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Ambulance members should review changes

By Steve A Kuiper / L’Observateur / August 3, 1998

DEAR EDITOR: With the Acadian Ambulance & Air Med Services membership campaign at hand, we are again seeking ways to assure that the public is fully aware of the changes made last year in the membership contract. Although wehave mailed these changes to all of our members, we continue to receive questions about the membership program. The changes are important ones,and we feel it is vital that every person signing up for membership understands them. We are grateful for this access to the sizablereadership of your letters to the editor column.

Circumstances have made it impossible for us to offer free ambulance service to members as we once did. Because of monumental increases inthe cost of providing out-of-hospital medical care and transportation, we would be forced to charge a prohibitively expensive membership fee. Also,some current health insurance policies have deleted coverage for some services that we provide.

Although it no longer provides free ambulance service, our membership does provide a 20 percent discount on billed charges. The discount willreduce the out-of-pocket expense (such as co-insurance and/or deductible obligations) which a person must pay after an insurer has paid its allowable.

Patients with no insurance are responsible for payment of the total bill.

An Acadian Ambulance standard membership remains $60 for an entire year. However, we are offering a reduced price (although full benefit)membership of $48 per year to persons who have Medicare with supplemental insurance (if you are Medicare-eligible, you may already have full coverage for those services that we provide that are covered by Medicare).

The membership, though changed substantially, remains valuable. It isstill a bargain in health care. The membership remains the foundation ofour services. The broad-based support makes it possible for our servicearea to have out-of-hospital emergency medical care of the highest quality possible. Because of the membership program, this unsurpassedlevel of service is available to the most remote rural areas.

The membership fee makes it possible for us to stand by without charge at high school and college athletic events, fairs, festivals and other community events.

Revenue from membership helps to offset the constantly-rising costs of life-saving technology and other expenses such as personnel and equipment. The membership program is an aid in controlling ouroperational costs, which in turn enables us to maintain reasonable fees for our services.

Our customer representative department, as always, stands ready to answer any questions that you or your readers might have. The toll-freenumber is 1-800-259-2222. Thank you for letting us use this forum in ourefforts to be sure that the public is aware of the changes in the Acadian Ambulance Services membership contract. By helping in these efforts, youhave performed another service to the community.

Steve A Kuiper

Vice-President, Operations Acadian Ambulance

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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