Kaiser Family Foundation June 24, 2021

About half of emergency ground ambulance rides result in an out-of-network charge for people with private health insurance, potentially leaving patients at risk of getting a surprise bill, a new KFF analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker finds.

Congress last year enacted the “No Surprises Act,” which prohibits most surprise out-of-network bills when a patient receives out-of-network services during an emergency visit or at an in-network hospital without advance notice starting in 2022. However, the protections do not apply to ground ambulance services, and the law instead requires a federal advisory committee to study the issue and recommend options to protect patients from surprise bills.

The analysis estimates that ambulances transport about 3 million privately insured patients to...

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