Billing Frequently Asked Questions

Why did I receive a bill when EMS has a dedicated mill levy in Grand County? 

The dedicated EMS mill levy passed by Grand County voters provides a portion of funding for the cost of readiness- having ambulances and highly trained EMTs and Paramedics available to respond to emergencies in the county 24/7/365. The cost of providing care costs much more than property taxes provide, and GCEMS bills for reimbursement of services provided. The GCEMS billing team works closely with patients and insurers to minimize out-of-pocket costs whenever possible. 

Why did I receive a balance bill? Isn't this a violation of the "No Surprises Act"? 

In December 2020, Congress enacted the No Surprises Act. The No Surprises Act establishes new federal protections against surprise out-of-network medical bills from many healthcare providers, including air ambulance. However, the No Surprises Act specifically exempted Ground Ambulance Services from the new restrictions on surprise medical bills.

The reality is that the cost of providing EMS services is much higher than most private insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid will pay- especially in a high-cost-of-living resort community like ours. GCEMS is exempt from both Federal and Colorado balance billing laws, and without this exemption, we would likely be unable to provide the level of essential service the community currently expects and enjoys. We understand the burden that medical bills including ambulance bills can cause patients. As stated above, GCEMS works very closely with insurers and patients to minimize out-of-pocket costs whenever possible. Additionally, GCEMS has several discount programs available to help patients. 

Why is EMS so expensive? 

Here is an informational flyer published by the EMS Association of Colorado in 2023, which describes the cost of placing just one ambulance into service with all necessary equipment. These costs are consistent with what GCEMS incurs when equipping our ambulances. Informational handout describing cost of one equipped ambulance is over $400,000