Even with insurance, medical emergencies are expensive – from the ambulance ride all the way to being discharged from care. FireMed can help our community’s households deal with the high costs of emergency ambulance transportation. Dallas Fire & EMS typically charges between $1,250 and $1,550 per transport but for $75 a year per household, families can call 9-1-1 in an emergency and, with some restrictions, not have to worry about out-of-pocket costs for emergency ambulance services, regardless of insurance status.
If you do not have insurance, your yearly fee payment will cover your entire emergency ground ambulance transport bill. If you do have insurance, your insurance will be billed as usual for the ground ambulance transportation but you will not be billed for any deductible or portions not covered by your insurance. When you sign up for FireMed, you are agreeing to send any reimbursements from your insurance company or another third-party for the ambulance transportation to Dallas Fire & EMS as they handled the initial ambulance bill.
FireMed covers the “Primary Member” (the person requesting membership), as well as anyone living in the same household related to the Primary Member by blood, marriage, or domestic partnership. Coverage also includes members of the household who are in substitute care, such as a nursing home, that is within the Dallas Fire & EMS coverage area. Proof of residence may be required. Roommates, boarders, etc. will need to apply for their own FireMed membership. Only those household members who are eligible for membership and are on the household’s record at the time of the transport will be given coverage.
FireMed covers both Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support Services. Coverage is for emergency transport to the nearest hospital that can provide an appropriate level of care. If a physician orders a transfer from one hospital to another out of medical necessity and basic or advanced life support are required, FireMed will provide coverage. Coverage can also be provided with a prior arrangement for a patient to be transported back to their home, whether the application household or a substitute care facility, so long as a physician and an insurance carrier or health maintenance organization provide authorization and the patient:
- requires medical care
- requires stretcher services
- is able to provide proof that their medical condition prevents other forms of transport, such as a wheelchair van or private vehicle, from being used.
FireMed does NOT cover and the household will be responsible to pay in full for:
- Non-emergency transfers to or from doctor’s office or clinics.
- Any transfers that do not require Emergency Medical Technicians to provide medical care for the patient or when the patient can be transported by a non-medical transport agency, i.e. wheelchair van, taxi, or private vehicle.
- The nearest appropriate hospital is bypassed due to physician or patient preference; i.e. Salem Hospital is bypassed for a Portland hospital when the Salem hospital can provide for the patient’s medical needs.
- Any services that do not require the Emergency Medical Technician to provide medical care for the patient or when request for a specific task has been made; i.e. placing the patient back in bed or a wheelchair, or placing the patient in a private vehicle.
Using FireMed is incredibly easy. Just mention that you have FireMed to the crew! Your coverage can then be verified while you’re receiving the care that you need. Remember, you do NOT need FireMed to have an ambulance respond! Dallas Fire & EMS will respond to any home when there is a medical emergency! FireMed only changes the billing portion of services!
FireMed doesn’t just protect you at home! It is an inter-agency reciprocal ambulance billing agreement, which means that Dallas Fire & EMS has agreed to accept other agency’s FireMed programs in exchange for those other agency’s accepting their FireMed program. So if you join the local FireMed program, you will be covered by sister programs across the state of Oregon! See the map below for current FireMed coverage for ground ambulance transport.
Open enrollment is from September 1 to October 31. The new membership year begins on November 1. Households must re-apply every year. Households may add or subtract family members from coverage at any time throughout the year for no charge. Households may also apply to FireMed throughout the year, however, the membership fee is not pro-rated. Whether you join in October during open enrollment or in the middle of June, you will still have to pay the full $75.
If you are interested in gaining similar coverage for Life Flight air ambulances, you can check out their membership information here.