Annual fee offers Pa. residents unlimited ambulance trips

The subscription service allows residents to pay one flat fee to the EMS department

SHALER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Residents in a Pennsylvania town who pay a flat fee to subscribe to the EMS department will not have to pay for medically-necessary ambulance rides. reported there is no limit on the amount of ambulance rides covered by the annual fee, which can be as low as $45.

“If I use an ambulance in Shaler Township, I don't have to pay a copay,” said Joe Johnson, manager of Shaler EMS. “If you're a subscriber, we're eating that deductible.”

The subscription service started as a way to help Medicare patients help cover gaps in insurance coverage. However, thanks to recent changes to insurance coverage, Johnson said the subscription service is valuable to everyone.

“The peace of mind it brings, that's priceless,” he said.

In addition to benefitting residents, the subscription service also provides about 25 percent of Shaler EMS' annual budget.

“It's a big comfort to us, as well as our citizens, to have a well-trained, well-staffed EMS,” township manager Tim Rogers said. “One of the things that stand apart with Shaler EMS is the amount of support they get from the community.”

Residents can choose from several different subscription levels. An individual subscription costs $35, a family plan costs $50 and the family plus plan, which covers permanent residents and any guests who may need an ambulance, costs $75.

Residents can subscribe to the plan at any point during the year. 

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