Man I would love to have a deal like the one the medical insurance companies have.
This is something that really burns me because it shows how out of control the power that the insurance companies have has gotten. Earlier this summer, my squad and others around the Commonwealth of PA received notice from AETNA that they were, “reducing the rate at which it reimburses ambulances that provide their communities with emergency medical service.”
In other words, AETNA has decided to cut the amount of money they’ll pay to ambulance squads after their services are used by their customers. End of story, no debate, no discussion. AETNA just arbitrarily makes a decision that will effect hundreds of private, non-profit, ambulance services. And they get away with it. Don’t you wish you could decide how much you would pay for every service you need? I think the next time I go out to eat with my family I’ll wait until after we eat and then tell the waiter how much I’m going to pay his establishment. Our economy would crumble if this practice was acceptable. So how in the world can insurance companies do this?
Keep in mind that as a 911 response ambulance, you do not have a choice as to whether you take a call or not or treat and transport a patient or not. We have a duty to serve and we serve regardless of the type of or quality of insurance you may have. The same skills and treatments we provide can cost a fortune in a hospital. Our equipment is expensive to purchase and maintain and our people are trying to make a living while serving their communities.
So where to does AETNA get off deciding to drop the amounts they will pay us for our services?
What this means to you as a consumer, besides the fact that many 911 squads could go out of business, is that if you are an AETNA customer and you use 911, you will be billed for the remaining amount that AETNA has decided not to pay. That seems fair doesn’t it? Your premiums are jacked up for no reason every year, sometimes bi-yearly. And now they want to stick you with more of the bill if you have a traumatic or medical emergency and they don’t even have enough backbone to send you a letter informing you of this increase in your costs.
It is only a matter of time before the other insurance providers decide to do the same thing. Where is big government when it comes to correcting this type of indiscretion? Why are the legislators of PA not screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs over this issue? Who do they represent anyway? Do they represent you and me or do they represent the very powerful medical insurance institutions?
The answer depends on how our State Representatives react to this event.