By Matt Bush
In Maryland's Montgomery County, residents likely will soon have to pay fees to take an ambulance. That's after the county board of elections struck down a petition to let voters decide the question this fall via a ballot measure. Supporters of the petition did not collect enough valid signatures to get it on the ballot.
That means the fees, charged to anyone who uses an ambulance in the county, will soon be issued. Acting County Attorney Marc Hansen says county residents will have the fees charged to their insurance. If they have no insurance, the county will cover the fee.
"Non-residents would be assessed the fee. Of course if they have insurance, the insurance company would pay for that. But the remainder of the fee, deductibles, or for non-residents who are not insured, they would be subject to the fee. But they would be able to request a hardship waiver," says Hansen.
Many volunteer fire departments worry residents will now be hesitant to dial 9-1-1 for help because they would have to pay for taking an ambulance to the hospital.