Standard, provincial ambulance rates changed as of January 1, 2015.
When Albertans need urgent care, they want an ambulance to arrive quickly and to provide the highest quality care. And, they expect to pay a fair fee for this service.
Some Albertans have expressed their concern about widely varying rates for ambulance service and the accompanying mileage charges.
In the past, there were 38 sets of rates for ambulance service throughout the province. Within each set, there was a flat fee – based on the type of service provided – plus a mileage charge. These rates were established by municipalities and their contractors before Alberta Health Services assumed responsibility for emergency medical services in 2009. With this approach, Albertans living in rural and remote areas often paid significantly more for ambulance service because of the distance travelled and the resulting mileage charges.
To respond to these concerns, the Alberta government introduced a standard, provincial rate for ground ambulance service on January 1. This means that all Albertans will pay the same rate for the same service – regardless of where they live.
The new provincial rate includes two fees:
• a fee of $385 if the patient is transported to hospital; and
• a fee of $250 if the patient is treated, but not taken to hospital.
Introducing a standard ambulance rate – a rate that does not include mileage charges – is a more equitable way to pay for this service. There are no additional fees and you’re aware of the full cost in advance. It’s a fair approach that ensures Albertans receive the same emergency care at the same rate.