There are many stories of people refusing to call an ambulance because they do not know how they would cover the cost of a ride to a medical center. Some of them seek other means of transportation or even try to drive themselves to the hospital.
But is this financial fear warranted? How bad is it, from an economic standpoint, to call an ambulance? Could it actually lead to bankruptcy?
The cost depends on a lot of different factors, so it’s hard to put one specific number on it. What type of ambulance do you call? Do you have health insurance? What does it cover? How far did you need to go? There are a lot of variables, but it quickly becomes clear that it can be very expensive.
For instance, one man needed a ride for just two miles. The cost was $2,700. He did have insurance, so a lot of it was covered, but he still wound up with a bill approaching $800. For those without insurance, the total cost would clearly be much higher.
Will that lead to bankruptcy? It could. It depends on what other types of debt you’re facing and what your income looks like. Many people have no room in their budget for a sudden and unexpected charge of nearly $3,000.
You also have to consider that the ride may just be the first step. If you end up in the hospital for multiple days and with serious injuries, your overall medical bills could skyrocket. Medical expenses are a common reason for bankruptcy, so be sure you know what options you have.