay the full amount billed.

Air ambulance rates are considerably more expensive, starting from $20,000 and reaching as high as $45,000.

With these substantial costs, many people think that it’s better to go to the hospital by car. However, you won’t have access to medical professionals and equipment that could save your life on the way. Plus, unlike an ambulance, you might get stuck in traffic.

What Affects The Cost Of An Ambulance Ride?

There are multiple factors that influence the cost of an ambulance ride. Let’s take a look at each of them in closer detail.

(Video) The real reason American health care is so expensive


Generally speaking, most health insurance providers cover the costs of ambulance rides. However, this does not apply to all of them, and it’s not to say that they cover the entire cost. It’s best to check with your provider to see if they pay ambulance fees.

Bear in mind that most insurance providers will only pay the fees if your ride was medically necessary and was part of your insurance policy.

If you don’t already have health insurance at the time of the ambulance ride, you will need to pay the bill yourself.


The amount of your ambulance ride bill will largely depend on what happens while you’re in the ambulance or at the scene of the incident.

Firstly, it depends on whether you called for an emergency (life-threatening issues) or a non-emergency (eg. a broken leg).

Next, prices vary according to what sort of treatment you received. For example, receiving Basic Life Support (BLS) may cost around $975. This is when you are treated by a paramedic or emergency medical technician and do not require cardiac monitoring or respiratory interventions.

In comparison, if you receive Advanced Life Support (ALS), this may cost up to $1,300. ALS usually requires more invasive procedures such as cardiac life support, cardiac monitors, and glucose monitors. The paramedic needs a higher level of training to provide this care.

What’s more, the cost also depends on how many services they used to treat you and what supplies were used.


In the United States, ambulance companies are either governmental, for-profit, or non-profit. It is not possible to choose which company provides the ambulance. It’s based solely on your location and the nearest possible ambulance to you.

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The cost of an ambulance from a private company is usually more expensive than one from a non-profit organization.


Here, it turns out that the mileage matters. Simply put, the further you travel in the ambulance, the higher the bill will be.

Does Health Insurance Cover The Cost Of An Ambulance Ride?

Of course, one important question is “does health insurance cover ambulance rides?”

Some providers cover the cost of ambulance rides, or at least some of the cost, and only when medically necessary.

When purchasing insurance for you and your family, you can check if your chosen plan covers the cost of an ambulance ride.

Remember that even if your insurance pays out, you may still be left with a fee to pay out-of-pocket.Recent reportsstate that many patients pay an average of $450 after their insurance footed the bill.

These surprise bills are a cause for concern amongst most Americans. And reports suggest that around4 out of 10Americans would have to borrow money to cover these costs.

So How Much Does An Ambulance Cost With Insurance?

Surprisingly, a ride in an ambulance can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, even if you have health insurance.

With private health insurance, you may receive an ambulance bill just short of $800. With Medicare, bills are just under $500.

(Video) Why Ambulance Rides Are So Expensive In The United States

Obviously, it depends on the type of plan you have as well as what services you received in the ambulance.

Why Are Ambulance Rides So Expensive?

The cost of an ambulance ride is unfortunately very costly. But why?

Ambulance companies state that ambulance rides are expensive for several reasons including:

  • Round-the-clock staffing with highly trained personnel
  • Limited insurance reimbursements
  • Expensive inventory (eg. medical equipment, the ambulance itself, gasoline, and communications systems)

Some ambulance providers may offer a discount for uninsured patients. For example, you may receive a 20% discount for paying within a certain timeframe. Always try to negotiate your bill to work out a good option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I refuse an ambulance?

Yes, you are allowed to refuse an ambulance once it has arrived.

However, bear in mind that if you have had a consultation or an evaluation by the paramedic, you may still receive an ambulance bill. It’s possible to appeal the bill if you feel it’s unreasonable.

Also, take into consideration that you may be suffering from an injury that you can’t currently see and may not have obvious symptoms, such as internal bleeding. It’s always best to get checked out at the hospital to rule out potential problems.

When is it safe to drive myself to the ER?

Due to the high costs associated with an ambulance ride, it may be more cost-effective to drive yourself, a family member, or a friend to the hospital. This is a good option if you have sustained a minor injury such as a minor cut or sprain.

If you are experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath, considerable bleeding, chest pains, or anything that has affected your motor and judgment skills, it’s best to call for an ambulance and let them do the driving.

(Video) How To Start A Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Business From Scratch (TBT) #47

How are ambulance bills calculated?

Some services, such as physical examinations, are charged on a flat-rate basis. This means they don’t change according to the circumstances. Other services, such as receiving oxygen, don’t have a flat-rate fee so will vary between rides.

Typically, ambulance costs are also calculated according to the miles traveled while you are in the ambulance.


So how much is an ambulance ride without insurance?

The average bill is around $1,200, however, it depends on many factors. How you are treated, which company sent the ambulance, and how far the ambulance traveled are all contributing factors to the cost of the ride.

Finding yourself in an emergency health situation is stressful. But it can be even worse when you don’t have insurance. But worrying about the cost of a hospital bill should never stop you from receiving the proper care and treatment.

Unexpected medical bills can be unsettling. Especially if you’ve just undergone some kind of trauma.

To protect yourself from unnecessary stress, letEnhance Healthtake care of things. Simply give us a call to get started.

The take-home message is to make sure you get insurance to prevent challenging financial situations from happening again in the future.


How much is an ambulance ride in the US without insurance? ›

Without insurance, the average cost of an ambulance ride is around $1200. However, factors like ground mileage and severity of services affect the final prices of ambulance services.

Why are US ambulance rides so expensive? ›

Why are ambulance rides so expensive? Ambulance companies cite the costs of round-the-clock staffing, limited insurance reimbursements, and expensive inventory as reasons for high consumer bills. Ambulances provide everything necessary to save your life in an emergency and stabilize you on the way to a hospital ER.

Is ambulance ride free us? ›

It depends on the ambulance company. Some may not charge you unless they provide transportation. Others may charge for being called to the scene, even if you aren't taken to the hospital.

How much is an ambulance ride in Texas without insurance? ›

(5) A fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per mile shall be charged for the transportation by emergency ambulance of a person to a hospital.
Sec. 5-02. - Emergency service generally.
Basic Life Support (BLS)$750
Advanced Life Support (ALS) 1$850
Advanced Life Support (ALS) 2$950

Why is American healthcare so expensive? ›

The United States healthcare system is complex and most costs are market driven. High, unregulated prescription drug costs and healthcare providers' salaries rank higher than in other western nations, and hospital care accounts for 31% of the nation's healthcare costs.

How much does an ambulance cost in Los Angeles? ›

The rate for a private ambulance response for a call with basic equipment and personnel is now $1,305, and a response to a call requiring a paramedic ambulance is $1,852.

How much is an ambulance ride in China? ›

A trip in an official ambulance costs about 500 yuan (HK$630) in Hangzhou, but the patient was charged 1,600 yuan by the fake emergency vehicle's operator, the report said.

What is the most expensive ambulance? ›

There are a total of only seven Lykan HyperSport units in the world and cost at about 26 crores for one. The car is capable of accelerating from a standstill to a 100 kilometres per hour in just 2.8 seconds and has a claimed top speed of 400 kilometres per hour.

How much is an ambulance ride in New York? ›

The last increase was in 2021. Back then, the price for an ambulance ride ticked up 16% from $775 to $900. The fire department's ambulance service — which costs roughly $600 million per year — handles about 70% of the city's hospital transports.

Are ambulance rides free in California? ›

Ambulances are the safety net of the safety net; an ambulance service will never refuse to provide emergency service regardless of a patient's ability to pay.

How much is an ambulance ride in Canada? ›

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care sets a charge of $240.00 for using an ambulance. This amount is reduced to $45.00 if: You are a resident of Ontario with a valid Ontario Health Card, AND.

How much is an ambulance ride in Georgia? ›

The current rate is $1,150 and around $20 per mile.

Is it better to call an ambulance or drive to the hospital? ›

All of this can happen while you are being taken to the hospital, which is why an ambulance is a better option than having someone drive you to hospital. Don't be surprised if the paramedic team drives past your nearest hospital and takes you to another.

How much does an ambulance car cost? ›

In his video, Alex explained: "A fully kitted out ambulance costs between two and three hundred thousand pounds.

How much is an ambulance ride without insurance in Houston? ›

The city also realizes that there are some who will not pay the $13.00 per mile charge, because it does not collect a cent from the indigent uninsured, who account for about 45 percent of the some 130,000 ambulance rides from the fire department's EMS units.

Which country has the best healthcare? ›

South Korea. South Korea tops the list of best healthcare systems in the world. It's been praised for being modern and efficient, with quality, well-equipped medical facilities and highly trained medical professionals. Generally, treatment in South Korea is affordable and readily available.

What happens in America if you can't afford healthcare? ›

If you don't have health insurance, you're at much greater risk of accumulating medical bills that you may not be able to pay. In a worst-case scenario, you could be sued and have your wages garnished. You might even be forced into bankruptcy.

What state has the best health care? ›

Hawaii is the top state for health care in the U.S. It has the best health outcomes in the country, with low preventable death (47 per 100,000 people), diabetes mortality and obesity rates. However, the state ranks fairly low for accessibility (No. 31). Iowa is the second-best state for health care.

What is the average ambulance bill in California? ›

RankCountyAverage annual expenses
1Los Angeles$112 million
2Cook$83 million
3Harris$57 million
4Philadelphia$41 million
8 more rows
Sep 13, 2021

How much does it cost for an ambulance to come to your house in California? ›

In California, the median bill for an ambulance ride is about $1,200, while in Massachusetts it's $1,024 and $1,133 in Minnesota.

Does Medi cal pay ambulance bills? ›

Medi-Cal covers ambulance and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) only when ordinary public or private conveyance is medically contra-indicated and transportation is required for obtaining needed medical care. Non-medical transportation (NMT) is used for a recipient to obtain covered Medi-Cal services.

How much is an ambulance in Japan? ›

It is important to note that using an ambulance in Japan is free of charge, even for international visitors. Therefore should you require emergency medical assistance or should someone call an ambulance on your behalf, don't hesitate to use it. You won't be charged.

Is ambulance free in China? ›

Under the new pricing standard, patients can be charged up to 50 yuan ($7.70) for being transported by ambulance for up to 3 kilometers, and 7 yuan for every kilometer after that. If an ambulance is called but not required, 50 yuan must be paid.

How much does 1777 ambulance cost? ›

Is ambulance free in Singapore? If you are facing an emergency, the SCDF emergency ambulance that conveys you to a hospital will be free. However, for non-emergency cases, SCDF charges $274. For non-emergency ambulances in Singapore, you can call 1777.

What are the most common ambulance calls? ›

What Injuries & Illnesses Do EMS Providers Most Commonly Treat?
  • Poisoning / drug ingestion. 3.5%
  • Diabetic symptoms (hypoglycemia) 2.5%
  • Stroke / cerebrovascular accident (CVA) 2.0%
  • Cardiac rhythm disturbance. 1.9%
  • Cardiac arrest. 1.8%
  • Hyperthermia. 1.0%
  • Allergic reaction. 0.9%
  • Hypothermia.
Nov 5, 2020

What is the most common type of ambulance? ›

Emergency ambulance – The most common type of ambulance, which provides care to patients with an acute illness or injury.

What is the busiest ambulance service in the world? ›

The ambulance service that we provide today has come a long way since its earliest days in the late 19th century. Over 100 years later, we are now the busiest ambulance service in the world, with over 5,700 staff and 70 ambulance stations across the capital.

How much do ambulance drivers make in New York? ›

How much does an Ambulance Driver make in New York, NY? The average Ambulance Driver salary in New York, NY is $39,821 as of February 27, 2023, but the range typically falls between $38,274 and $43,895.

How much is an ambulance ride in New Jersey? ›

An ambulance in New Jersey usually costs around $600 plus $10 per mile, which means no ambulance bill is cheap. Plenty of people are afraid of high hospital and medical costs. Yet if you were injured on the job in New Jersey such that you require an ambulance, you do not have to worry.

Does NY Medicaid cover ambulance? ›

Trips are arranged at the most medically appropriate, cost-effect level of service. These include public transit, taxi/livery, ambulette, ambulance (ALS/BLS), and personal vehicle mileage reimbursement.

Who can drive an ambulance in California? ›

Every driver of an ambulance responding to an emergency call or transporting a patient shall be at least 18 years of age, hold a valid California Driver License, possess a valid ambulance driver certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and be trained and competent in ambulance operation and the use ...

Can ambulance companies balance bill in California? ›


The NSA prohibits health care service plans, as well as providers and facilities, from surprise balance billing consumers in specified nonemergency, emergency, and air ambulance circumstances.

How much is an ambulance ride in California with Kaiser insurance? ›

Emergency medical transportation $300 / trip $300 / trip None Urgent care $50 / visit $50 / visit Non-Plan providers covered when temporarily outside the service area.

Does Canada have free ambulance? ›

Only a small portion of the actual cost of the emergency health services (EHS) provided is charged to the patient, if they receive a bill at all. The Canada Health Act does NOT require EMS to be funded as an insured service.

Do Canadians have to pay for ambulance? ›

You are responsible for an ambulance service co-payment charge of $45.00 for ambulance services rendered if the following conditions are true: You are a resident of Ontario. You have a valid Ontario health card. A physician deems your ambulance service medically necessary.

How long does it take for an ambulance to arrive non emergency? ›

Category 4: Non-urgent

The Addendum to the NHS Constitution requires all ambulance trusts to: Respond to Category 1 calls in 7 minutes on average and respond to 90% of Category 1 calls in 15 minutes.

How much is ambulance fee in Atlanta? ›

The average fee for EMS transportation in metro Atlanta is $900 plus mileage charges, according to the ordinance. Last year, about 1,400 people used emergency transport from the airport, including both Fire Rescue transports and calls handled by private services.

How much do ambulance drivers make in Georgia? ›

The average Ambulance Driver salary in Georgia is $32,789 as of February 27, 2023, but the range typically falls between $31,515 and $36,143.

Does GA Medicaid cover ambulance? ›

If you are having a health emergency, you should call 911. In an emergency, ambulance transportation is covered by Medicaid. Also, If you are sick and need care soon, the transportation service can take you to an urgent care clinic.

What do you say to get seen faster in an emergency room? ›

As your friend did, you can always try to drop a big name, like say you're friends with the president of the hospital. In general, if they think you're a VIP (even if you're not), you'll definitely get seen more quickly. ...

Should I wait for ambulance or drive? ›

Many people think hopping into a car to an emergency room is faster and cheaper, but they could be dead wrong! In our community, calling an ambulance when it matters saves lives. Even if the scene of the emergency or accident is very close to a healthcare facility, it is always best to call 9-1-1.

Should you give way to ambulance? ›

Please try not to panic if an emergency vehicle approaches you – but remember these key tips. If an ambulance or ambulance car comes up behind you with blue lights and sirens, please pull in over to the left if there is a safe space to do so – so it can pass you.

Is ambulance free in USA? ›

It depends on the ambulance company. Some may not charge you unless they provide transportation. Others may charge for being called to the scene, even if you aren't taken to the hospital.

What are the 3 types of ambulances? ›

There are three main sizes of ambulance vehicles: Type I, Type II, and Type III. Type I and III ambulances both have a square patient compartment mounted onto a chassis. The main difference between these two types is that Type I ambulances are mounted onto a truck chassis with a cab layout similar to a pickup truck.

What happens to old ambulances? ›

It will now go to auction so hopefully it continue to live on as a workhorse for someone else.” Ambulances are legal to drive on the roads, as long as the driver doesn't break normal road traffic laws. Before it is auctioned off, the vehicle will be stripped of all its livery that would identify it as an ambulance.

How much does the average ambulance cost in Houston? ›

Before Wednesday's vote, the cost of service was $1,076 per ride. That price will now rise to $1,826, an increase of almost 70 percent. "This hasn't been adjusted since 2012," said Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Pena.

How much is an ambulance ride in NYC? ›

Costs for advanced life support emergency transports, which require more highly-trained paramedics, could see similar increases. The last price increase was in 2021, when the price for an ambulance ride ticked up 16% from $775 to $900.

How much is an ambulance ride in Michigan? ›

Ambulance Transport Fees Pursuant to City Ordinance 3.04.250, Effective Feb. 1, 2022
CodeDescriptionNon-Resident Amount
A0426ALS Non-Emergency$575
A0427ALS Emergency$740
A0428BLS Non-Emergency$415
A0429BLS Emergency$585
6 more rows

How much is an ambulance ride in Colorado? ›

Get flown to the hospital (air ambulance) – Average Cost $8,928. Get driven to the hospital (ground ambulance) – Average Cost $607.

How much is an ambulance ride in Virginia? ›

Basic life support - emergency$500
Basic life support - non-emergency$350
Advanced life support - non-emergency$425
Advanced life support- emergency$600
Advanced life support - emergency with three or more medications combined with at least one specialized ALS procedure$850
4 more rows

How much does an ambulance cost without insurance in New York? ›

If approved, the change would go into effect in the spring, the spokesperson added. The last increase was in 2021. Back then, the price for an ambulance ride ticked up 16% from $775 to $900.

Do you have to pay for ambulance in NYC? ›

There is a cost associated for FDNY ambulance transport based on type of services rendered.

Does Michigan Medicaid cover ambulance? ›

Michigan Medicaid Overview

Free transportation services, including ambulance and other emergency medical transportation, are covered benefits for Michigan Medicaid.

Do you have to pull over for an ambulance in Michigan? ›

Michigan's Emergency Vehicle Caution Law, more commonly known as the Move Over Law, requires motorists to slow down and move over for station- ary emergency vehicles with their lights activated.

How much does an ambulance cost in MD? ›

The fees are $700 or $750 per transport, depending upon the level of care required.

Does Colorado Medicaid pay for ambulance? ›

Emergency ambulance service is a component of the Colorado Medicaid Medical Transportation benefit. Emergency ambulance service is available when the client's condition requires immediate medical attention.

How much do ambulance drivers make in Colorado? ›

How much does an Ambulance Driver make in Colorado? The average Ambulance Driver salary in Colorado is $33,710 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $32,401 and $37,159.

Which ambulance is free? ›

If you are facing an emergency, the SCDF emergency ambulance that conveys you to a hospital will be free. However, for non-emergency cases, SCDF charges $274. For non-emergency ambulances in Singapore, you can call 1777.

Can you be refused an ambulance? ›

The decision to send an ambulance or not is made as a result of triage of each individual call based on the information given by the caller.

Is the ambulance free in Virginia Beach? ›

VIRGINIA BEACH — When you call for an ambulance in Virginia Beach, volunteer emergency medical technicians will likely be among those coming to help. Ambulance service in Virginia Beach is free and primarily provided by volunteers who work in Virginia Beach's 10 rescue squads.


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